I Want to Be a Residential Designer

If you aren't sure what a residential designer is, you're not alone. Residential designers are similar to architects, but they are limited to designing residences. Nevada is the only state to license residential designers.

Education and experience

Residential designers must have a combination of five years of education and experience credit, with a minimum of one year of education credit and one year of experience credit. There are many different ways to meet this requirement.

Examples of education credit:

  • Degree from a program with emphasis in residential design (two-year program = 2 yrs education credit)**
  • Credit from a NAAB-accredited architecture program (one year of education = 1 yr education credit)
  • Any bachelor's degree (2 yrs education credit)
  • Experience under the direct supervision of a residential designer or architect (two years of experience = 1 yr education credit)

**Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) has a two-year program with an emphasis in residential design. To find out more about this program visit the TMCC website. You can also read a news release from TMCC about the program here.

Examples of experience credit:

  • Experience under the direct supervision of a residential designer or architect (one year of experience = 1 yr experience credit)
  • Experience under the direct supervision of an engineer or licensed contractor (two years of experience = 1 yr experience credit)
  • Experience as a licensed general building contractor (credit determined by the board)

To find out if your education and experience qualifies, please refer to the Table of Equivalents or contact the board office at (702) 486-7300.

Examination

The final step is passing the Residential Design Examination (RD Exam). The RD Exam tests future residential designers to make sure they have the knowledge and skill necessary to practice independently.

Learn more about RD Exam in the "Examination Information" section of our website.

If you have other questions about becoming a residential designer in Nevada, you can email us at nsbaidrd@nsbaidrd.nv.gov or call (702) 486-7300.

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