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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Calexico CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some 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 very important that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories 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 specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might 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, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Calexico California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Calexico CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select 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. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available 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 provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business 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 two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Online Interior Design Schools

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 colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Calexico CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Calexico California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Calexico CA college you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask 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 field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Calexico CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Calexico CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often 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? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Calexico CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Calexico CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.