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Top 15 Graphic Design Degree Jobs

By Ammar Ahmed

Published:

Navigating the job market with a graphic design degree can be a daunting task. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel lost, questioning which path will lead to both personal satisfaction and a stable career. This is where our guide comes in. 

We’ve compiled a list of top graphic design degree jobs, offering a clear view of the most promising and fulfilling career paths for those armed with a graphic design degree. From traditional roles in design firms to exciting opportunities in digital media, our article breaks down each option, helping you understand the scope, challenges, and rewards. 

Whether you’re a recent graduate or looking to shift gears in your design career, this article is your go-to resource for making informed decisions in the diverse world of graphic design.

Let’s take a look at our top 15 Graphic Design Degree Jobs

degree guide graphic design

1. Graphic Designer


A Graphic Designer is an ideal career path for individuals with a degree in graphic design. In this role, you leverage your creativity and technical skills to create visual concepts that communicate ideas to inspire, inform, or captivate consumers.

As a Graphic Designer

Your responsibilities include creating visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message. Additionally, you’ll collaborate with clients or art directors to determine the scope of a project, choose colors, images, text style, and layout, and present design concepts to clients or art directors. You’ll also incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs and ensure designs meet clients’ requirements and are completed within budget and deadlines.

Benefits

  • Diverse Career Paths: With skills applicable in advertising, publishing, digital media, and more, Graphic Designers can explore a variety of career opportunities.
  • Freelance Opportunities: The ability to freelance provides flexibility in choosing projects and clients, along with the potential for higher income.
  • Job Stability: The consistent demand for visual content and branding ensures stable career prospects in the field of graphic design.
  • Comprehensive Benefit Packages: Full-time graphic design positions often come with benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacations.

Work Conditions

The working conditions of a Graphic Designer in the United States vary depending on whether they are employed in a corporate setting or as a freelancer. Corporate jobs typically have more structured working conditions, with fixed hours and often overtime. Freelance designers have more freedom over their work hours and can even work remotely. However, regardless of the setup, Graphic Designers tend to work long hours, especially when faced with tight deadlines.

Further Studies

  • GED. A high school diploma or GED is usually the bare minimum needed for a graphic design job, provided you have the skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design can provide a more comprehensive education and understanding of the field.
  • Certification. There’s no required certification for Graphic Designers, but certificate programs from various institutions like Adobe Certified Professional can give you an edge over the competition.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a strong graphic design candidate, essential skills include proficiency in design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. A keen eye for aesthetics and visual composition is vital, along with creativity and the ability to translate ideas into compelling visuals. Strong communication skills are important for client interactions and understanding their vision.

Additionally, time management skills and adaptability to work on multiple projects simultaneously are crucial. Keeping abreast of the latest design trends and techniques is also key to staying relevant in this dynamic field.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($57,990)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

Graphic Designers earn a median annual wage of $57,990 as of May 2022. The job outlook for Graphic Designers is projected to grow 3% from 2022 to 2032, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

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2. Web Designer


Benefits

  • Creative Control: Web Designers often have the opportunity to bring their creative vision to life, influencing how websites look and feel.
  • Constant Demand: With the growing importance of online presence for businesses, web design offers stable and increasing job opportunities.
  • Diverse Clientele: Working with a range of clients across industries keeps the work varied and interesting.
  • Competitive Salaries: Skilled Web Designers can command high salaries, especially with expertise in UX/UI design.
  • Remote Work Flexibility: Many web design jobs offer the possibility of remote work, allowing for greater flexibility and work-life balance.

Work Conditions

Web Designers typically work as part of a team, and many companies require them to have regular office hours. Some businesses also provide flexible work options, such as telecommuting or remote working.

Freelance Web Designers have the most freedom in terms of their work conditions, being able to set their own hours and locations.

Deadlines are pretty common in the web design industry, and they can be quite tight. Web Designers are expected to work quickly and efficiently with a high level of accuracy, so they should also be able to handle the pressure that comes with tight deadlines.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Web Development: While a graphic design degree provides a solid foundation, a specialized degree in web development or a related field can further bolster your qualifications, especially if it covers aspects of programming, web application development, and digital media.
  • Advanced Web Design Certifications: Pursuing certifications in advanced web design can enhance your skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and responsive design. Popular certifications include Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) and Certified Web Professional (CWP).

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

To excel as a Web Designer, you should have strong skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, along with proficiency in web design tools like Adobe XD or Sketch. An understanding of responsive design principles and user experience (UX) is crucial. 

You should also possess an eye for aesthetic design, attention to detail, and the ability to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites. Good communication skills are important for client interactions, and staying updated with the latest web trends and technologies is essential.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($80,730)
  • Job Outlook (16%)

The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers, which includes Web Designers, was $80,730 in May 2022. The job outlook for this profession is very promising, with an expected growth rate of 16% from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is indicative of the increasing importance of online presence for businesses and the ongoing need for skilled Web Designers.

