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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Camarillo CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must 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 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 Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Camarillo CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example 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 selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Camarillo California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Camarillo CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required 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 commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally 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 degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Train 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Camarillo CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Camarillo California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Camarillo CA college you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Camarillo CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Camarillo CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes 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? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Camarillo home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. 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, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.