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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design College

Once you have decided 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 commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

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

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Chino Hills CA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure 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 several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive 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 credential 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 training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

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 several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Chino Hills CA student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Chino Hills CA homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire 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 school may be the perfect option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Chino Hills CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chino Hills California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Chino Hills CA college you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Chino Hills CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chino Hills CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chino Hills CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chino Hills home, go to the campus 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chino Hills CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Hills California.