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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carlsbad CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Carlsbad 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 spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of 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 perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Carlsbad CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Carlsbad CA may 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to 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 concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

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

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Carlsbad CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose 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 mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized 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 degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Carlsbad California interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Carlsbad CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carlsbad California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Carlsbad CA college you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College'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 colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Carlsbad CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Carlsbad CA schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts 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 probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Carlsbad CA colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carlsbad home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carlsbad CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Carlsbad California

interior designed kitchen in Carlsbad CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carlsbad California.