Certificate programs in the kitchen and bath field are open to high school graduates. Students explore design theory and gain hands-on experience with professional design software. Upon program completion, students are prepared for entry-level work in the field. Most programs take roughly one year to complete.
Kitchen and Bath Design Certificate
Kitchen and bath design certificate programs provide students with training in computer-aided design (CAD) and mechanical drawing. In addition, they introduce students to the industry's business practices, software applications and construction materials. By the end of the program, students will have developed a professional portfolio for presentation to prospective employers. An internship in the remodeling field may also be required.
Kitchen and bath certificate programs typically consist of 30 to 40 credit hours. Along with training in kitchen and bath design, students learn about contract and business law. They programs also require students to take more general courses such as public speaking and algebra. Specific course topics include:
- Interior drafting
- Kitchen and bath design
- Interior construction
- AutoCAD for interiors
- Sales introduction
- Color theory
Popular Career Options
Graduates of kitchen and bath design certificate programs can find entry-level employment opportunities with interior design firms, architectural firms and home improvement stores. Building contractors also hire kitchen and bath subcontractors when building new structures. In general, kitchen and bath designers are expected to find ways to use textiles, lighting and other decor to make these rooms both appealing and functional. Some specific job titles include:
- Design assistant
- Cabinet builder
- Retail sales consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for interior designers are projected to increase by four percent between 2014 and 2024. Drafters should see a decline in employment of about three percent during that same time period, while employment for woodworkers is expected to see little or no change. In 2015, the BLS reported that architectural drafters earned a mean annual wage of $53,470, while cabinetmakers earned a mean annual wage of $33,980. Interior designers earned a mean annual wage of $55,510 in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Licensing
Some states require interior designers to be licensed. Depending of the state, license applicants will need to demonstrate a specific combination of education and work experience. They may also need to pass an exam offered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.
Students interested in continuing their studies can enter apprenticeship programs. These one- to three-year hands-on training opportunities can give students the experience they need to work independently or open their own studios. Associate's degree programs in kitchen and bath design are also available. At some schools, you can also pursue a bachelor's degree in kitchen and bath design or, more commonly, interior design.
In summary, a kitchen and bath certificate can provide you with the theoretical understanding of design principles and the hands-on experience you will need to get an entry level job, in the field prepare for a licensure exam, or continue your education in a higher level degree program.