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Best Jobs For Graphic Design Major

Many people have a tough time finding a job right out of college. But for those with a graphic design major, career opportunities tend to be plentiful. By looking through millions of job listings and 85,186 graphic design major resumes, we were able to discover which are the preferred jobs for graphic design majors.

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1. Graphic Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  San Francisco, CA;  Boston, MA;  San Diego, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Miami, FL;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

2. Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Boston, MA;  Seattle, WA;  Denver, CO;  Miami, FL;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

3. User Experience Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Seattle, WA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Austin, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Boise, ID;  Boston, MA;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

4. Graphic Designer Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Boston, MA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Washington, DC;  Atlanta, GA;  Austin, TX;  San Diego, CA;  Orlando, FL;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

5. Visual Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Seattle, WA;  Austin, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  Mountain View, CA;  San Jose, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Boston, MA;  Palo Alto, CA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

6. Senior Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Seattle, WA;  San Diego, CA;  Troy, MI;  Dallas, TX;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

7. Senior Graphic Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Washington, DC;  Miami, FL;  Boston, MA;  Atlanta, GA;  Irvine, CA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

8. Artist

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Orlando, FL;  Burbank, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Las Vegas, NV;  Boston, MA;  Philadelphia, PA;  
Job Description:
Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, and other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.

9. Associate Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Oakland, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Vernon, CA;  Denver, CO;  Houston, TX;  Seattle, WA;  Dallas, TX;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

10. Marketing Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Boston, MA;  Washington, DC;  San Francisco, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Atlanta, GA;  Austin, TX;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

11. Design Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Boston, MA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Austin, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Seattle, WA;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

12. Graphic Artist

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Orlando, FL;  San Diego, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Las Vegas, NV;  Des Moines, IA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

13. Visual Merchandiser

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  San Francisco, CA;  Houston, TX;  Las Vegas, NV;  Orlando, FL;  Miami, FL;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
A Visual Merchandiser creates attractive visual displays and strategies to promote retail brands, products, and services. They conduct research on current and future trends in design and lifestyle, as well as revise and present design ideas with assistant merchandisers.

14. Brand Ambassador

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Houston, TX;  Boston, MA;  Las Vegas, NV;  San Diego, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
A Brand Ambassador promotes a company’s image in a positive manner in front of customers. They represent the company, interacteracting with the general public at events, promoting the brand on TV or radio, and doing product demonstrations, among other duties.

15. Junior Graphic Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Boston, MA;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Dallas, TX;  Miami, FL;  San Diego, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

16. Product Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Boston, MA;  Seattle, WA;  Atlanta, GA;  Palo Alto, CA;  Dearborn, MI;  Philadelphia, PA;  
Job Description:
Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and the usability of products when developing new product concepts.

17. Digital Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Columbus, OH;  Boston, MA;  Cincinnati, OH;  Austin, TX;  Minneapolis, MN;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

18. Marketing Assistant

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  San Diego, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Miami, FL;  Boston, MA;  Washington, DC;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

19. Production Artist

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  Calabasas, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Seattle, WA;  San Diego, CA;  Portland, OR;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

20. Photographer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Orlando, FL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Las Vegas, NV;  Atlanta, GA;  Miami, FL;  Houston, TX;  San Antonio, TX;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images that tell a story or record an event.

21. Motion Graphics Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Austin, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Sarasota, FL;  Burbank, CA;  Orlando, FL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

22. Web Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Miami, FL;  Boston, MA;  San Diego, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Austin, TX;  San Francisco, CA;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

23. Creative Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Atlanta, GA;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Antonio, TX;  Austin, TX;  Houston, TX;  Irvine, CA;  San Diego, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Deerfield Beach, FL;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

24. Junior Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Binghamton, NY;  Houston, TX;  Boston, MA;  Atlanta, GA;  Denver, CO;  Charlotte, NC;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

25. Marketing Coordinator

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Austin, TX;  San Diego, CA;  Miami, FL;  Dallas, TX;  Philadelphia, PA;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

26. Senior User Experience Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Seattle, WA;  Chicago, IL;  Austin, TX;  San Diego, CA;  Denver, CO;  Los Angeles, CA;  Redmond, WA;  Mountain View, CA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

27. User Interaction Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Austin, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  San Diego, CA;  San Jose, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Seattle, WA;  
Job Description:
Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

28. Concept Artist

Top Locations:
Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  New York, NY;  Seattle, WA;  Santa Monica, CA;  Savannah, GA;  Atlanta, GA;  Austin, TX;  Bellevue, WA;  Orlando, FL;  
Job Description:
Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

