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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that 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 gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get 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 could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction 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 skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Camarillo CA may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Camarillo California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Camarillo CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

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

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Camarillo CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Camarillo CA college you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at 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 college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Camarillo CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Camarillo CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camarillo CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially 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 offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before choosing a course, program 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 essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.