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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided 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 commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education 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 projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Camarillo CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Camarillo CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short 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 profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Camarillo California interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Camarillo CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected 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 instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Camarillo CA college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some support 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 high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Camarillo CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Camarillo CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Camarillo CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative 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 Designer School near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaPicking the right interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations 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 excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.