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Top 11 Creative Designer Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications for creative designers, including their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a creative designer in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and proficiency in certain areas. Having certifications can show potential employers that the designer has been formally trained and is knowledgeable about certain aspects of design, such as typography, color theory, illustration, or website development. Certifications provide assurance to employers that the designer is qualified and capable of producing quality work. Additionally, certifications can open up opportunities for more specialized positions that require a higher level of expertise or experience.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most beneficial certifications for Creative Designers and how they can enhance a creative designer's career.

What are Creative Designer Certifications?

Creative designer certification is a type of professional certification that recognizes the expertise and skills of creative designers in a particular field. This certification is typically awarded by an organization or institution as a way to demonstrate that the individual has achieved a certain level of proficiency and understanding of the principles and techniques used in creative design. The certification can be used to validate the individual’s knowledge and skill set, which can help them stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions. It can also help employers recognize the individual’s ability to think creatively, solve complex design challenges, and develop innovative solutions. Additionally, having this certification may provide access to exclusive opportunities such as networking events, workshops, seminars, or mentorship programs. Furthermore, it may be beneficial for those who are looking to advance their career in the creative design industry as it will give them more credibility and visibility among potential employers.

Pro Tip: When considering a creative designer certification, make sure it is from a reputable institution and is widely accepted in the industry. Additionally, look for certifications that are tailored to your specific field of expertise or interest, as this will give you an edge when applying for jobs or freelance work.

Related: What does a Creative Designer do?

Top 11 Creative Designer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Creative Designers today.

1. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)

Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) is a professional certification program offered by Adobe. It is designed to validate the skills and knowledge of professionals in Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications. The ACE program covers a wide range of topics, from basic to advanced levels, including animation, video editing, web design, photography, graphic design, and more.

The ACE certification process involves passing an exam that consists of multiple-choice questions based on the topics covered in the course material. The exam can be taken online or at an authorized testing center. Depending on the level of certification desired, it may take anywhere from one to four hours to complete the exam.

To become an ACE certified expert, individuals must first purchase an Adobe Certified Expert exam voucher from Adobe's website. The cost of the voucher varies depending on which level of certification is being sought after. After purchasing the voucher, individuals must then register for an exam date and time at their local testing center or online through Adobe's website.

Once registered for an exam date and time, individuals will have up to three months to take their test before their voucher expires. Once they have successfully completed their exam and passed with a minimum score of 70%, they will receive their official ACE certificate via email within two weeks.

The cost of becoming an ACE certified expert varies depending on which level of certification is desired; however, prices typically range between $100-$200 USD per voucher.

2. Apple Certified Pro – Creative Design

Apple Certified Pro – Creative Design is a certification program that recognizes professionals who demonstrate the highest level of proficiency in using Apple products to create and deliver creative content. It is designed for professionals who need to be able to use Apple hardware and software to their fullest potential.

The certification consists of two parts: an online exam and a hands-on project. The online exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of Apple’s creative design tools, such as Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4, and Aperture 3. The hands-on project requires the candidate to create a video or audio project that demonstrates their ability to use these tools effectively.

The entire process typically takes between four and six weeks from start to finish. Candidates must register for the program through Apple’s website and then complete both parts of the certification process in order to receive their certification.

The cost for the Apple Certified Pro – Creative Design program varies depending on where you are located. In the United States, it costs $299 USD for the online exam and $499 USD for the hands-on project.

3. Autodesk Certified Professional – Creative Design

Autodesk Certified Professional – Creative Design is a certification program offered by Autodesk, Inc. It is designed to recognize the expertise of professionals in the creative design industry who use Autodesk software. The certification is based on a combination of knowledge and experience in using Autodesk software.

To become an Autodesk Certified Professional – Creative Design, you must pass two exams: one for the core software and one for the specialty software. The core exam covers topics such as 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and visualization; while the specialty exam focuses on specific areas such as architecture or product design.

The exams are administered online and are available in multiple languages. They typically take between two and four hours to complete, depending on your level of knowledge. You can also purchase practice exams from Autodesk to help prepare for the tests.

The cost of becoming an Autodesk Certified Professional – Creative Design varies depending on which exams you take and how many times you need to retake them if necessary. Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$300 USD per exam plus any additional fees for retakes or practice tests.

4. CorelDRAW Certified Professional

CorelDRAW Certified Professional is a certification program offered by Corel Corporation, the makers of CorelDRAW software. It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the use of CorelDRAW and related products.

The certification consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as design principles, typography, color theory, page layout, object manipulation, and vector graphics. The practical exam requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to create complex designs using CorelDRAW tools and features.

It typically takes between four to six months to complete the certification process. During this time, applicants must study for and pass both exams in order to receive their certification.

