Home >> California >> Camarillo >> Interior Design Colleges


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Select the Best Interior Designer College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Camarillo CA, it's time to start 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 receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital 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 class options are available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working 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 trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Camarillo CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with 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 emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They 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 incorporating Feng shui principles, Camarillo California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Camarillo CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered 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 amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such 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 vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Camarillo California interior designer bathroomWhen you have decided on 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, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Camarillo CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Camarillo CA school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Camarillo CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Camarillo CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Camarillo CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.