Graphic Designer

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers specialize in communicating important messages through visual images. They use color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and other print and layout techniques to effectively communicate ideas and messages in print, electronic and film media. Graphic designers may be responsible for anything from developing the design layout of a magazine, to producing packaging and promotional displays for new products. Currently, many graphic designers find work developing material for Internet web pages and multimedia projects.

Graphic Designer Education Requirements

Although some graphic designers are successful without any formal training, job opportunities for graphic design degree holders will be best. Most companies that are looking to hire graphic designers will be interested in those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Graduates of a graphic design associate’s degree program could fill entry level and technical positions.

While education is very important to finding work as a graphic designer, a strong portfolio is regarded even higher. A portfolio is an excellent way to showcase your talents and stand out from the rest of the crowd. It is also beneficial for graphic design students to participate in internships to gain experience and make connections within the industry.

Job Outlook for Graphic Designers

Graphic designers often find work in advertising, publishing or design firms. They are also found working closely with web designers, web programmers and database designers. Although many graphic designers work in design firms, about 25 percent of graphic designers are self employed. Those who hold salaried positions often find additional freelance work to supplement their incomes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers held about 261,000 jobs in 2006. Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 10 percent from 2006 to 2016.This could be a result of an increase in the interest from advertisers, publishers and computer design firms, and the expansion of the video entertainment market. In 2006, it was reported that graphic designers earned a median salary of $39,900.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition