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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Chino Hills CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 training options are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key 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 spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Chino Hills CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Chino Hills CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Chino Hills CA student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Chino Hills CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify 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 accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Chino Hills California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Chino Hills CA school you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. 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 a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Chino Hills CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Chino Hills CA schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chino Hills CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino Hills 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chino Hills CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaPicking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Hills California.