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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Camarillo CA, it's time to begin 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 get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Camarillo CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career in Camarillo CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Camarillo California interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Camarillo CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select 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 an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Camarillo CA college you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Camarillo CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Camarillo CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camarillo CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical 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 find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening 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 also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.