In order to become a CorelDRAW Certified Professional, applicants must purchase an official study guide from Corel's website or from an authorized training provider. This guide contains all the information needed to prepare for and pass both exams.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on where you purchase your study guide and which training provider you choose. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $200-$500 USD to become certified.

5. Dribbble Certification in Digital Design

Dribbble Certification in Digital Design is a program designed to recognize and celebrate the highest quality of design work on Dribbble. It is a way for designers to showcase their skills, gain recognition from peers, and demonstrate their commitment to excellence in digital design.

The certification process involves completing a series of challenges that assess your knowledge and skills in areas such as typography, layout, color theory, user experience design, and more. The challenges are designed to help you develop your craft and become a better designer.

It typically takes around 8-10 weeks to complete the certification process. The amount of time it takes depends on the individual’s skill level and how quickly they can complete the challenges.

To get certified, you must first create an account on Dribbble and submit an application for certification. Once your application is approved, you will be given access to the certification challenges. You will then need to submit your work for review by Dribbble’s team of experts who will evaluate it based on criteria such as creativity, technical skill, usability, etc. If your work meets all the criteria, you will be awarded with a Dribbble Certified badge which can be displayed on your profile page or portfolio website.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on whether or not you are already subscribed to Dribbble Pro or Plus plans. For non-subscribers, the cost is $99 USD per challenge completed (up to 3 challenges). For Pro and Plus subscribers, the cost is reduced to $49 USD per challenge (up to 3 challenges).

6. Figma Certified Designer

Figma Certified Designer is a certification program offered by Figma, a collaborative interface design and prototyping platform. The certification is designed to recognize the expertise of experienced designers who have mastered the fundamentals of Figma. It is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a designer’s ability to use Figma effectively in their workflow.

The certification process consists of two parts: an online course and an online exam. The online course covers topics such as project setup, design principles, collaboration tools, prototyping, and more. It takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete the course. After completing the course, you can take the online exam which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. You must score at least 70% to pass the exam and become certified.

The cost of becoming a Figma Certified Designer varies depending on your region and currency. In US dollars, it costs $99 USD for individuals or $199 USD for teams of up to five people.

Overall, becoming a Figma Certified Designer is a great way to demonstrate your mastery of Figma and showcase your skillset as a designer.

7. Google Certified Creative Designer

Google Certified Creative Designer is a certification program offered by Google to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise in creating and managing creative projects for Google products. The certification is designed to help employers identify individuals with the skills needed to create successful campaigns across multiple channels, including display ads, video, mobile, and search.

The program consists of two exams: the Creative Fundamentals Exam and the Creative Professional Exam. To become certified, you must pass both exams. The Creative Fundamentals Exam covers topics such as design principles, media planning, and campaign management. The Creative Professional Exam focuses on more advanced topics such as targeting strategies, optimization techniques, and measurement best practices.

It typically takes about two months to complete both exams if you are studying full-time. However, it can take longer depending on your prior experience and knowledge of the topics covered in the exams.

To get started with the Google Certified Creative Designer program, you will need to register for an account on the Google Partners website. Once registered, you can purchase access to the exam materials and begin studying for the exams.

The cost of taking both exams is $150 USD each (or $300 USD total).

8. International Web Association (IWA) Creative Designer Certification

The International Web Association (IWA) Creative Designer Certification is a professional certification program that provides web professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to design, develop, and manage websites. The certification is designed to provide web professionals with the tools they need to create effective and engaging websites.

The IWA Creative Designer Certification requires applicants to complete a series of online courses and exams. The courses cover topics such as website design, usability, content strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), coding, and more. Upon completion of the courses and exams, applicants will receive their IWA Creative Designer Certification.

The certification process typically takes about three months to complete. Applicants must pass all of the required courses and exams in order to receive their certification. Once certified, applicants may use the IWA Creative Designer Certification logo on their websites or resumes as proof of their expertise in web design.

The cost for the IWA Creative Designer Certification varies depending on the number of courses taken and other factors such as location. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$1000 USD for the entire program.

In conclusion, the International Web Association (IWA) Creative Designer Certification is an excellent way for web professionals to demonstrate their expertise in website design and development. It typically takes three months to complete all of the required courses and exams, with costs ranging from $500-$1000 USD depending on various factors.

9. National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Creative Designer Certification

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Creative Designer Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes interior designers who have demonstrated knowledge, experience, and skill in the field. The NCIDQ Certification is the standard of excellence in the interior design profession and is recognized by many state regulatory boards as meeting their requirements for licensure.

In order to obtain the NCIDQ Certification, you must pass three exams: the Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX), the Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX), and the Practicum Exam. All three exams are administered by NCIDQ.

