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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 design school near Chatsworth CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chatsworth CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chatsworth CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. 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 specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main 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. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Chatsworth California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in Chatsworth CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed 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 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Chatsworth California interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Chatsworth CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. 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 examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chatsworth California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Chatsworth CA college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Chatsworth CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chatsworth CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chatsworth CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chatsworth 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chatsworth CA, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Chatsworth California

interior designed kitchen in Chatsworth CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chatsworth California.