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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Camarillo CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper 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 preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important 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 discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Camarillo CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Camarillo CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Classes

Camarillo CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Camarillo CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Camarillo CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Camarillo California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Camarillo CA school you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Camarillo CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

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

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Camarillo CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you perform 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 programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.