What Kind of Graphic Design Job Can I Get with an Associates of Arts Degree?

Although most graphic design jobs require a bachelor’s degree, it is possible to get a graphic design job with an associates of arts degree, particularly if you maintain an excellent portfolio of your work. Several careers are within the realm of graphic design for which a two-year college degree is sufficient. Read on to learn more about graphic design jobs that only require an associate’s degree.

Desktop Publisher

These professionals use computer software to create layouts for newsletters, newspapers, brochures, books, and other types of print material. They’re responsible for collecting all the text and graphics that are needed and putting them into the form in which they’ll be delivered to the printer. Professionals in this role typically earn an average of $37,040 per year, or $17.81 per hour. While opportunities in this field are projected to decline over the next ten years, jobs will still be available for newspapers and other publishers, printing services, and other industries.  Learn more about becoming a desktop publisher from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Printing Worker

A solid knowledge of graphic design is required for this career, which involves preparing computer files for the printing press and ensuring that these files are printed according to specifications. Printing workers review specifications, calibrate printers, identify and fix issues, and assemble pages according client orders. They earn an average annual salary of $34,100 or $16.40 per hour. While jobs in this field are expected to decline over the next ten years, opportunities will continue to be available in print logistics (labels, wrappers, and packaging) and print marketing (catalogs and direct mail).

Web Developer

If you’re interested in doing graphic design for the web, web developer is a fast growing career that can be obtained with an associate’s degree in arts. Web developers are responsible for designing web pages, software, and applications, as well as managing the site’s technical aspects. Web developers earn an average salary of $62,500 per year or $30.05 per hour, and this career is expected to grow by 20 percent over the next ten years.  This is a much faster rate than other occupations available with an associates of arts degree. This means that there will be about 28,500 new web developer jobs by 2022. In addition, about a quarter of web developers are self-employed.

In order to become a full-fledged graphic designer, a bachelor’s degree or higher is typically required. In addition, if you earn a position in graphic design with an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s may be required to get promoted and attain higher positions. If you develop an excellent portfolio for your graphic design work and are able to get graphic design work on a freelance basis without a degree, it may be possible to parlay that experience into a full-time position. If you have a two-year degree, however,  and would like to get your feet wet in the field, any one of these careers is a good choice for a graphic design job with an associates of arts.

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