Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Career Profile: The Work of a Graphic Designer

By now, you probably know what graphic designers do. They design graphics. Yep, the job is that simple. What you may not know are all the nitty gritty details about the career. Where do graphic designers work? How much money do they make? What kind of education do they have to go through? All of these questions and more have to be explored before you can settle into this profession. Before you make a final decision about your future, you need to know about all the details that go into working as a graphic designer. Here is an overview of the work of a graphic designer so you can figure out what you want to do.

Graphic Designer Employers

Graphic designers can work under an array of employers, depending on what people need at the time. Some designers work on their own, where they basically gather clients and work on projects as they come up. Other designers have 9 to 5 jobs, just like everyone else. Here is a look at some of the employers you may be able to work under as a graphic designer:

  • Advertising Firms
  • Colleges
  • Foundations
  • Franchises
  • Government Offices
  • Hospitals
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Private Practice
  • School Districts

Graphic Design Industries

The employers listed above fall under several industries, and each industry has a different set of needs to fulfill. You might want to keep this in mind as you start looking for a position in the future. Common industries for graphic designers include:

  • Advertising
  • Graphic Arts
  • Marketing and Media Management
  • Printing and Publishing
  • Web Development
  • Wholesale Distribution
  • Education

Average Earnings by Degree

In order to learn how to become a graphic designer, you will need to obtain a college degree. This will give you the training you need to work with software programs you need, like Photoshop. There are several degree programs to choose from, including:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design
  • Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communication
  • Associate of Arts and Sciences in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Arts and Science in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Arts in Advertising
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications
  • Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Arts in Illustration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication
  • Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication
  • Bachelor of Science in Advertising
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design
  • Certificate of Graphic Design
  • Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Graphic Designer Certifications

  • Certified Web Designer
  • Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design
  • Digital Media Certificate
  • Adobe Certified Expert

Graphic Designer Pay Rates

In general, you should be able to make some pretty good money as a graphic designer. Of course, that all depends on the employer you work on and the projects you get a chance to take on. Some graphic designers make more money than others, so it is important to look at all the factors before assessing what your pay rate may be in the future. Here is a list of salaries you may come across as a graphic designer:

Salary by Years of Experience
  • Less than 1 year of experience: $22,023 - $42,903 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $24,919 - $48,822 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $29,330 - $56,403 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $30,812 - $68,539 per year
  • 20 years or more of experience: $31,401 - $70,474 per year

Salary by Location
  • California: $28,945 - $68,254 per year
  • Florida: $24,948 - $50,024 per year
  • Illinois: $28,245 - $54,906 per year
  • New York: $27,951 - $65,919 per year
  • Ohio: $25,182 - $50,367 per year
  • Pennsylvania: $25,582 - $51,736 per year
  • Texas: $27,722 - $52,230 per year

You now have all the basic knowledge you need about the field of graphic design. All you have to do is think about them carefully and determine if this is what you want to do for a living. Now go on. Get to thinking. We're all done here :)


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