Home >> California >> Chino Hills >> Interior Design Schools Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Select the Right Interior Design College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Chino Hills CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some 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 essential that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you start? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chino Hills CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Chino Hills CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of 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 required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required 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 commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such 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 primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Degree Programs

Chino Hills CA student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the comfort of their Chino Hills CA homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Chino Hills CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chino Hills California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Chino Hills CA college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Chino Hills CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Chino Hills CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. 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 competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chino Hills CA schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chino Hills home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chino Hills CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Hills California.