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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Clovis CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Clovis CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk 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 Clovis CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Clovis CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Clovis California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Clovis CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects 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 job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt 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 needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Clovis California interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Clovis CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Clovis California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Clovis CA school you choose should also furnish the appropriate training 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Clovis CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Clovis CA schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Clovis CA colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Clovis home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Clovis CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Clovis California

interior designed kitchen in Clovis CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Clovis California.