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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chula Vista CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Chula Vista CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chula Vista CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business 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 trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chula Vista CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Chula Vista California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Chula Vista CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed 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 provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 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 several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Chula Vista California interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Chula Vista CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chula Vista California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Chula Vista CA school you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Chula Vista CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

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

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chula Vista CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Chula Vista home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chula Vista CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Chula Vista California

interior designed kitchen in Chula Vista CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chula Vista California.