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Kitchen Design: Job Description and Career Information

See what kinds of duties kitchen designers have and what education they must acquire. Find out about the common salary of these designers and what their employment outlook is like. Also, read about career paths similar to kitchen design.

Career Defined for a Kitchen Designer

Kitchen designers create kitchens for clients, taking into account things like cabinets, flooring, counters and appliances. They use their skills to determine a client's project goals, prepare final plans and create a timeline for the project. Kitchen designers must make sure the kitchens are functional, convenient, comfortable and up to building code. They can design residential kitchens, as well as those found in restaurants, hospitals or cafeterias.

Education Requirements Certification and a bachelor's degree
Job Skills Listening skills; knowledge of building codes, computer-aided drafting and design trends
Career Outlook (2016 to 2026)* 4% growth for interior designers
Median Annual Salary (2017)* $51,500 for interior designers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Since kitchen design is a specialized form of interior design, kitchen designers must obtain certification in addition to a bachelor's degree in interior design. The National Kitchen and Bath Association awards three levels of certification based on the certified person's amount of experience in the field. Students will have to take courses in computer-aided drafting, basic design principles, business ethics, plumbing and construction in order to receive their certification.

Job Skills

Kitchen designers must have strong active listening skills so that they can make sure their designs meet their clients' needs. They will also need to know the building codes for their area, have computer-aided drafting experience, possess a keen eye for detail and be up to date on current kitchen design trends.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary of interior designers, including kitchen designers, was $51,500 in May 2017. As with most design professions, job growth is expected over the next decade; specialty interior designers, such as kitchen designers, are predicted to have more opportunities than most.

Interior designers were expected by the BLS to see a 4% increase in employment from 2016 to 2026. Generally, kitchen designers can find work wherever large numbers of homes or restaurants are being built. According to the BLS, the highest employment levels for interior designers were in California, Florida and Texas in 2017.

Alternative Career Options

Other related careers include:

Industrial Designer

A job growth of 4% was projected for industrial designers for the 2016 to 2026 reporting period, per the BLS. These types of designers sketch blueprints and develop models for products like cars, toys and home appliances. Entry-level design jobs usually require a bachelor's degree in a related field. Commercial and industrial designers had a median salary of $65,970 in 2017, per the BLS.

Architect

Responsible for the creation and implementation of building designs, architects must be licensed and have an architecture degree and work experience through an internship. With the exception of landscape and naval architects, the job outlook for architects was an expected 4% increase from 2016 to 2026, based on BLS data. Architects earned a median salary of $78,470 in 2017.


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