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Kitchen Design Training Courses and Diplomas

Kitchen designers plan kitchens for homes or commercial spaces. Read further to learn about education and training options in kitchen design, including how courses, diplomas and degrees can prepare you for licensing and certification if it's required by your state.

What You Need to Know

To become a kitchen designer, you'll need training in design, computer technology, costs and building codes. You can take courses on these topics through diploma, certificate and degree programs available at several colleges and universities. Your training can prepare you to take national certification exams in kitchen and bath design.

Program Options Specialized Diploma in Interior Design or Kitchen and Bath Design, Certificate in Kitchen and Bath Design, Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design, Bachelor of Science in Applied Science Technology in Kitchen and Bath Design, Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
Courses Kitchen and lighting design, interior materials and structure, graphics and presentation techniques, sketching and rendering, textiles and finish materials, 2D design
Certification Voluntary certifications available through the National Kitchen and Bath Association

What Can I Learn In a Kitchen Design Diploma Program?

Diploma programs in kitchen design often include bathroom design as part of the curriculum. These programs can be completed in 1 to 2 years. Most programs include an option to complete an internship. These hands-on training options can provide you will the necessary skills and experience for adhering to code and safety requirements, applying knowledge in the real world and handling client expectations. You can learn about the following major areas of kitchen design:

  • Space planning
  • Building materials
  • Design history
  • Production drawing techniques

What Other Degree Options are Available?

You can also pursue kitchen design training through associate's degree or certificate programs. Another option is to earn a bachelor's degree in interior design with a concentration in kitchen and bath design. Your degree program may include some online course options, while other programs may expect you to attend on-campus classes in order to have access to materials and supplies needed for your study.

What Courses Might I Take in a Diploma or Certificate Program?

In diploma programs, you can take courses in some of the basic kitchen and bath design principles. You could also take courses in presentation techniques and furniture history. Certificate programs cover many of the same topics, but you might also study foundational business concepts. Here are some of the courses you might find in your diploma or certificate program:

  • Computer-aided design
  • Graphic design
  • Kitchen layouts and lighting
  • Cabinetry design
  • Storage concepts
  • Furniture history
  • Cost estimating

What About Courses in a Degree Program?

In associate's and bachelor's degree programs, you can find more in-depth training that incorporates general education courses, such as math and communication. In your core kitchen design courses, you may learn about working with clients and implementing specific design principles, such as color and lighting. These course topics might also be explored in a degree program:

  • Drafting
  • Layout planning
  • Kitchen and bath construction techniques
  • Building codes
  • Safety regulations

Will I Need Licensing or Certification?

Some states require interior designers, including kitchen and bath designers, to be licensed before they can begin work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The exam for licensure is administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and generally requires extensive education beyond a diploma program (www.ncidq.com).

Although not required, you can choose to pursue certification through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), which requires that you take an exam. Basic certification can be achieved with an Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer designation, which requires 30 hours of approved college coursework and two years of experience.

To become a Certified Kitchen Designer or Certified Bath Designer, you must have 60 hours of coursework plus seven years' experience. The highest level of certification is the Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer, which can be attained with the CKD and CBD designations, at least 10 years experience and 100 hours of approved coursework.