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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Calexico CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Calexico CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to 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 range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Calexico CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions 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 about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Calexico 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Calexico CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Calexico California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Calexico CA school you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Calexico CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Calexico CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper 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 probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Calexico CA colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Calexico home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Calexico CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.