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Also called Graphic Illustrators, a Graphic Artist has excellent artistic and computer skills. You will be creating artwork for different graphic projects, like posters, advertisements, and covers. You may also be tasked to use a specific art style even though you have your own. The important thing to do is be able to deliver the project or company's message through your artwork.

As a Graphic Artist, you need to have good analytical skills, great communication skills, and, of course, excellent artistic ability. You will need all these skills for you to perform well as a Graphic Artist.

You can earn an average salary of $47,306 per year as a Graphic Artist. With a 3% job growth rate, you can also explore other roles and further your career. You can be a Graphic Designer, a Designer, and a Design Manager. This is only one path; there are other possibilities when you start as a Graphic Artist today.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a graphic artist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.16 an hour? That's $62,736 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 8,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Graphic Artist Do

There are certain skills that many graphic artists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, artistic ability and communication skills.

Learn more about what a Graphic Artist does

How To Become a Graphic Artist

If you're interested in becoming a graphic artist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 61.2% of graphic artists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.2% of graphic artists have master's degrees. Even though most graphic artists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a graphic artist. When we researched the most common majors for a graphic artist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on graphic artist resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a graphic artist. In fact, many graphic artist jobs require experience in a role such as graphic designer. Meanwhile, many graphic artists also have previous career experience in roles such as art director or graphic designer internship.

Graphic Artist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Graphic Artist

Graphic Artists in America make an average salary of $62,736 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $94,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $41,000 per year.
Average Graphic Artist Salary
$62,736 Yearly
$30.16 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Graphic Artist Education

Graphic Artist Majors

12.0 %

Graphic Artist Degrees


61.2 %


27.9 %

High School Diploma

4.2 %

Top Colleges for Graphic Artists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Graphic Artist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.8% of graphic artists listed graphic design on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and artistic ability are important as well.

  • Graphic Design, 13.8%
  • Adobe Creative Suite, 11.9%
  • Photoshop, 9.1%
  • Company Website, 6.8%
  • Art Direction, 6.8%
  • Other Skills, 51.6%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Graphic Artist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Graphic Artist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Graphic Artist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Graphic Artist Demographics

Graphic Artist Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among graphic artists, 45.4% of them are women, while 54.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among graphic artists is White, which makes up 76.1% of all graphic artists.

  • The most common foreign language among graphic artists is Spanish at 55.3%.

Online Courses For Graphic Artist That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Graphic Design Mastery: The FULL Branding & Design Process

Follows the FULL Graphic Design Process for A Company: Logo, Ad, Social Media, T-Shirt, Package, Website Design & More!...

Graphic Design MasterClass- Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign

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The Ultimate Graphic Design Course Which Covers Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Design Theory, Branding and Logo Design...

Show More Graphic Artist Courses
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Best States For a Graphic Artist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a graphic artist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Oregon, and Nevada. Graphic artists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $104,646. Whereas in California and Oregon, they would average $83,226 and $81,333, respectively. While graphic artists would only make an average of $77,557 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Graphic Artist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.84 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Graphic Artist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.82 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Graphic Artist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.8 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Graphic Artists

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Top Graphic Artist Employers

Most Common Employers For Graphic Artist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
2Raytheon Technologies$96,192$46.2531
3Lockheed Martin$94,102$45.2460
5Northrop Grumman$91,216$43.8547
7Computer Science Corporation$89,158$42.8615
8Whole Foods Market$85,102$40.91192
10Clipper Magazine$81,134$39.0120

Becoming a Graphic Artist FAQs

Graphic Artist vs. Graphic Designer

A graphic artist is someone commissioned to create graphic art for a specific project, while a graphic designer is a professional who creates visual concepts to communicate information.

Graphic artists may be illustrators or animators. They tend to have a specific style that lends themselves to be hired for certain types of projects. Graphic artists are involved in a wide array of projects including comic books, advertisements, company pamphlets, and book jacket covers.

Can I learn graphic design on my own?

Yes, you can learn graphic design on your own. There are many ways to learn graphic design without formal training or education.

While you don't need a formal education to become a graphic designer, you need to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This means learning the principles of graphic design and effectively using elements like color, contrast, hierarchy, balance, and proportion in your work.

Is graphic design a dying career?

No, graphic design is not a dying career. However, it is a rapidly changing industry that will require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

The biggest area of growth in graphic design is in digital graphic design. As businesses transition from print advertising and publishing to digital and online marketing, this will increase.

What education do you need to become a graphic designer?

The education needed to be a graphic designer is a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related fine arts field. To be qualified for more graphic designer jobs, most employers won't even consider you for a position unless you possess some form of degree or certification in graphic design.

What is the difference between a graphic designer and a graphic artist?

The difference between a graphic designer and a graphic artist is that graphic designers use a user-centric approach to create content, whereas graphic art is simply an expression of ideas and emotions.

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