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3. Photo and Video Editor


For those with a graphic design degree, a career in photo and video editing offers a platform to apply artistic skills in media production. In this role, you are responsible for enhancing and manipulating visual content to produce a polished final product for various media, including print, television, and digital platforms.

As a Photo and Video Editor

You’ll use specialized software like Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro to edit and refine photographs and video footage. Your tasks include color correction, adding effects, cutting and rearranging footage, syncing music and sound, and ensuring that the final product aligns with the creative vision and storytelling goals. You’ll often collaborate with photographers, directors, and other creatives to achieve the desired outcome and may also be involved in the creative planning stages of projects.

Benefits

  • Artistic Expression: This role allows for significant creative input, making each project unique and personally rewarding.
  • Growing Demand: The increasing need for high-quality visual content in marketing and media ensures strong job prospects.
  • Freelance Opportunities: Freelancing can provide higher income potential and the flexibility to choose projects.
  • Varied Projects: Working on different types of photos and videos keeps the job diverse and exciting.

Work Conditions

Photo and Video Editors can work in a wide range of settings, from studios to digital agencies. They can also opt to work as freelancers or remotely.

The schedule is often unpredictable, as projects are subject to tight deadlines and can require long hours of work. Additionally, editors should be prepared to use their own equipment, such as computers and specialized software. Collaboration with clients and other creative professionals is also a major part of the job.

Further Studies

  • Specialized Editing Courses: Enroll in advanced courses focusing on photo and video editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. These courses will enhance your technical skills in editing, color grading, and post-production techniques.
  • Certification in Digital Media: Consider obtaining certifications in digital media or multimedia production. These programs often cover a range of skills, including editing, animation, and graphic design, which are crucial for Photo and Video Editors.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A proficient Photo and Video Editor should have expertise in editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. Skills in color grading, audio editing, and visual effects are vital. 

You should have a strong sense of timing, rhythm, and storytelling to enhance the visual narrative. Attention to detail, creativity, and the ability to work under tight deadlines are important. Keeping up with current trends in editing and visual styles is also beneficial.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($62,420)
  • Job Outlook (7%)

Photo and Video Editors, falling under the category of film and video editors, had a median annual wage of $62,420 in May 2022. The employment of film and video editors is projected to grow 7% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to the rising demand for high-quality visual content in various forms of media. 

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4. Animator


An Animator is a perfect career for someone with a graphic design degree who has a passion for bringing illustrations to life. Animators create animations for various mediums, including movies, television, video games, and online content.

As an Animator

Your role includes developing storyboards, creating models, and using animation software to design and produce animations. You’ll work on a range of projects, from simple animated graphics to complex 3D animation. Collaborating with other creatives, such as directors, designers, and writers, is also a significant aspect of your job. Animators must stay current with new animation technology and techniques and may specialize in a particular type of animation, such as stop-motion or computer-generated imagery (CGI).

Benefits

  • Creative Satisfaction: Animators have the unique opportunity to bring characters and stories to life, offering immense creative fulfillment.
  • Industry Versatility: Animators can work in various sectors, including film, television, gaming, and advertising.
  • Technological Advancements: The field is always evolving with new technologies, keeping the work engaging and innovative.
  • Competitive Earnings: Experienced Animators, especially in specialized or senior roles, can earn high salaries.
  • Global Opportunities: Animation skills are in demand worldwide, offering chances to work on international projects or with global teams.

Work Conditions

The working conditions for Animators can vary greatly from project to project, depending on the size of the production and budget. Animators may work in studios, animation houses, or remotely.

The work is often deadline-driven and can require long hours of work, depending on the scope and complexity of the project. It’s not unusual to work weekends, holidays, and late nights to meet tight deadlines.

Additionally, the job requires collaboration with a team of other creative professionals, such as directors and designers.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Animation or Digital Arts: Pursuing a graduate degree in animation, digital arts, or a related field can provide advanced training in animation techniques, storytelling, and digital media, along with opportunities to work on more complex projects.
  • Advanced Animation Courses: Take specialized courses in animation, focusing on software like Maya, Blender, or After Effects. These courses will deepen your understanding of 3D modeling, character animation, and visual effects.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As an Animator, key skills include proficiency in animation software such as Maya, Blender, or After Effects. A strong understanding of the principles of animation, character design, and storytelling is essential. 

Creativity, attention to detail, and the ability to convey emotions and actions through animation are crucial. Good communication and teamwork skills are needed for collaborating on projects. Keeping abreast of the latest trends and technologies in animation is also important.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($98,950)
  • Job Outlook (8%)

According to the BLS, special effects artists and Animators, including Animators, earned a median annual wage of $98,950 in May 2022. The job outlook for this field is optimistic, with an expected growth rate of 8% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth reflects the continued demand for animation and visual effects in movies, television, video games, and other media​. 

