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Graphic Designers Career Overview

Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Salary for Graphic Designers

Select a State



 25th
Percentile
75th
Percentile
Mean
U.S. $32,600
($15.67)
$56,620
($27.22)
$46,750
($22.48)
Annual figures are on top. Hourly figures are below in parentheses.
N/A = Information not available


Majors for this Career


Career Outlook for Graphic Designers

Employment is expected grow about as fast as average. Keen competition for jobs is expected; individuals with Web site design and animation experience will have the best opportunities.

Employment change. Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 13 percent, as fast as the average for all occupations from 2008 to 2018, as demand for graphic design continues to increase from advertisers and computer design firms.

Moreover, graphic designers with Web site design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media—Web sites, mobile phones, and other technology. Demand for graphic designers also will increase as advertising firms create print and Web marketing and promotional materials for a growing number of products and services. Growth in Internet advertising, in particular, is expected to increase the number of designers. However, growth may be tempered by reduced demand in the print publishing, where many graphic designers are employed.

Job prospects. Graphic designers are expected to face keen competition for available positions. Many talented individuals are attracted to careers as graphic designers. Individuals with Web site design and animation experience will have the best opportunities.

Graphic designers with a broad liberal arts education and experience in marketing and business management will be best suited for positions developing communication strategies.


Employment Overview

Graphic designers held about 286,100 jobs in 2008. Most graphic designers worked in specialized design services; advertising and related services; printing and related support activities; or newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. A small number of designers produced computer graphics for computer systems design firms.

Some designers do freelance work—full time or part time—in addition to holding a salaried job in design or in another occupation.


Job Zone Description

Job Zone 4 - Preparation needed

Overall Experience
A minimum of two to four years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant needs four years of college and several years of accounting work to be considered qualified.

Education
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Examples
Accountants, chefs and head cooks, computer programmers, historians, and police detectives.

These occupations often involve coordinating, supervising, managing, and/or training others.

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Related Occupations

1.

Art Directors

2.

Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture

3.

Commercial and Industrial Designers

4.

Directors- Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio

5.

Fashion Designers

6.

Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators

7.

Interior Designers

8.

Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance

9.

Set and Exhibit Designers


Additional Resources for Graphic Designers Job Seekers

For general information about art and design and a list of accredited college-level programs, contact:

For information about various design careers, contact:

  • American Institute of Graphic Arts, 164 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. Internet: http://www.aiga.org

For information on workshops, scholarships, internships, and competitions for graphic design students interested in advertising careers, contact:

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