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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Boyle Heights CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Boyle Heights CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 Boyle Heights CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of 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 many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Boyle Heights CA can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial 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 picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Boyle Heights California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Boyle Heights CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The 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 several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Boyle Heights 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 Design Programs

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Boyle Heights CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Boyle Heights California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Boyle Heights CA college you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask 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 graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Boyle Heights CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Boyle Heights CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Boyle Heights CA programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Boyle Heights home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Boyle Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Boyle Heights CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boyle Heights California.