Artistic individuals who are interested in marketing, advertising and entertainment in general often wonder what the career outlook is in graphic design. Although graphic designers will continue to be needed to market products throughout the economy, the overall career growth for these professionals is slower than in recent years. Graphic designers who keep up with the latest trends and technologies should see the best career opportunities. Here is an overview of what graphic designers do and what they can expect in terms of career outlook.
What Graphic Designers Do
Graphic designers create designs and visual concepts to inspire and consumers and sell products. Some do their work by hand with pencil and paper while others use computer software. They develop designs and create layouts for brochures, advertisements, reports and magazines. When a company hires them, they meet with the client to determine their needs and create graphic designs using layout software, photo editing software and digital design.
In addition to creating pictures and graphics, they also create logos, images, headings, fonts and texts. They often collaborate with writers to determine where and how the designs should be placed for the most effective marketing schemes.
What it Takes to Become a Graphic Designer
Graphic designers usually have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Some candidates, however, have been hired as graphic designers with an associate experience and relevant work experience. Graphic design students will complete courses in art and design; computerized design; website design; principles of design; printing techniques; studio art; commercial graphics production and marketing. They should also take some marketing and writing courses.
Once students have completed the degree program, they often gain valuable work experience completing internships. Graphic designers are not required to be certified, but many choose to obtain vendor certifications to improve career potential. Aspiring graphic designers typically choose programs from schools and colleges that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. There are currently about 360 NASAD-accredited schools in the U.S.
Career Outlook for Graphic Designers
The career outlook for graphic designers can fluctuate a lot depending on what area of graphic design an individual chooses to work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that graphic designers overall should see job growth of only 4 percent during the 2016-2026 decade. This growth is slower than the average for all occupations.
The increasing use of digital media and the internet has slowed down employment for book, newspaper, directory and periodical publications. However, individuals who choose to be graphic designers in computer systems design could see job growth of 20 percent during that same decade. Graphic designers earned average yearly wages of $54,680 as of May 2018 with wages ranging from $29,610 to $85,760.
States with Best Wage Potential for Graphic Designers
The wages for graphic designers can vary by many factors, such as training, degree level, experience, employer and geographic location. The wages fluctuate from state to state. Below are the five top-paying states for graphic designers as reported by the BLS.
- District of Columbia – $71,180
- New York – $64,840
- Massachusetts – $64,010
- California – $61,100
- Connecticut – $60,700
Graphic designs may have decreased in usage for on-paper publications, but the growing need for internet publications and marketing will continue to keep experienced and talented graphic designers in the business. With the right experience and training, the career outlook in graphic design can continue to grow in a positive direction.
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