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Graphic Designer Career Facts and Job Outlook

In spite of faster than average employment growth projections, graphic designers are expected to face keen competition for available positions, since many talented people are attracted to the field. Demand for graphic designers should increase because of the rapidly increasing demand for Web-based graphics and the expansion of the video entertainment market, including television, movies, videotape and made-for-Internet outlets. Those without formal education, creativity and perseverance will find it difficult to establish and maintain a career in graphic design.

Graphic Designer Career Facts

Nearly a third of designers are self-employed, which is almost five times the proportion for all professional and related occupations. Keen competition is expected for most jobs because many talented individuals are attracted to careers as designers.

Graphic Designer Career Description

Graphic designers use a variety of print, electronic and film media to create designs that meet clients' commercial needs.

Graphic Designer Career Details

Graphic designers use computer software to develop the overall layout and design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports and other publications. Other possibilities include production of promotional materials for products and services, the design of distinctive company logos and development of signs and signage systems for business and government. An increasing number of graphic designers develop material to appear on Internet home pages.

Programs to Consider:

Graphic Designer Career Specializations

Graphic designers must be creative, imaginative, persistent and able to communicate their ideas in writing, verbally and visually. Since tastes in style and fashion can change quickly, designers need to be well-read, open to new ideas and influences and quick to react to changing trends.

Graphic Designer Career Working Environment

Places of employment and working conditions vary. Those employed by corporations or design firms tend to work regular hours in well-lighted and comfortable settings. Self-employed graphic designers tend to work longer hours. Designers who work on a contract basis frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients' schedules, meeting with them during evening or weekend hours whenever necessary. Designers who are paid by the assignment are under pressure to please clients and to find new ones to maintain their income. All designers should be prepared to face frustration when their designs are altered by clients' desires or when they are unable to be as creative as they wish.

Graphic Designer Career Required Training

Creativity is essential in all design occupations; people in the field must have a strong sense of aesthetics and possess an eye for color and detail, an appreciation for beauty and a sense of balance and proportion. Despite the advancement of computer-aided design, sketching ability remains an important advantage in most types of design; a good portfolio can be the deciding factor in getting a job. A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level design positions. Since computer-aided design is increasingly common, many employers expect designers to be familiar with its use as a design tool.

Graphic Designer Career Coursework

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design currently accredits about 200 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design; most of these schools award a degree in art. Some schools do not allow formal entry into a bachelor's degree program until a student has successfully finished a year of basic art and design courses. Applicants may be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Graphic Designer Salary

Median Salary--$43,500 in 2010

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