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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Select the Right Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Chino CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Chino CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Chino CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of 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 level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ 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", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Chino CA student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Chino CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options 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 should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Chino CA school you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Chino CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chino CA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chino CA programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.