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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Chino CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chino CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have 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 help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Chino CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade 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 supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require 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 Designer Colleges

Chino CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to study in the convenience of their Chino CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Chino CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Chino CA college you enroll in 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 probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Chino CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chino CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chino CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chino CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.