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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Carmichael CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 training options are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Carmichael CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Carmichael CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have 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 required 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 accreditation benefits 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 required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with 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 secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Carmichael CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Carmichael California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Carmichael CA college you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Carmichael CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Carmichael CA schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carmichael CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carmichael CA, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.