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5. Advertising Art Director


For graphic design graduates, becoming an Advertising Art Director offers a path to use their creative talents in the advertising industry. They’re skilled in translating marketing objectives into visually appealing and impactful designs, ensuring consistency and brand alignment.

As an Advertising Art Director

You’ll work with clients to develop creative concepts for advertising campaigns, oversee the design and production of the visual elements, and coordinate the efforts of the creative team, including designers, photographers, and artists. Part of your role involves presenting final layouts, storyboards, or illustrations to clients for approval and ensuring that the visual aspects of an advertising campaign align with the brand and the message the client wishes to convey. 

Benefits

  • Diverse Projects: Work on a variety of projects across different media, from digital to print, keeping your job dynamic and interesting.
  • Industry Recognition: Potential to gain recognition and awards in the advertising industry, enhancing your professional reputation.
  • High Earning Potential: Senior or experienced art directors can command high salaries in the competitive advertising industry.
  • Career Progression: Opportunities to progress to higher management roles or start your own creative agency.

Work Conditions

The work conditions of Advertising Art Directors can vary depending on factors such as the size of the agency, client demands, and project timelines. They may spend their time in office settings, attending meetings, conducting brainstorming sessions, and overseeing the creative process.

They typically work in fast-paced and deadline-driven environments, often juggling multiple projects simultaneously. Collaboration is a key aspect of their work, as art directors need to liaise with clients, copywriters, designers, and other team members.

Additionally, art directors may need to adapt to changing client needs and market trends, staying up-to-date with industry advancements and continually honing their design skills.

Further Studies

  • Advanced Courses in Advertising and Marketing: While your bachelor’s degree in graphic design has provided you with essential design skills, taking specialized courses in graphic design, branding, and advertising strategy will enhance your understanding of how to create impactful advertising campaigns.
  • Master’s in Advertising or Marketing: A graduate degree in advertising, marketing, or a related field can provide deeper insights into consumer behavior, strategic planning, and creative direction, equipping you with the skills to lead advertising campaigns effectively.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

An Advertising Art Director needs a strong creative vision and the ability to conceptualize and execute impactful advertising campaigns. Skills in graphic design, along with proficiency in design software, are essential. 

Leadership and communication skills are crucial for directing and collaborating with creative teams. You should have a good understanding of marketing and consumer behavior, along with the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines. 

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($105,180)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Art directors, a category that includes Advertising Art Directors, had a median annual wage of $105,180 in May 2022. According to the BLS, employment of art directors is projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for art directors is expected to remain steady, particularly in advertising and public relations firms, as well as in publishing and the motion picture and video industries​

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6. Game Designer


A Game Designer is an excellent career choice for those with a graphic design degree who have a passion for gaming. You’ll work closely with other members of the game development team, including artists, programmers, and writers.

As a Game Designer

Your duties include creating the game’s storyline, characters, and environment, designing levels and puzzles, and developing game rules and mechanics. You’ll use specialized software to prototype and test game concepts. Additionally, you’ll gather feedback from playtests to refine the game design. Staying updated with gaming trends and technologies is essential, and you may specialize in a specific type of game, such as mobile, console, or PC games.

Benefits

  • Growing Industry: The gaming industry is rapidly growing, offering stable and expanding career opportunities.
  • Diverse Genres: Work on a variety of game genres, from indie to AAA titles, providing a wide range of creative challenges.
  • Competitive Salaries: Experienced Game Designers in established companies can earn substantial incomes.
  • Passion-Driven Career: Turn your passion for gaming into a career, working on projects that align with your interests.
  • Collaborative Work Environment: Work in a team with other creatives and technicians, fostering a dynamic and collaborative work culture.

Work Conditions

Budding Game Designers have more flexibility and freedom now than at any other time in history. Many designers choose to work freelance, allowing them to work from home or remotely at their own pace and on their own terms. They can choose between full-time employment, contract assignments, or project-based engagements.

Still, many Game Designers work in office settings, spending their time developing innovative game concepts and storylines that captivate players. They follow the schedule of regular employees, albeit with the potential for additional hours depending on the demands of each project. 

They also need to work closely with clients and stakeholders, ensuring that their vision for the game is understood and implemented.

Further Studies

  • Advanced Game Design Courses: Enhance your graphic design background with specialized courses in game mechanics, level design, and storytelling. These courses will deepen your understanding of creating immersive gaming experiences.
  • Master’s Degree in Game Design: A master’s degree in game design or interactive media will provide comprehensive knowledge in game theory, design processes, and interactive storytelling, equipping you with advanced skills for leading game development projects.
  • Certification in Game Development Software: Obtain certifications in popular game development platforms like Unity or Unreal Engine. These certifications are valuable for demonstrating your technical proficiency to potential employers.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A Game Designer should have strong creative and storytelling skills, with a good understanding of game mechanics and player psychology. Proficiency in game design tools and software such as Unity or Unreal Engine is important, along with skills in problem-solving and logic.

