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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Coachella CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Coachella CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. 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 before we do, 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 compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Coachella CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Coachella CA may specialize in:

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Coachella California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Coachella CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire 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 professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Coachella California interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Coachella CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Coachella California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Coachella CA program you choose should also provide the suitable 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Coachella CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Coachella CA schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Coachella CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Coachella home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Coachella CA, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Coachella California

interior designed kitchen in Coachella CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Coachella California.