Home >> Arkansas >> North Little Rock >> Interior Design Courses Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near North Little Rock AR

How to Find the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near North Little Rock AR, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in North Little Rock AR

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in North Little Rock AR can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, North Little Rock Arkansas interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new career in North Little Rock AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed 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 design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional 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 professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

North Little Rock 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your North Little Rock AR home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many North Little Rock Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the North Little Rock AR college you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas 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 undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of North Little Rock AR business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the North Little Rock AR colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the North Little Rock AR programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your North Little Rock home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy 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 North Little Rock AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near North Little Rock Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in North Little Rock ArkansasSelecting the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for 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 field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative 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 properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in North Little Rock Arkansas.