Collaboration and communication skills are crucial for working with development teams. A passion for gaming and an understanding of different game genres and platforms are beneficial. The ability to adapt to feedback and work within constraints like time and budget is also important.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($93,700)

The average annual salary for Game Designers in the US is $93,700  per year. While the specific data for this profession is not available, it may fall under the broader category of software developer or Multimedia Artists depending on their specific role within the game development process. 

As such, their job outlook can be inferred from these related fields, with Multimedia Artists experiencing a positive growth rate and software developers being in high demand due to the increasing prevalence of digital technology and gaming in entertainment and media.

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7. UI/UX Designer


For those with a graphic design degree, pursuing a career as a UI/UX Designer can be a rewarding choice. In this role, you focus on creating user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing designs for digital products like websites, apps, and software. Your work ensures that digital products are not only visually appealing but also intuitive and easy to navigate for users.

As a UI/UX Designer

Your key responsibilities involve understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through research and feedback. You’ll design the aesthetics to be implemented within a website or product, from the layout menus and dropdown options to colors and fonts, ensuring a consistent design language is applied across the product. 

You’ll also work on wireframing, prototyping, and usability testing to create products that provide a seamless user experience. Collaborating with product teams and developers to implement and refine designs is a significant part of your role. You’ll also be responsible for staying updated on current industry trends and technology to keep your design skills sharp and relevant.

Benefits

  • Impact on User Experience: Directly influence the usability and user satisfaction of digital products, making a tangible impact on their success.
  • High Demand: Growing demand for user-centered design in tech, leading to numerous job opportunities and security.
  • Competitive Salaries: Attractive salary packages, especially with expertise in specialized areas of UX/UI design.
  • Diverse Work Environments: Work across various industries, from tech startups to large corporations, offering a broad range of experiences.
  • Freelance Flexibility: Opportunities to freelance, providing control over work-life balance and project choices.

Working Condition

UI/UX Designers typically work in office settings or remotely, collaborating closely with product teams and developers. Their work environment is often fast-paced and project-driven, focusing on user experience and interface design for digital products. 

They spend considerable time in front of computers, using design software, and may occasionally travel for client meetings. Adapting to rapid changes in technology and user preferences is crucial, and they often work under tight deadlines to deliver projects.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): A master’s in HCI or a related field like interaction design will provide in-depth knowledge about designing effective user interfaces and understanding user behavior.
  • Certification in Design and Prototyping Tools: Pursue certifications in design tools like Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, and InVision. Proficiency in these tools is essential for modern UX/UI design.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

For a UI/UX Designer, essential skills include proficiency in design tools like Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD. A strong understanding of user experience principles, user research, and usability testing is crucial. You should have an eye for visual design, including layout, typography, and color theory. 

Good problem-solving skills and the ability to create intuitive, user-friendly designs are important. Communication and collaboration skills are key for working with development teams and stakeholders. Keeping up-to-date with the latest UX/UI trends and technologies is also essential.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($84,787)

UI/UX Designers earn an average salary of $84,787 per year. The BLS classifies these roles under the career cluster of Web and Digital Interface Designers which has a very positive job outlook. The BLS predicts around 97,350 employment opportunities for this category. This number highlights the increasing importance of user experience and interface design in the digital world​.


8. Digital Marketer


A Graphic Design degree can also pave the way for a career in digital marketing.This role involves a combination of marketing skills and graphic design expertise to engage audiences and drive brand awareness and conversions.

As a Digital Marketer

Your duties include designing and managing digital marketing campaigns, creating visual content for social media platforms, websites, and email marketing. You’ll work with various digital tools to analyze campaign performance and user engagement, ensuring that the visual elements of the marketing materials align with the brand’s identity and campaign goals. Keeping up with digital marketing trends and technologies is crucial to stay relevant in this rapidly evolving field.

Benefits

  • Versatile Skill Application: Apply a range of skills from content creation to data analysis, keeping the work varied and engaging.
  • High Demand: As digital marketing becomes more integral to business strategy, job stability and opportunities increase.
  • Creative Campaign Development: Craft innovative marketing campaigns that can significantly influence brand success.
  • Competitive Earnings: Potential for high salaries, particularly in roles specializing in SEO, PPC, or digital strategy.
  • Freelance and Consulting Opportunities: Flexibility to work as a freelancer or consultant, offering control over your career path.

