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Become A Graphic Artist

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Working As A Graphic Artist

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $47,127

    Average Salary

What Does A Graphic Artist Do

A Graphic Artist develops and creates visual or audio images for product illustrations, logos, and websites. Also called Graphic Designers, they can be specialized in advertising, website design, or multimedia.

How To Become A Graphic Artist

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.


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.


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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Graphic Artist jobs

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Graphic Artist Career Paths

Graphic Artist
Web Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer Art Director
Creative Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer/Production Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Marketing Consultant
Head Of Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Design Engineer Systems Engineer
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Office Manager Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Art Director Creative Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Marketing Director Business Developer
Marketing/Business Development
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Media Specialist Media Manager
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer
Senior Graphic Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Web Designer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Graphic Artist Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • German

  • Cantonese

  • Italian

  • Arabic

  • Korean

  • Portuguese

  • Greek

  • Filipino

  • Tagalog

  • Bulgarian

  • Thai

  • Polish

  • Czech

  • Turkish

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Real Graphic Artist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Graphic Artist/Designer (VFX Supervisor) Technicolor Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jan 28, 2011 $210,000
Head Graphic Artist Fox Digital Enterprises, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 28, 2016 $146,090
3D Graphic Artist Valve Bellevue, WA Nov 18, 2015 $100,000 -
Principal Graphic Artist Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Jan 03, 2013 $99,143
Senior Graphic Artist Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Jan 03, 2011 $93,000
Graphic Artist Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $90,000
Principal Graphic Artist Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Oct 30, 2013 $89,000
Graphic Artist Buck Design, Inc. New York, NY Feb 01, 2014 $85,000
Graphic Artist ALKI David Productions, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Mar 11, 2015 $83,200
Graphic Artist Ca-AVRS, Inc. Petaluma, CA Oct 01, 2012 $82,500
Graphic Motion Artist Eclipse Advertising, Inc. Burbank, CA Sep 11, 2014 $75,000
Graphic Artist XYZ Graphics, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 26, 2016 $72,800
Artist-Graphic-Interactive Marketing (Reef) VF Outdoor Inc. Carlsbad, CA Apr 15, 2013 $72,000
SR. Graphic Artist J&J Imprints Inc. Santa Clarita, CA Aug 24, 2015 $56,349
Web Designer/Graphic Artist Gallaudet University Washington, DC Jan 16, 2011 $56,032
Web Designer/Graphic Artist Gallaudet University Washington, DC Jan 16, 2014 $56,032
3D Graphic Artist Spectral Labs Incorporated San Diego, CA Sep 06, 2012 $56,000
Graphic Artist/Motion Designer WPIX, Inc. New York, NY Jan 01, 2011 $55,000
Graphic Artist/Designer IW Group, Inc. West Hollywood, CA May 02, 2013 $55,000
Senior Graphic Artist Burleigh Point Limited Costa Mesa, CA Sep 14, 2015 $55,000 -
Graphic Artist Lee Enterprises Tucson, AZ Oct 01, 2011 $46,190
Graphic Artist Lee Enterprises Tucson, AZ Sep 15, 2011 $46,190
Graphic Artists The Product Factory, LLC Burbank, CA Sep 09, 2016 $46,155
Graphic Artist Grifols Shared Services North America Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 18, 2015 $45,510
Graphic Artist Grifols Shared Services North America Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 16, 2015 $45,510
Graphic Artist All In One Productions, Inc. Monterey Park, CA Apr 12, 2011 $43,764
Graphic Artist Dmpro, Inc. Burbank, CA Apr 20, 2016 $43,618
Graphic Artist Computer Task Group, Inc. Morrisville, NC Jan 09, 2016 $43,000

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Top Skills for A Graphic Artist


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Top Graphic Artist Skills

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Company Website
  3. Company Logos
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and In Design.
  • Edited photos and images for company website.
  • Designed company logos and brands, brochures, business cards, apparel and web pages.
  • Managed special projects and sections, including art direction, page content, visual styles, work distribution.
  • Confer with clients to discuss and determine layout design.

Top Graphic Artist Employers