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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Chino Hills CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 choices are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business 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 educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate 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 typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Chino Hills California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Chino Hills CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed 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 needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Chino Hills CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Chino Hills California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Chino Hills CA college you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Chino Hills CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Chino Hills CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential 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 Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chino Hills CA colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chino Hills home, visit the school and attend a few 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 experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will 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 available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Hills California.