Working Condition

Digital Marketers work primarily in office or remote settings, often as part of a marketing team. Their environment is dynamic and fast-paced, focusing on online marketing campaigns across various digital platforms. 

They frequently analyze data, manage social media, and create digital content, requiring adaptability to rapidly changing digital trends. Collaboration with different departments is common, and they may face tight deadlines, especially during product launches or marketing drives.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Marketing or MBA: A master’s degree in marketing or an MBA with a digital marketing concentration offers strategic knowledge and skills, which are essential for higher-level positions in digital marketing.
  • Specialized Digital Marketing Certifications: Enhance your graphic design background with certifications in digital marketing areas like SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and Google Analytics. These certifications are recognized in the industry and can significantly boost your qualifications.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A strong Digital Marketer should possess a deep understanding of digital marketing channels like SEO, social media, email marketing, and PPC advertising. Proficiency in analytics tools like Google Analytics is crucial to analyze and interpret data effectively. 

You should have excellent communication skills for crafting compelling content and for client interactions. Creativity in campaign development, adaptability to rapidly changing digital trends, and strategic planning skills are essential. Knowledge of CRM software and basic design skills are also beneficial.

Salary & Job Outlook.

  • Average Salary ($68,281)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

The median annual wage for Digital Marketers is around $68,281. The profession falls under the category of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers which is projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations, indicating a steady demand for marketing expertise, particularly in the digital domain.

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9. Concept Artist


For individuals with a graphic design degree, working as a Concept Artist is a pathway to utilize their creative skills in various entertainment industries. Concept Artists provide a visual representation of ideas before they are fully developed into final products.

As a Concept Artist

You’ll create sketches and paintings of characters, environments, and objects to guide the creation of the final product. Your work helps directors and developers visualize the project and guides other artists. You’ll collaborate closely with art directors and designers to understand the project’s vision and requirements.

Benefits

  • Creative Vision Realization: Bring imaginative concepts to life, playing a crucial role in the visual development of various media.
  • Diverse Project Opportunities: Work across industries like gaming, film, and animation, offering varied and exciting challenges.
  • Competitive Earnings: Potential for high income, especially for experienced artists in high-demand sectors.
  • Creative Influence: Influence the early stages of production, setting the tone and style for projects.
  • Career Advancement: Opportunities to advance to senior creative roles or lead artist positions.

Work Conditions

Concept Artists are typically involved in the early stages of a project, creating initial sketches, character designs, and environment concepts.

They may work on multiple projects simultaneously, adhering to tight deadlines and production schedules. It’s not uncommon for Concept Artists to work long hours, often in collaboration with other designers and production teams.

The work conditions can vary depending on the industry and employer. They may work in various settings, such as animation studios, game development companies, or design agencies.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Fine Arts or Visual Development: Pursuing a graduate degree in fine arts, visual development, or a related field can provide you with advanced artistic training, critical for a career in concept art.
  • Advanced Illustration and Digital Painting Courses: Build upon your graphic design skills with specialized courses in illustration, digital painting, and concept art. These courses should focus on advanced techniques and tools used in the industry.
  • Certification in Digital Art Software: Obtain certifications in software like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or Autodesk SketchBook, which are widely used in concept art.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a Concept Artist, key skills include a strong artistic ability with proficiency in drawing, painting, and digital art software like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. Creativity in visual storytelling and the ability to conceptualize ideas are crucial. 

You should have a good understanding of color, composition, and anatomy. Being adaptable to different artistic styles and able to work under tight deadlines are important. Good communication skills are essential for understanding and implementing project visions.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($76,685)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

The average base salary for Concept Artists in the US is $76,685 per year. The role falls under the broader category of craft and fine artists which is expected to grow 4% over the next decade. This shows that there is consistent demand for creative talent and there will be abundant opportunities available. 


10. Illustrator


Illustrators are visual artists who specialize in creating captivating and communicative images that accompany or enhance written content. For graphic design majors, the profession of an Illustrator offers opportunities for self-expression, creativity, and artistic growth.

As an Illustrator

Your responsibilities include creating illustrations that complement and enhance the text or concept they accompany. You’ll work with clients or art directors to determine the style and content of the illustrations, use traditional or digital tools to create artwork, and adapt your style to suit different projects. You may also work as a freelance Illustrator, which involves promoting your work and managing your business.

Benefits

  • Global Reach: Work on projects that have international impact, especially in book illustration and digital media.
  • Personal Fulfillment: Create work that aligns with personal interests and passions, leading to high job satisfaction.
  • Diverse Client Base: Work with a variety of clients from publishing to advertising, providing a broad range of work experiences.
  • Freelance Opportunities: Many Illustrators have the option to freelance, allowing for flexible work schedules and project selection.

Work Conditions

Illustrators typically work in studios or home offices, spending long hours on detailed artwork, either digitally or using traditional media. Their work environment is often solitary, but they may collaborate with clients or publishers remotely. Deadlines can be tight, especially for Illustrators in publishing or advertising.

