Every job posting I see about level design basically says the same thing: you need some experience using game engines to design good looking levels. Everything else you know is icing on the cake.
The level design jobs, compared to the game design jobs, have almost no requirements. General or specific designers need college degrees, years of experience, numerous shipped AAA titles... the list goes on. I don't see that list on almost any level design job requirements. Some of them even have experience under pluses but not required.
But getting a job at at any of the big companies shouldn't be that easy, should it? Take Bethesda as an example. I already meet all of the requirements for a level design job... I know how to use the Creation Kit and GECK. I have a huge folder of mods that I've spent quiet a long time on using their engines. I play their games, know 3D space, can communicate well, and know basic programming and scripting.
But I'm only 19 years old. I'm not about to send in my application because I know that I won't be taken seriously. But what do they actually want? I can't seem to tell from job postings like these.
On a side note, I'm currently enrolled in a 4 year school for an English Degree. But there is a very highly rated community college nearby that offers a game development associates degree. Would it be more beneficial to switch over to the associates degree? It'd definatly be a whole lot cheaper than the classes I'm taking now.