Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD)

Becoming an Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer® (AKBD) is more than just a certification. It’s a sign of your commitment. And it’s not only a commitment to building your expertise in product selection, space planning, materials and finishes, but also to the kitchen and bath industry as a whole.

Experience Requirements

Applicants must document a minimum of two (2) years of industry experience. At least one (1) year must be dedicated to the kitchen/bath design industry. The second year may be from the kitchen/bath design industry or a related full-time industry experience which includes kitchen/bathroom/decorative plumbing, hardware sales, kitchen/bathroom installation, cabinetmaking and residential remodeling.

How to Apply for Certification:

  1. Review the Kitchen & Bath Certification Guidebook.
  2. Complete and submit the form below.
  3. Include the application and exam fee: $359
  4. Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive a notification to schedule your AKBD exam.

The AKBD Exam

The AKBD academic exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that test both kitchen and bathroom competencies. The examination itself is divided into four (4) major content categories: 40 percent of the exam questions are related to planning and design, 22 percent related to construction/mechanical systems, 18 percent to business management and 20 percent to products/materials. Questions are developed by the Certification Exam Development Committee. Each question is referenced to the NKBA Professional Resource Library, the primary resource for the material on the AKBD exam.

Click here to prepare for the exam.


Q: Where and when can I take the exam?
A: The AKBD exam is administered at computerized testing facilities managed by Kryterion in the United States and Canada. The AKBD is available year-round at Kryterion testing centers.

Q: How do I schedule my exam date and location?
A: As soon as you are approved to take the AKBD examination by the NKBA certification department, it is recommended that you access the scheduling web link to create an account with Kryterion and schedule your appointment to take your AKBD exam. Waiting to schedule your test appointment may significantly limit the date/time availability at the test center of your choice. All available testing locations and dates are presented to you on the scheduling web link. This site enables you to search for testing sites by city and state.

Q: Is the AKBD exam the only exam that will be given at these test sites during this period?
A: No. The test sites also administer other exams for other associations and agencies at the same time.

Q: How many questions will be on the AKBD exam?
A: The exam consists of 150 questions.

Q: How many questions do I need to pass the AKBD exam?
A: You need to score 100 questions correctly in order to pass the AKBD exam.

Q: How much time do I have to complete the exam?
A: Candidates have 2 hours and 55 minutes in which to complete the AKBD exam. Candidates are requested to take 5 minutes at the end of the exam to complete a post-examination survey. There are no scheduled breaks during the AKBD exam. You may leave the testing room to take a bathroom break, but the time will continue on the exam. There is no way in which to stop the exam clock.

Q: When are results of the exam available?
A: They are available immediately before you leave the testing facility. Your results are delivered as either pass or fail. You will also receive your results via email.

Q: Once I view my results and I have passed, am I certified?
A: No. All individuals applying for NKBA certification must hold an active membership with the NKBA, or be employed by an NKBA member firm. You must wait for official confirmation from the NKBA accompanied by an invoice for your annual $100 certification fee. Once this is paid, you may begin using the appellation.

Q: How many times can I take the exam?
A: A candidate will be allowed to attempt the AKBD exam three (3) times in one calendar year. Thirty (30) days must pass between each exam attempt.

Q: What if I am taking the CKBD exam? Do I have to take it on two different days?
A: If you are registered for the CKBD exam, you must pass the AKBD exam first. You may not schedule both exams on the same day.