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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Carmichael CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

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

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Carmichael California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Carmichael CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of 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 education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Design Schools

Carmichael California interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Carmichael CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Carmichael California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Carmichael CA college you choose should also furnish 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? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Carmichael CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Carmichael CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Carmichael CA colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Carmichael home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carmichael CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.