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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Clovis CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Clovis 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 receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. 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 before we do, 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 Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Clovis CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing 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 residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Clovis CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to 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 principles, Clovis California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Clovis CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to 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 required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade 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 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually 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 some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Clovis 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

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Clovis CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Clovis California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Clovis CA program you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Clovis CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Clovis CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Clovis CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Clovis home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Clovis CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Clovis California

interior designed kitchen in Clovis CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Clovis California.