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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Chino CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business 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 educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Chino CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Chino CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of 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 short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate 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 achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

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, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why 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 Designer Programs

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Chino CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Chino CA program you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Chino CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chino CA schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chino CA programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chino home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially 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 certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program 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 rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.