Home >> California >> Cerritos >> Interior Design Classes


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Cerritos CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Cerritos CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Cerritos CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Cerritos CA can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Cerritos California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Cerritos CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required 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 provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Cerritos CA student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Cerritos CA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Cerritos CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Cerritos California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Cerritos CA school you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Cerritos CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Cerritos CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Cerritos CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Cerritos home, go to the school and monitor a few 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cerritos CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Cerritos California

interior designed kitchen in Cerritos CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Cerritos California.