What Is the Job Description of a Kitchen Designer?

Would you like to showcase your eye for designing, remodeling, and accessorizing kitchen spaces? A job as a kitchen designer might be for you. There are a variety of educational and certification options to choose from. Keep reading to learn more. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A kitchen designer is a type of interior designer who works with clients to discuss all aspects of creating, remodeling, or updating the kitchen area of their home. You would discuss building materials, themes, colors, patterns, and room layout with a client. You'll then have to produce sketches and drawings based on what your client tells you he or she wants, which will serve as a basic plan for the remodeling of the kitchen.

Once you start a project, you'll need to install lighting, flooring, appliances, windows, paint, drywall, doorways, counter tops, and other furnishings. You'll need to coordinate with your clients to ensure that their project remains within budget. You would also be responsible for working with building contractors, electricians, painters, plumbers, and other professionals to get your job done. You could also suggest particular kitchen accessories, such as tables, dishware, glassware, serving pieces, and decorations that you think will match a client's aesthetic taste.

Skills and Abilities

You'll need to have a sharp, creative eye for this job, along with the ability to take what someone tells you verbally and transpose it visually into the room you're redecorating or remodeling. You also need to showcase your drafting and layout skills, using computer software, laser scanners, and architect scales.

Building knowledge is essential since you'll be overseeing contractors who might be knocking down walls, setting up appliances, and rewiring the electricity. Since you'll be suggesting materials and products to your clients, you'll need to have knowledge of industry trends, as well as the ability to sell and market such items.

Communication skills are vital as a kitchen designer because you need to convey important design ideas and instructions to both contractors and customers. Additionally, a background in art and design can contribute to your creativity as an interior designer. Finally, administrative knowledge is necessary because you'll be handling much of the paperwork, forms, billing, and files for your clients.

Education and Certification

You can start out as an interior design assistant by completing a certificate or associate's degree program in interior design. If you obtain a bachelor's degree in design, that may increase your chances of getting a kitchen designer job. Many colleges and universities offer these types of programs, which can last from two to four years. Depending on the state you live and work in, you can look into becoming licensed or certified in interior design.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is one avenue to look into for obtaining a license (www.ncidq.org). To be eligible for their exam, the NCIDQ recommends that you earn six years of interior design education and work experience combined. You'll then need to register to take the exam. The NCIDQ also has continuing education requirements that must be met to keep you license active.

You can also look into certifications from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), which offers several designations to choose from (www.nkba.org). If you're interested in gaining an Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) certification, you need at least two years of design experience, 30 hours of coursework, two professional endorsements, and successful completion of the exam. To become a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), you'll need seven years of design-related experience, 60 hours of coursework, two client and two professional endorsements, and you must pass both the AKBD and CKD exams.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of kitchen designers earn between $25,898 and $52,933 a year, as of December 2013. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of kitchen design, the BLS did project that the employment of interior designers in general will likely grow by about 19% between 2010 and 2020, which is slightly faster than the national average of 14% for all career fields.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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