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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Ceres CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Ceres CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Ceres CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories 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, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must 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 employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Ceres CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs 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 normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Ceres CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting 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 Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Ceres CA college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Ceres CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Ceres CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Ceres CA schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Ceres home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ceres CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Ceres California

interior designed kitchen in Ceres CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential 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 appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ceres California.