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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Chino Hills CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

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

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Chino Hills California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Chino Hills CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of 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 supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some 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 Programs

Chino Hills California interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Chino Hills CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino Hills California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Chino Hills CA program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Chino Hills CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Chino Hills CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school 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 personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chino Hills CA programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino Hills home, go to the college and sit in on 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino Hills CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Hills California.