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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Camarillo CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course

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 commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just 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 location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Camarillo CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad 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 room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Camarillo California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Camarillo CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous 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 deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options 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 the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Schools

Camarillo CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Camarillo CA homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Camarillo CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. 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 college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might 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 employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Camarillo CA program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Camarillo CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Camarillo CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support 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 Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, visit the campus and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Camarillo CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Camarillo California

interior designed kitchen in Camarillo CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camarillo California.