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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chatsworth CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Chatsworth CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chatsworth CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chatsworth CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to 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 looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Chatsworth CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 provide advanced training in design after attaining the 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of 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 sit for the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Chatsworth California interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Chatsworth CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chatsworth California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Chatsworth CA college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Chatsworth CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chatsworth CA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chatsworth CA schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chatsworth home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chatsworth CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Chatsworth California

interior designed kitchen in Chatsworth CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chatsworth California.