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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Carmichael CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 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 main difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up 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 existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently 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 stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Carmichael California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new career in Carmichael CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs 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 facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Colleges

Carmichael CA student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Carmichael CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Carmichael CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, 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 hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Carmichael CA program you select should also provide the suitable instruction 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Carmichael CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Carmichael CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Carmichael CA programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carmichael CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.