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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Boyle Heights CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Boyle Heights CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 class choices are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Boyle Heights CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Boyle Heights CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, 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 may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Boyle Heights California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Boyle Heights CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination 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 available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions 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 aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why 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.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Boyle Heights CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Boyle Heights California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Boyle Heights CA program you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Boyle Heights CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain 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 looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors 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 larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Boyle Heights CA schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Boyle Heights home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Boyle Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Boyle Heights CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boyle Heights California.