Put Your Creativity To Work: Becoming a Graphic Designer

What Is a Graphic Designer?

Simply put, a graphic designer is a professional that works in the graphic design industry.

For those of you who are looking for a more detailed answer, graphic designers work with images as well as text in order to design and create visually appealing elements, including brochures, logos, advertisements, and websites. In order to create these items, graphic designers will often work with a variety of different types of images, including photographs, paintings, and digital media. Photo and image editing software is often used to manipulate images and create the designs.

Not only do these artists need to make their creations look great, they also usually need to make their creations speak in a way. Most clients hire graphic designers to create something that sends a message. Sometimes this message is loud and clear, but other times it is meant to be subliminal.

 

What Are Some Job Opportunities For a Graphic Designer?

In today’s world full of splashy visual elements and subliminal elements, graphic design is a growing industry, and good graphic designers are highly sought after.

One of the most common – and obvious – places where a graphic designer is with a graphic design firm. These firms hire several graphic designers to work on a variety of different projects for several clients.

Some companies also hire their own graphic designers. Advertising agencies often have several graphic designers on staff, for example. Graphic designers may also be able to find work with other companies, such as newspapers, magazines, publishers, websites, soft drink companies, museums, and restaurants.

You can also work as a freelance designer. Freelancers are self-employed individuals who work for themselves. Although they do have the option of picking and choosing which types of projects they work on, freelance graphic designers are also responsible for looking for and procuring their own clients. This can be a lengthy and time consuming process, and steady work is not always available.

What Kind of Money Does a Graphic Designer Make?

Graphic designer salaries can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors. The median salary for a graphic designer is $43,500; $20.92/hr per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obviously, more talented graphic designers will be able to command more money. A designers with a post-secondary degree and a dynamic portfolio will also usually make more money as well.

What Type of Education is Necessary For Becoming a Graphic Designer?

Technically, anyone with graphic design skills can become a graphic designer, regardless of their education. Most graphic design firms and large companies will not usually hire a person with no graphic design education. An Associate degree or Bachelor’s degree in graphic design is usually recommended in order to be successful in this field.

Graphic Design degrees can be earned at specialty art schools as well as more traditional universities. Choosing between an art school and a traditional university is largely based on a student’s personal preferences. Students at most art schools generally have a more focused education, while design students at traditional universities have the option of receiving a more well rounded education.

Finding an Graphic Design Program
Education Requirements Education Length Available Programs
Graphic Design Find an Associate’s Degree Program in Your Area 2 Years  Online or Campus
Graphic Design Find a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Your Area 4-5 Years  Online or Campus

 

Artistic individuals who are interested in becoming graphic designers but have no formal education, can also break into the field, but it may be a bit more difficult. An impressive portfolio, packed full of stunning graphic design pieces, is usually a necessity in this situation.

What Can I Do With a Graphic Design Degree?

After earning a graphic design degree, the possibilities are endless! As mentioned above, you can look for work at graphic design firms, advertising agencies, or other large companies. You can also go into business for yourself.

Some graphic designers might work as logo designers, advertisement designers, web designers, photograph editors, book layout artists, magazine layout artists, illustrators, or art directors.

Featured Schools with Graphic Design Programs: Request information to learn more.

Programs:

  • Graphic Design Continuing Art Education
  • Bachelor-Graphic Design

Programs:

  • AS - Graphic Communications and Design
  • BS - Digital Entertainment and Game Design

Programs:

  • Associate - Web Graphic Design
  • Bachelor's - Multimedia Design and Development

Programs:

  • Associate of Applied Science: Graphic Design

Programs:

  • Graphic Design (AS)
  • Graphic Design (BS)
Online Schools

Programs:

  • Graphic Design (BS)
  • Graphic Design (AS)

Programs:

  • Associate - Web Graphic Design
  • Bachelor's - Multimedia Design and Development

Programs:

  • Graphic Arts (BS)
  • Graphic Arts - Information Design (BS)

Programs:

  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Web Design and Development, Bachelor of Science (Online)

Programs:

  • Associate's (AABA) - Visual Communication

Programs:

  • AS - Web Design

Programs:

  • Associate of Science in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Programs:

  • A.A. in Information Technology/Web Design