National Avg. Salary

$51,640 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

1.4% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

Bachelor's Programs & Degrees →


  • Creativity Focused
  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Good Entry Level Salary
  • Growing Industry

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Graphic designers create visual concepts to communicate ideas that inspire and inform their customers.  They create either by hand or by using computer software to develop and produce products like brochures, posters, advertisements and magazines.

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Job Description

The following responsibilities are common for Graphic Designers:

  • Works with a wide range of media and uses graphic design software
  • Meets with clients or art directors to determine the parameters of a project
  • Thinks creatively and critically to develop new and cutting-edge design concepts, graphics and layouts
  • Presents design and layout to client and makes any necessary requested and recommended adjustments
  • Works with printers to ensure deadlines are met and the quality of the work meets standards

A Day In The Life

Graphic designers create visually pleasing art to advertise and sell products for clients.  This could be in the form of logos, brochures, billboards, etc.  They work to give their clients a visual brand.

Most graphic design is done through computer software and other multimedia outlets.  These individuals will work with both text and images.  They often produce images and text that flow together in an aesthetically pleasing way on a print or webpage.  Through the use of these images, text and color, they can transform statistical data into visually appealing advertisements, making complex ideas more relatable and accessible.

Typical Work Schedule

Most work full-time positions during the typical work week, but schedules may vary due to deadlines and workload.

Projected Job Growth

Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow as fast as the national average as demand for them increases with advertisers, publishers and computer design firms.  As web firms create more and more online market advertising, and as the internet continues to expand, these individuals will be in high demand.

Typical Employers

Typical employers would include companies such as advertising agencies, billboard companies, multi-media companies like websites and video games, as well as book, magazine or newspaper publishers and television and broadcasting companies.

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Graphic Designer Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

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National Hourly Wage

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How do Graphic Designer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Graphic Designer's can make an average annual salary of $51,640, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $35,170 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #367 Nationally for All Careers

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How To Become

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or visual arts is the desired education for most employers.  Coursework should include classes in art, principles of design, computerized design printing techniques and web design.  Additionally, students should take classes in writing, marketing and business.  Most programs provide students the opportunity to build professional portfolios of their designs as well.  Students can then in turn use these portfolios, examples of their work, to demonstrate their skills when applying for a job.  Not all programs or employers require internships.  But it is important that students gain as much knowledge and experience in the field as possible.

The biggest asset to an individual seeking a career in this field is their portfolio.  Although the individual will also present a resume along with their portfolio, the portfolio is the only way for an employer to fully comprehend the designer’s abilities.  For students just starting out, it may be difficult to present a well rounded and varied portfolio.  In this case, individuals should focus on quality rather than quantity and present only their best work within their portfolios.  They should also stay current on pop-culture and trends within the industry.  They should also remain up-to-date on design software programs as well.

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Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Graphic Designer. a Bachelor's is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Graphic Designer

  • 1.4%   Doctorate
  • 8.7%   Masters
  • 47.4%   Bachelors
  • 12.7%   Associates
  • 17.6%   College
  • 9.8%   High School
  • 2.3%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Graphic Designer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,600 jobs for a total of 265,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 1.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #569 Nationally for All Careers

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What Companies Employ The Most Graphic Designers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 57,600 1,500 2%
Specialized design services 26,600 2,300 2%
Advertising, public relations, and related services 22,200 800 1%

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