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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Chino Hills 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 spaces, it's important that you get 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 exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Chino Hills CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Chino Hills CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed 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 supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business 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 furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

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

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Chino Hills California interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Chino Hills CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Chino Hills California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Chino Hills CA school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at 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 highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Chino Hills CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chino Hills CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chino Hills CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chino Hills 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino Hills CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Hills California.