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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer 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 residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class alternatives are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Carmichael CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Carmichael California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Carmichael CA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options 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 mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Carmichael CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Carmichael California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Carmichael CA program you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Carmichael CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Carmichael CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Carmichael CA programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carmichael CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.