Freelance Illustrators face additional challenges of managing their business, sourcing clients, and maintaining a steady workflow. Adapting to client needs and feedback is a significant aspect of their work.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Illustration or Fine Arts: A master’s degree in illustration or fine arts can provide in-depth artistic training and a more profound understanding of visual storytelling, essential for professional Illustrators.
  • Certification in Digital Art Software: Gain certifications in industry-standard software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and CorelDRAW. These certifications demonstrate your proficiency and commitment to the field.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

An Illustrator needs excellent drawing skills, both traditional and digital, with proficiency in software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Creativity in visual storytelling and a strong personal artistic style are important.

Attention to detail and a good understanding of color theory, composition, and typography are vital. Time management skills and the ability to work briefly and meet deadlines are crucial. Flexibility in adapting to various styles and client needs is also beneficial.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($57,566)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

The average salary for Illustrators in the US is $57,566 per year. They are also included in the category of fine artists which is expected to grow 4% from 2022 to 2032. Illustrators often work in various industries, including publishing, advertising, and digital media, and their prospects can be influenced by the specific sector they work in. The demand for Illustrators remains steady, particularly with the increasing need for unique and high-quality visual content.


11. Exhibition Designer


An Exhibition Designer is a suitable career for those with a graphic design degree interested in creating engaging and informative physical spaces. Exhibition Designers design the layout and aesthetics of exhibitions for museums, galleries, trade shows, and public exhibitions.

As an Exhibition Designer

You’ll be creating environments that convey information, evoke emotions, and engage the audience, making exhibitions more enjoyable and memorable for all who attend. Your work involves choosing materials, lighting, and graphics, and collaborating with curators, artists, and contractors. You’ll oversee the installation of the exhibition, ensuring that the design is realized as intended. A key part of your role is to create an immersive and accessible experience for visitors.

Benefits

  • Hands-On Involvement: Directly involved in the creation and setup of exhibitions, offering a tangible sense of accomplishment.
  • Professional Recognition: Potential to gain recognition in the design community through successful exhibitions.
  • Networking and Partnerships: Build connections with professionals across different sectors and industries.
  • Diverse Projects: Work with a range of clients, from museums to trade shows, offering varied design experiences.
  • Creative Impact: Design engaging and informative spaces, impacting how audiences interact with exhibits.

Work Conditions

Exhibition Designers usually work in a variety of settings, from design studios to on-site locations like museums or galleries. Their work often involves periods of intense activity leading up to an exhibition opening, requiring flexibility and the ability to work under pressure. 

They collaborate with curators, artists, and contractors, which may involve travel. The role requires hands-on involvement during the setup, demanding both creativity in design and practical problem-solving skills. Adapting designs to different spaces and specifications is a common challenge.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Exhibition Design or Museum Studies: A master’s degree in exhibition design, museum studies, or a related field can offer a comprehensive understanding of curatorial practices, design for public spaces, and project management.
  • Certification in 3D Modeling and Design Software: Acquire proficiency in software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and 3D rendering tools, which are essential for creating detailed exhibition layouts and visualizations.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

For an Exhibition Designer, key skills include spatial design, understanding of materials and lighting, and proficiency in design software like CAD and 3D modeling tools. Creativity in conceptualizing engaging and informative layouts is crucial. 

Strong project management skills and the ability to work within budgets and deadlines are essential. Good communication and collaboration skills are needed for working with clients, curators, and contractors. Attention to detail and a strong understanding of visitor flow and experience are also important.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($68,490)

According to the BLS, the average salary for Exhibition Designers in the US is $68,490 annually. While the specific data for job outlook is not available, it can vary based on geographic location, economic conditions, and public interest in cultural events and exhibits. The demand for Exhibition Designers is influenced by the cultural sector, including museums, galleries, and trade shows, and is tied to the general health of the arts and cultural industry. 


12. Film Set Designer


Film Set Designers, also known as production designers, are professionals who play a critical role in the visual storytelling of a film or television production. For graphic design graduates with an interest in film and television, a career as a Film Set Designer offers an opportunity to bring their creative visions to the screen.

As a Film Set Designer

Your responsibilities include researching styles and periods, sketching design plans, and building models of the set. You’ll select props, furniture, and decorations to create authentic and visually appealing scenes. Collaboration with construction crews, painters, and other departments to build and decorate sets is essential.

Benefits

  • Artistic Realization: Bring script settings to life, creating immersive and visually compelling environments.
  • Diverse Film Genres: Work across a variety of film genres, offering a broad range of creative challenges.
  • Career Advancement: Opportunities to progress to higher roles, such as production designer.
  • Global Project Exposure: Potential to work on international film projects, broadening professional experience.

