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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carson CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Carson CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Carson CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Carson CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Carson California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in Carson CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Carson California interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Carson CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Carson California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Carson CA program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Carson CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Carson CA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Carson CA colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carson home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carson CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Carson California

interior designed kitchen in Carson CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carson California.