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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino Hills CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Chino Hills CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 options are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino Hills CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories 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, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, 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 primary consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Chino Hills California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Chino Hills CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position 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 offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools 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 Design Classes

Chino Hills CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Chino Hills CA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added 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 also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Chino Hills CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chino Hills California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Chino Hills CA school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Chino Hills CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Chino Hills CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction 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, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant 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, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Chino Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Chino Hills CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate 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.