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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Chino 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 obtain the proper 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 could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class options are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chino CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in Chino CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance 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 programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Chino CA student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the convenience of their Chino CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Chino CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit 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 decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Chino CA program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Chino CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Chino CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chino CA colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chino home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chino CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you conduct 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 programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.