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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Baldwin Park CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Baldwin Park 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 spaces, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. 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 before we do, let's talk 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 Baldwin Park CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Baldwin Park CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Baldwin Park California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Baldwin Park CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations 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 about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four 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 credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Baldwin Park CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to study in the convenience of their Baldwin Park CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

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 a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Baldwin Park CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Baldwin Park California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Baldwin Park CA school you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Baldwin Park CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Baldwin Park CA schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Baldwin Park CA programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Baldwin Park home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Baldwin Park California

interior designed kitchen in Baldwin Park CaliforniaChoosing the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Baldwin Park California.