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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Colton CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Colton 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 interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk 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 Colton CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Colton CA can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Colton California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new career in Colton CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Colton 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Colton CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 rigorous evaluation 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Colton California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Colton CA school you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Colton CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Colton CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Colton CA colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Colton home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Colton CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Colton California

interior designed kitchen in Colton CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Colton California.