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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Ceres CA

How to Select the Right Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Ceres CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents 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 also. So it's vital that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Ceres CA

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

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Ceres California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Ceres CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use 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 required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Ceres California interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Ceres CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select 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). Schools obtaining 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Ceres California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Ceres CA program you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Ceres CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Ceres CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again 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 offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Ceres CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Ceres home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Ceres CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Ceres California

interior designed kitchen in Ceres CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative 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 review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ceres California.