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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Boyle Heights CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college 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 commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some future students will begin 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 should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Boyle Heights CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Boyle Heights CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, 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 areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Boyle Heights California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Boyle Heights CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Boyle Heights California interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Boyle Heights CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Boyle Heights California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Boyle Heights CA school you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Boyle Heights CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Boyle Heights CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Boyle Heights CA schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Boyle Heights home, visit the college and monitor a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Boyle Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Boyle Heights CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boyle Heights California.