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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Campbell CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Campbell CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some 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 very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Campbell CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Campbell CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate 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 banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Campbell California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Campbell CA. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically 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 some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Campbell 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 Design Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Campbell CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Campbell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Campbell CA program you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Campbell CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Campbell CA schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school 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 assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Campbell CA schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Campbell home, go to the college and attend 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Campbell 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, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Campbell California

interior designed kitchen in Campbell CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Campbell California.