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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Calexico CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the right 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 could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Calexico CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Calexico CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many 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 deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the 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 improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Calexico California interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Calexico CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Calexico California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Calexico CA program you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, 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 trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Calexico CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Calexico CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Calexico CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Calexico CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaPicking the right interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.