The IDFX and IDPX exams are both multiple-choice tests that measure knowledge of interior design principles and practices. The Practicum Exam requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to interpret a set of construction documents and develop an interior design solution based on those documents.

The entire process typically takes between 12-18 months from start to finish, depending on when you take your exams. You must register with NCIDQ before taking any of the exams, which requires submitting an application form and paying a fee. The application fee is $200 USD plus applicable taxes, while each exam costs $450 USD plus applicable taxes.

10. Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Creative Designer Certification

The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Creative Designer Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the achievements and skills of creative designers in Canada. It is designed to recognize the highest levels of creative design expertise, and provides an opportunity for designers to demonstrate their commitment to professional standards, ethics, and excellence.

The GDC Creative Designer Certification requires applicants to pass a written examination and complete a portfolio review. The written examination tests knowledge in areas such as design principles, typography, colour theory, layout, branding, and digital media. The portfolio review assesses the quality of work submitted by applicants.

The GDC Creative Designer Certification process typically takes between three to six months from start to finish. Applicants must first submit a completed application form along with their resume and portfolio samples. Once accepted into the program, applicants must register for and pass the written exam before proceeding with the portfolio review.

The cost of the GDC Creative Designer Certification varies depending on whether or not an applicant is already a member of GDC. For non-members, the cost is $500 CAD plus applicable taxes; for members, it is $350 CAD plus applicable taxes.

11. UX/UI Design Professional Certificate Program

UX/UI Design Professional Certificate Program is an online program designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a professional UX/UI designer. The program is offered by Simplilearn, an online learning platform that provides high-quality training for professionals in the technology field.

The program consists of four courses that cover topics such as user experience design, user interface design, prototyping, and usability testing. Each course takes approximately 10 hours to complete and includes video lectures, quizzes, and hands-on activities. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion from Simplilearn.

The cost of the program is $499 USD. This includes access to all four courses as well as support from instructors throughout the duration of the program.

In total, it takes about 40 hours to complete the UX/UI Design Professional Certificate Program. After completing all four courses, students will have gained a comprehensive understanding of UX/UI design principles and be ready to start their career in this field.

Do You Really Need a Creative Designer Certificate?

The decision to pursue a creative designer certificate is ultimately an individual one. There are many reasons why a person may choose to pursue such a certification, from increasing their job prospects to gaining more in-depth knowledge of the design field. However, it’s important for each potential student to carefully consider the costs and benefits associated with such a program before committing to it.

For those who already work in the creative design field, the need for a certificate depends on their current employer’s requirements. Some employers require certain certifications in order to remain employed or be eligible for promotions. In this case, obtaining a creative designer certificate would be essential. For those who are just entering the field, having such a certification could make them more attractive to employers and give them an edge over other applicants who don’t have one.

On the other hand, pursuing a creative designer certificate can come with some considerable costs, both in terms of time and money. Depending on the program chosen, students may need to invest several months or even years into completing coursework and taking exams. Additionally, tuition fees can be quite high depending on the institution offering the program. Therefore, if someone is considering pursuing this type of certification but isn't sure whether it will benefit their career goals in any way, they should take some time to research what type of job opportunities might be available with that particular certification and weigh out whether or not it is worth investing in at this point in time.

Ultimately, whether or not someone needs a creative designer certificate depends largely on their individual situation and career goals. It’s important for each potential student to carefully assess their own needs before deciding whether or not such a program is right for them.

Related: Creative Designer Resume Examples

FAQs About Creative Designer Certifications

Q1. What is a Creative Designer Certification?

A1. A Creative Designer Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates expertise in the field of creative design and shows employers that the individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the industry.

Q2. What type of jobs can I get with a Creative Designer Certification?

A2. With a Creative Designer Certification, you may qualify for positions such as graphic designer, web designer, multimedia artist, animation artist, or digital media specialist.

Q3. How do I obtain a Creative Designer Certification?

A3. To obtain a Creative Designer Certification, you must typically complete an approved program of study at an accredited institution or pass an exam administered by an organization such as Adobe or Autodesk.

Q4. How long does it take to earn a Creative Designer Certification?

A4. The amount of time it takes to earn a Creative Designer Certification depends on which certification you are pursuing and how much experience you have in the field prior to beginning your studies. Generally speaking, most certifications can be completed in one year or less if you have prior experience in design or related fields.

Q5. Are there any prerequisites for obtaining a Creative Designer Certification?

A5. Yes, many certifications require that applicants have prior experience with design software or have completed prerequisite courses before taking their certification exams. Additionally, some certifications may also require applicants to demonstrate proficiency in specific areas such as typography, color theory, and composition before being eligible for certification testing.