How to Pick an Interior Designer Program near Robbins California
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Robbins CA, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Robbins CA if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Robbins CA typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Robbins CA designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design in Robbins CA that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Robbins CA.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Robbins CA area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For students who to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no Robbins CA area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your Robbins CA area college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Robbins CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate 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 college. And in some of those states mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Robbins CA school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the state where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Robbins CA area business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of Robbins CA area interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Robbins CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the Robbins CA interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Ideal Interior Design College near Robbins CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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