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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Calexico CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

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

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Calexico California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Calexico CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment 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 technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Calexico California interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Calexico CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining 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 programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Calexico CA college you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, 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 regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Calexico CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Calexico CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Calexico CA schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Calexico CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider 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 field. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.