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Become A Digital Media Designer

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Working As A Digital Media Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Digital Media Designer Do

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following: 

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, still others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Digital Media 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.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. It provides aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and experience the design process from concept to completion while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

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Digital Media Designer Typical Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Designer 3.1 years
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Designer, Printer 2.7 years
Media Designer 2.6 years
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Visual Designer 2.3 years
Digital Designer 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Digital Media Designer
Internship 9.5%
Designer 3.6%
Editor 3.2%
Instructor 2.4%
Top Careers After Digital Media Designer
Designer 3.8%
Internship 3.8%
Consultant 3.8%

Do you work as a Digital Media Designer?

Average Yearly Salary
$58,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Digital Media Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Digital Media Designer in the United States is $58,836 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $89,000.

Real Digital Media Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Digital Media Designer Factory Digital Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jul 06, 2015 $73,045
Digital Media Designer AIST-NT, Inc. Novato, CA Oct 01, 2014 $59,000 -
$65,000
Digital Media Designer AIST-NT, Inc. Novato, CA Oct 01, 2011 $59,000
Digital Media Graphics Designer Shenarch Design and Construction, Inc. Quincy, MA Sep 09, 2011 $52,446
Digital Media Graphics Designer Shenarch Design and Construction, Inc. Quincy, MA Sep 19, 2011 $52,446
Digital Media Designer Cream Productions NYC New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $50,000
Digital Media Designer Our Universal Language LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $50,000
Digital Media Designer Vixxa Displays LLC San Jose, CA Sep 15, 2010 $48,000
Senior Digital Media Designer The Cervantes Group San Juan, PR Oct 01, 2015 $45,176
Graphic and Digital Media Designer Invenshure LLC Minneapolis, MN Sep 14, 2014 $45,000
Senior Digital Media Designer The Cervantes Group San Juan, PR Oct 01, 2012 $42,000
Graphic and Digital Media Designer Invenshure LLC Minneapolis, MN Sep 14, 2014 $40,955 -
$45,000
Digital Media Graphic Designer Seven Publishing Company LLC Bethesda, MD Sep 01, 2013 $40,000
Digital Media Graphic Designer Seven Publishing Company, LLC Bethesda, MD Oct 01, 2012 $40,000

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Top Skills for A Digital Media Designer

  1. Company Website
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Graphic Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist the owner in the development and redesign of the company website.
  • Created and finalized static/animated Flash banner ads and product logos in a timely manner using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
  • Provide clients with effective web and graphic design solutions, with a focus on web standards and branding.
  • Worked all aspects of video production.
  • Designed both online and print advertisements, based on client specifications provided by advertising representatives.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Digital Media Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. Connecticut
  6. Virginia
  7. Rhode Island
  8. California
  9. Oregon
  10. New Jersey
  • (128 jobs)
  • (966 jobs)
  • (249 jobs)
  • (247 jobs)
  • (86 jobs)
  • (335 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (1,371 jobs)
  • (125 jobs)
  • (237 jobs)

Digital Media Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

58.5%

Female

31.3%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

German

8.3%

Portuguese

8.3%

Turkish

8.3%

Japanese

8.3%
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Digital Media Designer Education

Schools

Art Institute of Atlanta

17.0%

Savannah College of Art and Design

8.5%

Full Sail University

7.4%

Art Institute of Indianapolis

5.3%

Iowa State University

5.3%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Des Moines Area Community College

4.3%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

4.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.3%

Northeastern University

4.3%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

4.3%

Ball State University

4.3%

Academy of Art University

3.2%

Pensacola Christian College

3.2%

New York University

3.2%

Drexel University

3.2%

Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago

3.2%

Grand View University

3.2%

Art Institute of Houston

3.2%

International Academy of Design and Technology

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

38.7%

Fine Arts

6.4%

Digital Media

6.4%

Animation

6.0%

Computer Applications

6.0%

Communication

6.0%

Design And Visual Communication

4.3%

Business

4.3%

Photography

4.3%

Advertising

3.0%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.6%

Entertainment Business

2.1%

Graphic Communications

1.7%

Marketing

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Education

1.3%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

0.9%

Educational Technology

0.9%

Human Computer Interaction

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.5%

Masters

14.4%

Associate

13.0%

Other

11.6%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

0.4%
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Digital Media Designer Videos

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Introduction to Digital Media Design - Lecture 1

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