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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Citrus Heights CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Citrus Heights CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 choices are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Citrus Heights CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Citrus Heights CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Citrus Heights CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment 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 facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use 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 needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Citrus Heights 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 Design Schools

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Citrus Heights CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Citrus Heights California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Citrus Heights CA program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Citrus Heights CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Citrus Heights CA schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Citrus Heights CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Citrus Heights home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic 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 Citrus Heights CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Citrus Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Citrus Heights CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Citrus Heights California.