How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program near Pleasant Hill California
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Pleasant Hill 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 spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Pleasant Hill CA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Pleasant Hill CA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Pleasant Hill CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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 accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things 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 primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Pleasant Hill CA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain 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 program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Pleasant Hill CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Pleasant Hill CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Pleasant Hill CA college you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Pleasant Hill CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Pleasant Hill CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Pleasant Hill CA colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Pleasant Hill home, visit the campus and monitor a few 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pleasant Hill CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Bachelor Interior Design Pleasant Hill CA
Choosing the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Bachelor Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Best Interior Design Graduate Programs. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pleasant Hill CA.
Other California Designer Locations
Pleasant Hill, California
Pleasant Hill is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 33,152 at the 2010 census. It was incorporated in 1961. Pleasant Hill is the home of College Park High School, Diablo Valley College, John F Kennedy University, the Pleasant Hill Library and administration offices for the Contra Costa County Library system, and the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 km2). Pleasant Hill has a varied landscape with some valleys and rolling hills. In undisturbed wilderness, oak woodlands and mixed woods can be found. It is located in the central East San Francisco Bay.
This region has warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Pleasant Hill has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps. Winter daytime temperatures tend to be in the fifties and sixties, and summers range in the high seventies to upper eighties, occasionally reaching the low nineties. On very rare occasions, the temperatures can reach the one hundred degree range during extreme heat waves. Freezing in winter is rare, but it does happen. Summer fog is occasional but winter fog is very common.
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