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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Calexico CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and 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 education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Calexico CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Calexico CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Calexico CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Calexico CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Calexico CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Calexico California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Calexico CA school you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Calexico CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Calexico CA schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Calexico CA colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly 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 working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.