Kitchen Designer: Occupational Outlook and Career Summary

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a kitchen designer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Kitchen designers help create a client's kitchen space to ensure that it's functional, strategically planned and aesthetically pleasing. Kitchen design programs are available at an associate's, bachelor's or certificate level, and many experienced kitchen designers demonstrate their proficiency through professional certification or a license. The job market is expected to grow slowly through 2024 for interior designers as a whole.

Essential Information

Kitchen designers make sure that a client's kitchen space is safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing by strategically planning the layout, decor and fixtures. Education is usually required for entry-level positions in interior design occupations. Individuals can enter the field of kitchen design through a variety of academic options, and certification or licensure may also be beneficial for prospective kitchen designers.

Required Education Various options; completion of formal training through kitchen design program can be achieved at the associate's, bachelor's or certificate level
Other Requirements Internships, licensure and/or certification may be required
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 4% (for all interior designers)
Mean Salary (2018)* $59,120 annually (for all interior designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Kitchen Designer Occupational Outlook

Kitchen designers were in high demand due to an increased interest in home remodeling and design. More affluent areas and neighborhoods should see the greatest demand for interior designers. Kitchen designers in particular usually must become an authority in this area, through certification or licensing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that job opportunities in the interior design industry in general were expected to see average growth, at 4% between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov).

Salary Information for Kitchen Designers

In 2018, the BLS stated that the annual mean wage for interior designers in general was $59,120. Wages may vary by location, level of experience and area of specialization. For example, those working in specialized design earned an average of $59,210 annually, while those working on the architectural and engineering end of design made a higher average of $64,480 yearly.

Educational Requirements for Kitchen Designers

The BLS indicated that candidates interested in careers as interior and kitchen designers need to complete formal training. Schools and colleges offer various programs in kitchen design, typically associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs. Certificate programs in kitchen design are another option that qualify individuals for entry-level positions in the kitchen and bath design industry. Students may be able to complete some of the courses online.

Internship and Licensing Requirements

Many educational programs require students to complete internships as part of the curriculum. The curricula may be based on specifications set by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). After completing a kitchen design program, graduates must work as a kitchen designer for at least one year before becoming eligible to take a licensing exam. More licensing exams become available as the designers gains more experience.

Certifications

The NKBA, a non-profit association committed to the kitchen and bath industry, offers certification in both residential bath and kitchen design. Once designers complete training seminars and pass certification exams, they can also obtain certifications in other areas of kitchen and bath design. The kitchen and bath certification exams include a multiple-choice test on kitchen and bath design and a design/practical exam.

Kitchen designers can pursue various college programs in kitchen design and even earn certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. A license may be required in some jurisdictions. Those entering into this field may find themselves earning on average $59,120 a year, and job growth is projected to be slower than average over the next few years.

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