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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Citrus Heights CA

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Citrus Heights CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address 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 class options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Citrus Heights CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have 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 educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Citrus Heights CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Citrus Heights CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 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 two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Citrus Heights California interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Citrus Heights CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Citrus Heights California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Citrus Heights CA program you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Citrus Heights CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Citrus Heights CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Citrus Heights CA schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Citrus Heights home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Citrus Heights CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Citrus Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Citrus Heights CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative 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 properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Citrus Heights California.