Home >> California >> Boyle Heights >> Interior Design Classes


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Boyle Heights CA

How to Select the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Boyle Heights CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Boyle Heights CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Boyle Heights CA may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Boyle Heights California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Boyle Heights CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered 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 supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business 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 two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Design Degree Programs

Boyle Heights CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to study in the comfort of their Boyle Heights CA homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy 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 many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Boyle Heights CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Boyle Heights California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Boyle Heights CA college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Boyle Heights CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Boyle Heights CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Boyle Heights CA programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Boyle Heights home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Boyle Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Boyle Heights CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boyle Heights California.