Work Conditions

Film Set Designers often work in fast-paced and collaborative environments, collaborating closely with directors, other members of the production, and other departments to ensure that the sets are built on time and within budget.

Film Set Designers must be adaptable, as they often work long hours and face tight deadlines to meet production schedules.

Depending on the size of the production and the type of project they are working on, the work conditions may vary from weekend-long shoots to many months of production. They may also be required to travel to various filming locations and work on-site during shoots to ensure set designs are executed as planned.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Production Design or Film Studies: Consider a graduate degree in production design, film studies, or a related field to gain a comprehensive understanding of film production, set design aesthetics, and history.
  • Technical Training in Software: Acquire skills in industry-standard software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and 3D modeling programs used in set design.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a Film Set Designer, you should have strong skills in visual design, spatial awareness, and a good understanding of architecture and construction. Proficiency in design software like AutoCAD and 3D modeling tools is crucial. 

Creativity in translating scripts into tangible environments, attention to detail, and a keen eye for historical accuracy (when necessary) are important. Good communication and teamwork skills are needed for collaborating with directors, production designers, and construction teams. Time management and the ability to work under tight deadlines and budgets are also essential.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($55,592)

The average salary for Film Set Designers in the US is $55,592 annually. They are typically grouped under the broader category of set and exhibit designers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide specific data for job outlook, but they are part of the motion picture and video industry, which has a strong demand for creative professionals. The opportunities are potentially increasing with the rise in film production, especially in regions known for movie production.


13. Brand and Logo Designer


Brand and Logo Designers create compelling visuals that represent the identity of a company, organization, product, or service, influencing how the brand is perceived by the target audience. Since branding is an important part of any successful marketing strategy, the work of Brand and Logo Designers is an essential part of the creative process.

As a Brand and Logo Designer

Your job involves meeting with clients to understand their vision and requirements, researching industry trends, and creating compelling and effective logos and branding materials. You’ll use your creativity and knowledge of design principles to develop concepts that resonate with the company’s target market. In addition to logo design, you might also develop a complete brand identity, including color schemes, typography, and visual style guidelines.

Benefits

  • Freelance Flexibility: Many brand designers work as freelancers, offering control over projects and work-life balance.
  • Competitive Earnings: Potential for high income, especially for designers with a strong portfolio and client base.
  • Artistic Freedom: Significant creative autonomy in conceptualizing and executing designs.
  • Industry Influence: Play a key role in shaping how brands are perceived in the market.

Work Conditions

Brand and Logo Designers typically work in office settings or remotely, focusing on creating visual identities for businesses. Their environment can be fast-paced, especially when working with multiple clients or under tight deadlines. The work often requires intense periods of creativity and brainstorming, followed by client presentations and revisions. 

Freelance designers face the additional challenges of managing their own business and client relationships. They may also simultaneously work on multiple projects, adhering to deadlines and ensuring consistent design quality.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Graphic Design or Branding: Consider a master’s degree in graphic design or branding to gain advanced knowledge in design theory, brand development, and strategic thinking.
  • Certification in Advanced Graphic Design Software: Gain certifications in advanced graphic design software like Adobe Creative Suite, which will enhance your technical skills and efficiency.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

For Brand and Logo Designers, key skills include a strong sense of visual aesthetics, creativity in conceptualizing unique and compelling logos, and proficiency in graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. 

An understanding of branding principles and the ability to translate a company’s identity and values into visual design is crucial. Good communication and interpretative skills are necessary for understanding client needs and presenting ideas. Attention to detail, color theory knowledge, and the ability to adapt to various design styles are also important.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($51,901)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

The average salary of a Brand and Logo Designer in the US is $51,901 yearly. The job outlook for Graphic Designers, which includes Brand and Logo Designers, is projected to grow 3% from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations.


14. Multimedia Artist


Multimedia Artists are creative professionals who use a combination of digital tools and artistic skills to produce visual content across various mediums. They make captivating and immersive visual experiences, incorporating elements like digital art, animation, special effects, and interactive media. 

As a Multimedia Artist

You’ll create two-dimensional and three-dimensional images, animations, or effects that are integrated with various media. Using software like Maya, Adobe After Effects, and Cinema 4D, you’ll develop storyboards, design assets, and animate characters and scenes. Staying current with the latest software and technology trends in animation and visual effects is crucial in this field.

Benefits

  • High Earning Potential: Experienced Multimedia Artists can command competitive salaries.
  • Global Work Opportunities: Potential to work on international projects or with global teams.
  • Continuous Skill Development: Constantly evolve and develop skills in line with industry changes.
  • Creative Autonomy: Often have significant control over the creative aspects of projects.
  • Passion-Driven Work: Work in fields aligned with personal interests and passions, such as gaming or film.

