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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school 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 spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Camarillo CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Camarillo California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Camarillo CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly 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 deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Camarillo 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Camarillo CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Camarillo CA school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance 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 highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Camarillo CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Camarillo CA schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Camarillo CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you 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 Right Interior Design College near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.