Job Rate Growth for Graphic Designers
Graphic design, also sometimes called production artist, design artist, publications designer, or similar, is a career in which you tell a marketing story with visuals. Graphic designers create logos for companies, design promotions for products, help create commercials, build websites, and help other people promote themselves, their product, or their cause. Designers work with clients, and therefore must have excellent communication skills in addition to being artistic and up to date on the newest design technologies and trends.
How to Become a Graphic Designer
Most graphic designers have a Bachelor’s degree or, if they are switching careers, have completed a training program or internship. For those who are looking to earn a degree, the NASAD is a database of every accredited graphic design program in the United States, searchable by state or city. Programs in the design field include digital arts, computer graphics, industrial and product design, and web page design.
Industries that Employ the Most Graphic Designers
Specialized Design Services employs the most graphic designers, where a designer may work on anything from a brochure for a tax preparation service, to creating a scientific research presentation. Advertising and Public Relations is the second largest employer of graphic designers, where designers create artwork for all types of advertising. Printing is the third largest industry for graphic designers, where they create art electronically to enhance printed materials for clients. A high percentage of graphic designers are self-employed or freelance workers who become part of a design team to share access to the newest technology.
Average Annual Income for Graphic Designers
Across the United States, the median annual wage for graphic designers, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $54,680. The states where graphic designers have a higher earning potential include the west coast and the northeast, as well as Colorado, Illinois, and Alaska. The District of Columbia has the highest annual mean wage, at $71,180. At the city level, the San Francisco metropolitan area has the highest annual mean wage, at $72,790.
Projected Job Growth for Graphic Designers
In the United States as a whole, the BLS reports a 4 percent overall increase in graphic design jobs in the next ten years. While this is slower than the national average of 7 percent, some areas are growing much faster. For example, Utah is projected to have a 32 percent increase in graphic design jobs, Washington State is projected to have a 23 percent increase, and Tennessee is anticipated to have a 16 percent increase in employment.
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Graphic design is a career that can be customized to your skills and goals. Designers can pursue employment with a large company or freelance with multiple smaller companies. The work is often done electronically, so designers may have the option to work remotely for a client in a different city or state than they live in. The earning potential also has a wide range, based on the specialization and geographic area.