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What You Need to Know About Graphic Designer

Example of Graphic Designer Job Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer

  • Determine size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and select style and size of type.
  • Review final layouts and suggest improvements as needed.
  • Photograph layouts, using camera, to make layout prints for supervisors or clients.
  • Develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Web sites.
  • Research new software or design concepts.
  • Draw and print charts, graphs, illustrations, and other artwork, using computer.

Skills Needed to be a Graphic Designer

Below is a list of the skills most Graphic Designers say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Graphic Designer Job Titles

  • Studio Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Advertising Designer
  • Forms Designer
  • Graphic Art Designer

Job Opportunities for Graphic Designers

There were about 266,300 jobs for Graphic Designer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.2% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 11,100 new jobs for Graphic Designer by 2026. The BLS estimates 26,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Graphic Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Graphic Designer are Utah, Washington, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers make between $29,610 and $85,760 a year.

Salary Ranges for Graphic Designers

Graphic Designers who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or New York, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Graphic Designers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $46,960
Alaska $59,640
Arizona $54,030
Arkansas $42,250
California $61,100
Colorado $56,670
Connecticut $60,700
Delaware $50,920
District of Columbia $71,180
Florida $48,780
Georgia $54,260
Hawaii $51,690
Idaho $45,620
Illinois $56,890
Indiana $45,030
Iowa $43,920
Kansas $46,270
Kentucky $44,550
Louisiana $45,660
Maine $45,800
Maryland $58,610
Massachusetts $64,010
Michigan $47,700
Minnesota $53,500
Mississippi $42,640
Missouri $50,350
Montana $42,220
Nebraska $47,980
Nevada $49,330
New Hampshire $51,710
New Jersey $59,140
New Mexico $44,040
New York $64,840
North Carolina $49,700
North Dakota $41,800
Ohio $50,130
Oklahoma $40,710
Oregon $56,690
Pennsylvania $53,050
Rhode Island $58,720
South Carolina $45,790
South Dakota $36,300
Tennessee $48,760
Texas $50,700
Utah $48,130
Vermont $50,000
Virginia $60,540
Washington $60,530
West Virginia $45,360
Wisconsin $47,980
Wyoming $38,490

What Tools do Graphic Designers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Graphic Designers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft Access
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Facebook
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Google Docs
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Education needed to be a Graphic Designer:

Graphic Designer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Graphic Designer Work Experience

Who Employs Graphic Designers?

Graphic Designer Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Graphic Designers employed by various industries.

Graphic Designer Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Career changers with experience as a Graphic Designer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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