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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 made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Calexico CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential 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, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those topics 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 options are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad 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, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Calexico CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief 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 profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices 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 desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Become 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.

What to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Calexico CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Calexico California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Calexico CA college you enroll in 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 working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Calexico CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? 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 designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Calexico CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to 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, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out 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 CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.