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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chula Vista CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Chula Vista CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics 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 choices are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chula Vista CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chula Vista CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily 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 stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Chula Vista California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Chula Vista CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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 the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt 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 an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Chula Vista 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Chula Vista CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chula Vista California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Chula Vista CA school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Chula Vista CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Chula Vista CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chula Vista CA programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chula Vista home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chula Vista CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Chula Vista California

interior designed kitchen in Chula Vista CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chula Vista California.