Home >> Arkansas >> Jonesboro >> Interior Design Programs


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Jonesboro AR

How to Find the Right Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Jonesboro AR, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since several 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 crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Jonesboro AR

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Jonesboro AR may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces 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 commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Jonesboro Arkansas interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

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

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arkansas 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 provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide 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 their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Jonesboro AR 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.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Jonesboro AR home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Jonesboro Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Jonesboro AR program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Jonesboro AR business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Jonesboro AR schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Jonesboro AR schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Jonesboro home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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? Last, make sure that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Jonesboro Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Jonesboro ArkansasSelecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jonesboro Arkansas.