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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carson CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Carson CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carson CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Carson CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Carson California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Carson CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Classes

Carson CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Carson CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Carson CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carson California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Carson CA program you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Carson CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Carson CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Carson CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Carson home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carson CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Carson California

interior designed kitchen in Carson CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carson California.