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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Find the Best Interior Designer School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Calexico CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person 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 numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Calexico CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Calexico CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed 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 short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Calexico California interior designer bathroomAfter you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Calexico CA residence. Naturally 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Calexico California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Calexico CA college you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Calexico CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Calexico CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Calexico CA programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Calexico CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.