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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Camarillo CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, 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 and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business 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 educated 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 two broad areas that an interior designer in Camarillo CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Camarillo CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

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

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.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Camarillo CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Camarillo CA college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Camarillo CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Camarillo CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camarillo CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Camarillo home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening 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, 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 Best Interior Designer College near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs 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.