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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Coachella CA

How to Find the Best Interior Designer College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Coachella CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 training options are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Coachella CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Coachella CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, 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 appearance as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as 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 selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Coachella California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Coachella CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven 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 opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees 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 normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Coachella California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Coachella CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of 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 assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Coachella California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Coachella CA program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Coachella CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Coachella CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Coachella CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Coachella home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Coachella CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Coachella California

interior designed kitchen in Coachella CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Coachella California.