Your NKBA student membership will continue through December 31st of your graduation year. Take advantage of your local NKBA chapter meetings. There are chapters located throughout the U.S. and Canada that are eager to have you attend their educational and social networking events. Many even have discounted rates for students.
Increase Your Earning Potential
The NKBA has a schedule of professional development courses to help you develop your skills and increase your marketability. The Certification Prep course reviews the information on the AKBD exam, which is open to graduates of NKBA Accredited Programs.
Certification assures your employer and the public that you have the skills and knowledge to design a safe, functional, and stylish kitchen or bathroom. It also gives you and the company a competitive edge over non-certified designers by offering a special section in our NKBA "Find A Professional" search on this website. The NKBA offers a study guide as preparation for the certification exams. To order, contact NKBA Customer Service at 1-800-THE-NKBA.
Advice on Employment from Graduates
Sara Olson, 2002 graduate from the NKBA Accredited Program at Alexandria Technical College in Alexandria, Minnesota, offered this advice: "Be open to relocation and pay attention to your kitchen software classes."
Sara works for NKBA member company American Woodmark Corporation in Winchester, Virginia as a display designer.
Becky Fischer is a 2002 graduate of the NKBA Accredited Program at Lakeland College in Alberta, Canada – the only NKBA Accredited Program in Canada. "Networking is the answer to finding your job in the industry, she said. On a showroom tour sponsored by her chapter, Becky spoke to someone about working in the industry in Ottawa. He contacted his showroom in Ottawa, and Kitchen Craft, an NKBA member firm, hired Becky as a Kitchen Design and Sales Consultant.
Kathleen Tish worked at a kitchen and bath showroom in Orange County while attending the NKBA Accredited Program at Learning Tree University. After graduating, Kathleen was a manager with a design center. After receiving certification as a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), Kathleen started her own business, Kitchen & Bath Solutions, now a member of the NKBA.
Kathleen's advice to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs is "to interview with as many business owners as possible to ascertain the daily challenges of running the business and the skills necessary to achieve success." Also, "work in the industry to gain experience integrating your design skills with the installation and construction of the project."
Terri Belage works for an Independent Kitchen/Bath Designer in Connecticut. A graduate of the NKBA Accredited Program at the University of Nebraska in Kearny, Terri stated, "Attending local chapter meetings as an NKBA student member and working part time as a cashier in a lumberyard for a cabinet dealer gave me many contacts with the builder/remodeler industry. Both were great opportunities for employment referrals. I attribute finding my internship to attending K/BIS and my advisor's ability to network while serving on NKBA national program advisory councils."