What Graphic Designers Do Graphic designers create visual concepts, by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Work Environment Many of these workers are employed in specialized design services, publishing, or advertising, public relations, and related services industries. In 2012, about 24 percent of graphic designers were self-employed. How to Become a Graphic Designer Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs. Pay The median annual wage for graphic designers was $44,150 in May 2012. Job Outlook Employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Graphic designers are expected to face strong competition for available positions. Similar Occupations Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of graphic designers with similar occupations. More Information, Including Links to O*NET Learn more about graphic designers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations. Graphic designers are visual communicators who design and develop print and electronic media, such as magazines, television graphics, logos and websites. They may be employed by advertising firms, design companies, publishers and other businesses that need design professionals. Most graphic designers earn bachelor's degrees. These programs allow them to develop design and technical skills, and they are able to create portfolios of their work that can help them obtain employment after graduation. Required Education Bachelor's degree in graphic design Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 7% Median Salary (2013)* $44,830 Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Graphic Designer Educational Requirements Earning a certificate or associate's degree in graphic design may qualify graduates for assistant or technical support positions in the field; however, most graphic design positions require at least a bachelor's degree. Students may benefit from attending one of the approximately 300 schools approved by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Some graphic design programs only admit applicants who have completed at least one year of art and design courses. Admission may also entail submission of sketches and other artwork. Bachelor's Degree Curriculum Some colleges and universities offer Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design programs. These 4-year degree programs equip students with the technical and artistic skills necessary for entry-level employment or even higher positions in graphic design. Curricula are comprised heavily of design coursework, as well as liberal arts instruction. Courses may include: Typography Book design Drawing Advanced graphic design Computer-assisted design Digital media Photography Other Requirements Along with formal education, graphic designers must have artistic capacity and strong verbal, visual and written communication skills. Graphic designers must also have strong portfolios that showcase examples of their best work, which employers generally consider during the hiring process. Designers often work independently and must meet strict deadlines, so the ability to manage time and stay on schedule is important. Business and sales skills are also beneficial for this career, especially for graphic designers who are self employed. Employment Projections According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of graphic designers was expected to increase 7% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Growth should be an effect of the rising number of electronic design firms, as well as increasing numbers of products and services that need to be advertised. Graphic designers with expertise in Web design, interactive media and animation were expected to see the greatest job opportunities, whereas designers in print publishing were expected to experience a decline in demand.

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