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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Boyle Heights CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college 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 residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Boyle Heights CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person 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 numerous 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 functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Boyle Heights CA can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Boyle Heights California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Boyle Heights CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of 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. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training 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 improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Boyle Heights California interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Boyle Heights CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field 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 programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Boyle Heights California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready 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 as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Boyle Heights CA school you choose 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 working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Boyle Heights CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Boyle Heights CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Boyle Heights CA programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Boyle Heights home, visit the school and attend 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Boyle Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Boyle Heights CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for 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 field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boyle Heights California.