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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Ceres CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Ceres CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? A number of potential students will launch 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 are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Ceres CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Ceres CA may specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example 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, Ceres California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Ceres CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time 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) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use 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 called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Degree Programs

Ceres CA student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to attend classes in the comfort of their Ceres CA homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Ceres CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Ceres California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Ceres CA program you select should also furnish 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Ceres CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Ceres CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Ceres CA colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Ceres home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ceres CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Ceres California

interior designed kitchen in Ceres CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ceres California.