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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Rogers AR

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Rogers AR, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective 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 factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone 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, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Rogers AR can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Rogers Arkansas interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Rogers AR. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to 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 qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Rogers 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Rogers AR residence. 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 fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Rogers Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Rogers AR program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Rogers AR business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Rogers AR schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors 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 attention from the teachers. Find out from the Rogers AR colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Rogers home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rogers AR, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasPicking 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 obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several things 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 regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogers Arkansas.