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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Citrus Heights CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program 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 residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location 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 cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Citrus Heights CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects 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 Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Citrus Heights CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide 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 benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

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

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

Why Study to Become 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Citrus Heights CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible 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 mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Citrus Heights CA school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Citrus Heights CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Citrus Heights CA schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Citrus Heights CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Citrus Heights home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. 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, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Citrus Heights California

interior designed kitchen in Citrus Heights CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Citrus Heights California.