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Job Outlook for:
Graphic Designers

SOC: 27-1024        OOH: U148

Graphic Designers
Quick Stats
Total Jobs in 2016 266,300
Expected Growth 5%    (As fast as average)
New Jobs To Be Added
from 2016 to 2026
12,500
Median Pay $35,000 to $54,999

 

 

Employment Outlook for Graphic Designers

Employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The work of graphic designers will continue to be important in the marketing of products throughout the economy.

The projected change in employment of graphic designers from 2016 to 2026 varies by industry. For example, employment of graphic designers in newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers is projected to decline 22 percent from 2016 to 2026. However, employment of graphic designers in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow 20 percent over the same period. Companies are continuing to increase their digital presence, requiring graphic designers to help create visually appealing and effective layouts of websites.

Job Prospects

Graphic designers are expected to face strong competition for available positions. Many talented individuals are attracted to careers as graphic designers. Prospects will be better for applicants who keep up with the latest design trends, technologies, and techniques.

 

 


 

Typical Pay for Graphic Designers

The median annual wage for graphic designers was $47,640 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,950, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,020.

In May 2016, the median annual wages for graphic designers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Specialized design services $49,070
Advertising, public relations, and related services 48,370
Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers 41,020
Printing and related support activities 38,360

Graphic designers’ schedules can vary depending on workload and deadlines.

Those who are self-employed may need to adjust their workday to meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, they may spend some of their time looking for new projects or competing with other designers for contracts.



 

What Graphic Designers Do All Day

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers, who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, and others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies in order to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design become postsecondary teachers and teach in design schools, colleges, and universities.

Some graphic designers may specialize in the field of experiential graphic design. These designers work with architects, industrial designers, landscape architects, and interior designers to create interactive design environments, such as museum exhibitions, public arts exhibits, and retail spaces.

 



 

Work Environment for Graphic Designers

Graphic designers held about 266,300 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of graphic designers were as follows:

Self-employed workers 18%
Specialized design services 11
Advertising, public relations, and related services 8
Printing and related support activities 7
Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers 6

Graphic designers generally work in studios, where they have access to drafting tables, computers, and the software necessary to create their designs. Although many graphic designers work independently, those who work for specialized graphic design firms often work as part of a design team. Many graphic designers collaborate with colleagues or work with clients on projects.

Work Schedules

Graphic designers’ schedules can vary depending on workloads and deadlines.

Those who are self-employed may need to adjust their workday to meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, they may spend some of their time looking for new projects or competing with other designers for contracts.

 


 

How To Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 350 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most programs include courses in studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor’s degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of completed works that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. Internships provide aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and to experience the design process from concept to completion, in some cases while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a certain message on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

 

 

 

 

 

"Graphic Designers"   SOC:  27-1024     OOH Code: U148

Thank you BLS.gov.