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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Boyle Heights CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Boyle Heights CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Boyle Heights CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting 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 educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Boyle Heights CA can specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Boyle Heights California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Boyle Heights CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment 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 creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Boyle Heights California interior designer bathroomWhen you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Boyle Heights CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. 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 offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Boyle Heights California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

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

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Boyle Heights CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Boyle Heights CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Boyle Heights CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Boyle Heights home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Boyle Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Boyle Heights CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. 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 college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boyle Heights California.