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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carmichael CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Carmichael CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carmichael CA

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

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking 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 Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Carmichael CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven 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 opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets 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 job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things 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 mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

Carmichael CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Carmichael CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving 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 might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, 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 positions.

Does the Program Prep 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Carmichael CA college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Carmichael CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Carmichael CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carmichael CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask 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, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carmichael CA, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Carmichael California

interior designed kitchen in Carmichael CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carmichael California.