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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Ceres CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have decided 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 gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other important 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 options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Ceres CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Ceres CA can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Ceres California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Ceres CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative 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 job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Ceres California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Ceres CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available 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 Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Ceres CA college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Ceres CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Ceres CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Ceres CA schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Ceres home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ceres CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Ceres California

interior designed kitchen in Ceres CaliforniaPicking the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out 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 schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ceres California.