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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Chino 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 interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, 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 Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill 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 Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chino CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Chino CA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives 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, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets 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 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such 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 largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Chino California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Chino CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, 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 home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Chino CA program you select should also furnish 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? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. 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 field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Chino CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chino CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chino CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.