Work Conditions

Multimedia Artists can have a wide variety of work environments and conditions. Depending on their area of specialization and the industry they work in, they may be employed in creative agencies, animation studios, film production companies, or work as freelancers.

Also, they often work in collaborative environments, either individually or as part of a team, to create visual content for various media platforms. They may have to check in with clients, art directors, or project managers to understand project requirements and deliver high-quality work.

The work schedule can vary, with some Multimedia Artists adhering to regular office hours while others may have more flexible arrangements.

Further Studies

  • Advanced Digital Art and Multimedia Courses: Enhance your graphic design skills with specialized courses in digital art, animation, and multimedia production. These courses should cover advanced techniques in 3D modeling, animation, and visual effects.
  • Certification in Animation and Visual Effects Software: Obtain certifications in industry-standard software like Adobe After Effects, Maya, or Blender. These certifications demonstrate your technical proficiency and commitment to the multimedia field.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A Multimedia Artist needs proficiency in various digital tools and software, including Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, After Effects) and 3D modeling software like Maya or Blender. Skills in animation, graphic design, video editing, and visual effects are crucial. 

Creativity in visual storytelling, attention to detail, and a strong sense of composition and color are important. The ability to adapt to different artistic styles, work collaboratively on projects, and stay abreast of the latest digital art trends and technologies is also essential.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($98,950)
  • Job Outlook (8%)

Multimedia Artists, which include various types of digital artists, had a median annual wage of $98,950 in May 2022. The employment of Multimedia Artists and Animators is projected to grow 8% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth reflects the increasing demand for animation and visual effects in movies, television, video games, and other media.


15. Interior Designer


An Interior Designer is a fantastic career choice for graphic design graduates with a passion for creating functional and aesthetically pleasing indoor spaces. With a keen eye for design, Interior Designers seamlessly blend artistic creativity with practical considerations to create cohesive environments. 

As an Interior Designer

Your responsibilities include understanding client needs and preferences, developing design concepts, and choosing color schemes, furniture, flooring, lighting, and other materials. You’ll create sketches or use design software to visualize and present your ideas to clients. Your role also involves managing budgets, sourcing materials and products, and overseeing the implementation of your designs.

Benefits

  • Creative Expression: Transform spaces creatively, reflecting both the designer’s vision and client needs.
  • Diverse Client Base: Work with a range of clients, from residential to commercial, providing varied design experiences.
  • Project Autonomy: Often lead projects, from concept to completion, offering a sense of ownership.
  • Impact on Well-being: Design spaces that positively affect the well-being and productivity of users.
  • Career Growth: Potential to grow into roles like senior designer or start your own interior design firm.

Work Conditions

Interior Designers work in a mix of office settings and on-site locations, like homes, offices, or public spaces. Their job involves frequent client meetings and site visits to oversee project implementation. The work can be deadline-driven and may require handling multiple projects simultaneously. 

Designers often collaborate with architects, contractors, and suppliers, requiring strong communication and project management skills. Staying current with design trends and building codes is essential, as well as the ability to adapt designs to client preferences and budget constraints.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Interior Design or Architecture: A master’s degree in interior design or architecture can provide deeper insights into design theory, materials, and the history of architecture and design.
  • Advanced Courses in Interior Design: Take specialized courses that focus on advanced interior design principles, sustainable design, and space planning. These courses will enhance your understanding of creating functional and aesthetically pleasing interior spaces.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

An Interior Designer should have a strong sense of design and aesthetics, along with proficiency in spatial planning and knowledge of building codes and regulations. Skills in design software such as AutoCAD, SketchUp, or 3D rendering tools are crucial. 

Understanding materials, lighting, and color theory is important, as well as creativity in developing functional and visually appealing spaces. Strong communication and project management skills are necessary for liaising with clients, architects, and contractors. The ability to interpret client needs and work within budgetary and spatial constraints is also key.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($61,590)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

According to BLS, Interior Designers had a median annual wage of $61,590 in May 2022. Employment of Interior Designers is projected to grow 4% from 2022 to 2033, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 8,200 openings for Interior Designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. The growth in this field is influenced by the demand for designing appealing and functional spaces in residential, commercial, and public areas.

Related Articles

Making the Right Career Choice

See, there’s a whole world out there for graphic design majors. As industries continue to embrace the importance of visual communication and branding, the demand for graphic design expertise only grows stronger.

Whether it’s freelancing, working with established agencies, or contributing to in-house creative teams, graphic design graduates have the chance to make a meaningful impact through their innovative and visually engaging creations.

Ultimately, with passion, dedication, and a keen eye for design, graphic design majors have all the tools they need to forge rewarding and successful careers in the creative landscape. The world is their canvas, and with their unique talents, they have the power to shape and inspire the visual narratives of tomorrow.


Ammar Ahmed

About the Author

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