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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Carmichael CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Carmichael CA may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Carmichael California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Carmichael CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the 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. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Colleges

Carmichael CA student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to attend classes in the convenience of their Carmichael CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Carmichael CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded 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 teachers and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered 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 Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Carmichael CA college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field 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 place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Carmichael CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Carmichael CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Carmichael home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Carmichael CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify 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 Best Interior Designer College near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.