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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Ceres CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Ceres CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Ceres CA

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

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Ceres California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Ceres CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs 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 trade required 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 supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Ceres CA student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Ceres CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Ceres California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Ceres CA school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Ceres CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Ceres CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually 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 minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Ceres CA programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Ceres home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ceres CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Ceres California

interior designed kitchen in Ceres CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ceres California.