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What Does it Take to Be a Graphic Designer?

Job Description & Duties 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.

List of Graphic Designer Job Duties

  • Research new software or design concepts.
  • Review final layouts and suggest improvements as needed.
  • Key information into computer equipment to create layouts for client or supervisor.
  • Confer with clients to discuss and determine layout design.
  • Prepare notes and instructions for workers who assemble and prepare final layouts for printing.
  • Study illustrations and photographs to plan presentation of materials, products, or services.

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.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

  • Catalogue Illustrator
  • Graphics Coordinator
  • Concept Artist
  • Multimedia Developer
  • Forms Designer

Job Opportunities for Graphic Designers

In the United States, there were 266,300 jobs for Graphic Designers in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.2% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 11,100 new jobs for Graphic Designers by 2026. There will be an estimated 26,000 positions for Graphic Designer per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Graphic Designers are California, Florida, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Kentucky, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Graphic Designers

The average yearly salary of a Graphic Designer ranges between $29,610 and $85,760. The median salary for this occupation is $50,370.

Salary Ranges for Graphic Designers

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$71,180

New York

$64,840

Massachusetts

$64,010

California

$61,100

Connecticut

$60,700

Virginia

$60,540

Washington

$60,530

Alaska

$59,640

New Jersey

$59,140

Rhode Island

$58,720

Maryland

$58,610

Illinois

$56,890

Oregon

$56,690

Colorado

$56,670

Georgia

$54,260

Arizona

$54,030

Minnesota

$53,500

Pennsylvania

$53,050

New Hampshire

$51,710

Hawaii

$51,690

Delaware

$50,920

Texas

$50,700

Missouri

$50,350

Ohio

$50,130

Vermont

$50,000

North Carolina

$49,700

Nevada

$49,330

Florida

$48,780

Tennessee

$48,760

Utah

$48,130

Wisconsin

$47,980

Nebraska

$47,980

Michigan

$47,700

Alabama

$46,960

Kansas

$46,270

Maine

$45,800

South Carolina

$45,790

Louisiana

$45,660

Idaho

$45,620

West Virginia

$45,360

Indiana

$45,030

Kentucky

$44,550

New Mexico

$44,040

Iowa

$43,920

Mississippi

$42,640

Arkansas

$42,250

Montana

$42,220

North Dakota

$41,800

Oklahoma

$40,710

Wyoming

$38,490

South Dakota

$36,300

What Tools & Technology do Graphic Designers Use?

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

  • Drupal
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Microsoft Office
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Google AdWords
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Cascading Style Sheets CSS

Who Employs Graphic Designers?

Graphic Designer Sectors

Those who work as Graphic Designers sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Interior Designers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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