Graphic Designer

graphic designer trainingGraphic Designers fuse creativity and technology to create visually engaging graphics that communicate a message.

If you’re creative, have a good eye for color and composition, and love technology, then the graphic designer career path is for you. Graphic designers’ duties vary widely and include designing web pages, laying out catalogs and newsletters, designing logos, marketing collateral and any other web, print and interactive materials your company or clients require.

The demand for well designed graphics - and skilled graphic designers - is at an all time high. From web design and multimedia advertising campaigns, to print publishing and package design, clients expect modern branding initiatives to increase sales and elevate their status. Self-employment opportunities are abundant for talented designers with entrepreneurial spirit. Contributing to graphic designer job growth is the omnipresent need for innovative web and multimedia designs, now that almost every business has a website and social media presence requiring eye-catching graphics.

While graphic design can be a fun job, a graphic designer career should not be taken lightly. To be a successful designer it’s important to carefully construct your learning plan, continually advance your skills to keep pace with the latest digital design technologies, and build on your portfolio of work. Word of mouth and feedback from past employers typically plays into the decision to hire graphic designers, so reputation & quality of service are essential to long-term success.

Graphic design courses can help you unlock your natural talent and prepare you for a job you'll love. There are numerous graphic designer training programs and specialized college degrees featuring coursework in cutting-edge print and digital design techniques. Compare the top-rated graphic design courses & degrees in the U.S., Canada and online.

a.k.a. Graphic Artist | Digital Media Designer | Web Designer | Adobe Graphic Designer | Interactive Media Designer

Graphic Design Training

Graphic Designer Skills & Responsibilities

Typical daily activities and in-demand skill sets for graphic designers include the following:

  • Design websites, email and newsletter templates, and social media pages.
  • Plan layouts for magazines, brochures and other print publications.
  • Design corporate logos, business cards and company letterhead.
  • Make promotional displays, teasers and signs for public exhibitions.
  • Create banner ads and rich media marketing campaigns for web pages.
  • Work closely with Copywriters, Creative Directors, and Marketing Managers.
  • Are proficient in the digital media and design products in Adobe's Creative Suite,
    e.g., Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator, Encore and Acrobat.


Graphic Designer Salary

  • Average graphic designer salary: $57,000

Graphic Designer Salary $57,000


Salaries for graphic designers and related positions:

  • Packaging Designer salary: $57,000
  • Graphic Designer salary: $57,000
  • Copy Writer salary: $59,000
  • Multimedia Designer salary: $64,000
  • Web Graphics Designer salary: $65,000
  • Interactive Graphics Designer salary: $67,000
  • Catalog Designer salary: $77,000
  • Graphic User Interface Designer salary: $83,000
  • Senior Art Director salary: $98,000


Graphic Designer Education Requirements

An undergrad or graduate degree in graphic design, fine arts, multimedia production, or a similar field of study in the creative arts is required education for most graphic design positions. Hands-on graphic design experience is just as important - or more important depending on who you ask - so regardless of how you learn or where you train, be sure to keep a comprehensive portfolio of your best design projects, as this is how professional graphic designers showcase their work to prospective clients and employers. Because your design portfolio is a critical factor in getting hired, all of our featured graphic design degrees include dedicated courses and/or assistance in graphic designer portfolio & resume compilation.

As the demand for web and multimedia graphic designers continues to increase, colleges and private design schools are bolstering their degree and certificate programs with coursework in modern digital design topics, such as 3D computer animation, interactive media, web application design, and digital photography & image manipulation. Skills and expertise in the latest graphic design software is also vital, especially the Adobe Creative Suite, the most respected and widely used collection of graphic design programs. Prospective print designers should learn Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop & Acrobat Pro, while web designers should focus on Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash & Fireworks.

Research and compare the top-reviewed graphic design training programs in the U.S., Canada and online.


Graphic Design Training and Degrees

Browse the top-rated accredited undergrad & graduate degrees, professional certificates, online training programs and self-paced courses matching the graphic designer education requirements and career path.

Graphic design courses and degrees begin year-round. Admissions advisors can provide more info about curriculum and start dates, career placement, tuition costs and personalized financial aid options.
Got targeted learning goals? Many schools offer individual courses from campus and online degree programs.


Graphic Design Training

Program Highlights & Certifications

B.S. Graphic Design

  • Method: Online Degree
  • Degree Level: Bachelor
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Work within Creative Demands to Produce High-End Designs in a Wide Range of Formats
  • Utilize the Adobe Creative Suite to Design Eye-Catching Web Graphics & Special Effects
  • Use Typography & 2D Print Design to Create Unique Marketing Flyers, Billboards & Logos
  • Master the Psychology of Color Choice & Layout Aesthetics to Design Innovative 3D Packaging
  • Harness Movement, Composition, Design, Color and Audio to Create Powerful Digital Videos

AAS - Graphic Design: Web and Interactive Design

  • Method: Online Degree
  • Degree Level: Associate
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Advanced Multimedia Design Training using Adobe and other Leading Design Platforms
  • Learn Marketable Programming/Scripting Languages inc. HTML, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX & PHP
  • Responsive Web Design and Development
  • User Interface/Experience (UI/UX) Design
  • Professional Portfolio/Demo Reel Creation
  • Software/Hardware Included: Adobe Master Suite, Autodesk 3D Max & Drawing Tablet

MFA - Media Design

  • Method: Online Degree
  • Degree Level: Master
  • Accredited School: Yes
  • Financial Aid Available: Yes
  • Prerequisite: Bachelor's
  • 12 Master Design Courses Culminating in a Multi-Platform Media Solution Thesis
  • Media Design Workflow/Project Management
  • Identify and Meet Clients' Design Needs
  • Craft a Powerful & Cohesive Brand Identity
  • Solve Business Problems with Visual Solutions
  • Track and Measure Design Project Success
  • Designer Ethics & Intellectual Property Law
  • Plan the Look & Content of Professional Websites

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Graphic Designer Certifications

Marketable certifications for graphic designers include the following:


Graphic Designer Jobs

Your skills and training in graphic design qualify you for a range of job roles:

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Graphic Designer Job Outlook

Graphic designer employment is expected to grow by 4% (or 11,000+ new jobs) from 2016 through 2026, slower than the 7% average growth rate for all occupations, but this statistic is very industry dependent; for example, graphic designers in print media (newspapers, magazines, catalogs, etc.) is expected to shrink by 22%, while the job market for digital designers (websites, computer systems and applications, etc.) will grow by 20% over the same decade.

Graphic designers with web design and animation experience will be especially sought after as demand increases for design projects that utilize interactive media for websites, mobile apps, social networking hubs and other emerging platforms. Growth in Internet advertising, in particular, is expected to increase the number of job opportunities for digital designers. An ad agency hiring manager we consulted for this article confirms the Dept. of Labor’s findings, advising new graphic designers to concentrate their education on digital media skills, “especially courses in web design, rich media, and flash animation,” as opposed to print.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook


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Subject Matter Expert Contributor

IT Subject Matter ExpertDaniel Greenspan is an IT education specialist and entrepreneur living in New York City. Working closely with IT professionals, world-class trainers and technology executives since 2005 has given him a unique perspective into the IT job market and the skills and credentials IT professionals need to succeed.