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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Carmichael CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. 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 skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Carmichael CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including 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 picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Carmichael California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Carmichael CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of 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 furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually 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 colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Carmichael 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 Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Carmichael CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, 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 Carmichael California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Carmichael CA school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Carmichael CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Carmichael CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively 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 one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carmichael CA colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carmichael CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaPicking the right interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced 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 profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.