Home >> California >> Carmichael >> Interior Design Colleges


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Carmichael CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Carmichael CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They 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 including Feng shui concepts, Carmichael California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Carmichael CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply 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. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary 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", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Carmichael California interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Carmichael CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carmichael California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Carmichael CA school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Carmichael CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Carmichael CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer 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 little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Carmichael CA schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Carmichael CA, make certain 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, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task 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, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.