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Graphic Communications

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Graphic Communications Major

5,101 yearly degrees
#122 in popularity
$38,000 median salary

Graphic communications is a major that typically falls into the Communications Technology/Support category.

There are 248 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in graphic communication, 146 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 19 that offer a master’s degree.

Who Is Getting a Graphic Communication Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 3,000 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications in 2017. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 51.1% of the graduates are women, and 48.9% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of graphic communication majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 7.8%
  • Black or African American: 7.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 14.6%
  • White: 52.2%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 7.4%
  • Other Races: 10.6%
Graphic Communications Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in graphic communication. About 7.4% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending graphic communication majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Taiwan.

What Will You Learn as a Graphic Communications Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to graphic communication to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Graphic Communication Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Graphic Communications Majors

Skills for Graphic Communication Majors

When studying graphic communication, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Graphic Communications Majors

Abilities for Graphic Communication Majors

Graphic communication majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for graphic communication Majors

What Can You Do With a Graphic Communication Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with graphic communication:

Careers Related to Graphic Communications
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Multimedia Artists and Animators



Data Entry Keyers



Desktop Publishers



Etchers and Engravers



Printing Press Operators



Prepress Technicians and Workers



Graphic Communications Major Salary

Average salaries range from $35,000 to $47,000 for careers related to graphic communication. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Graphic Communication Major  ( 35000 to 47000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Graphic Communications Major Jobs

Some careers associated with graphic communication require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for graphic communication careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Graphic Communications
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Graphic Communications Programs

There are 146 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications, with 10 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Graphic Communications Major Worth It?

The median salary for a graphic communication grad is $38,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is -1% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $-8,600 after 20 years!

graphic communications salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction via License

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