29. Graphic Design Assistant

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Miami, FL;  Houston, TX;  Philadelphia, PA;  Atlanta, GA;  Boston, MA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

30. Lead Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Austin, TX;  San Francisco, CA;  Seattle, WA;  Denver, CO;  San Diego, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

31. Assistant Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Vernon, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Chicago, IL;  Dallas, TX;  Columbus, OH;  Miami, FL;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

32. Human Resources Coordinator

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Charlotte, NC;  San Diego, CA;  Phoenix, AZ;  San Antonio, TX;  
Job Description:
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

33. Graphic Designer, Marketing

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Austin, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Orlando, FL;  Boston, MA;  Denver, CO;  San Francisco, CA;  Charlotte, NC;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

34. Design Technician

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Everett, WA;  Seattle, WA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Oklahoma City, OK;  Charlotte, NC;  Columbus, OH;  Dallas, TX;  
Job Description:
Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers to plan, design, and build highways, bridges, utilities, and other infrastructure projects. They also help to plan, design, and build commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.

35. Graphic Art Designer

Top Locations:
Fort Lauderdale, FL;  New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Jacksonville, FL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Anaheim, CA;  Boca Raton, FL;  Camp Springs, MD;  Carrizo Springs, TX;  Champaign, IL;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

36. Design Consultant

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  San Francisco, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Dallas, TX;  San Diego, CA;  Charlotte, NC;  Seattle, WA;  
Job Description:
Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.

37. Associate Graphic Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Boston, MA;  Atlanta, GA;  Dallas, TX;  Houston, TX;  Miami, FL;  Omaha, NE;  Orlando, FL;  Saint Louis, MO;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

38. Graphic Design Specialist

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Washington, DC;  Indianapolis, IN;  Austin, TX;  Cambridge, MA;  Las Vegas, NV;  New Orleans, LA;  Orlando, FL;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

39. Web Developer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Boston, MA;  Atlanta, GA;  Washington, DC;  Houston, TX;  Seattle, WA;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

40. Marketing Associate

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Charlotte, NC;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Boston, MA;  San Francisco, CA;  Greer, SC;  Washington, DC;  Houston, TX;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

41. Graphic Designer/Production

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Houston, TX;  San Diego, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Miami, FL;  Denver, CO;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

42. Interior Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  Dallas, TX;  San Francisco, CA;  Miami, FL;  San Diego, CA;  Seattle, WA;  
Job Description:
Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.

43. Storyboard Artist

Top Locations:
Los Angeles, CA;  New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Burbank, CA;  Savannah, GA;  Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA;  Portland, OR;  Atlanta, GA;  El Segundo, CA;  
Job Description:
Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

44. Jeweler Apprentice

Top Locations:
Birmingham, AL;  Phoenix, AZ;  Saint Augustine, FL;  Annapolis, MD;  Bakersfield, CA;  Bay Village, OH;  Bemidji, MN;  Biloxi, MS;  Braintree Town, MA;  Calistoga, CA;  
Job Description:
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers design, manufacture, and sell jewelry. They also adjust, repair, and appraise gems and jewelry.

45. Senior Product Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Austin, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Elmsford, NY;  Pittsburgh, PA;  Allen Park, MI;  Anaheim, CA;  Ann Arbor, MI;  Auburn Hills, MI;  
Job Description:
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

46. Production Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Tempe, AZ;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Fort Mill, SC;  Portland, OR;  Seattle, WA;  Boston, MA;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

47. Interactive Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Austin, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Charlotte, NC;  Minneapolis, MN;  Seattle, WA;  
Job Description:
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 advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

48. Industrial Designer

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Savannah, GA;  Boston, MA;  Chicago, IL;  Pittsburgh, PA;  Cincinnati, OH;  Phoenix, AZ;  Dallas, TX;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and the usability of products when developing new product concepts.

49. Instructional Designer

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Orlando, FL;  New York, NY;  Seattle, WA;  Chicago, IL;  San Diego, CA;  Salt Lake City, UT;  Dallas, TX;  San Francisco, CA;  
Job Description:
Instructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.

50. Animator

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Chicago, IL;  Burbank, CA;  Santa Monica, CA;  Orlando, FL;  San Diego, CA;  Savannah, GA;  
Job Description:
Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Graphic Design Major Jobs

Average Salary For a Graphic Design Major

As a graphic design major, you might be surprised with how much your salary might vary depending on the industry you choose to work in. For example, if you were to work in the non profits industry, you might only make $27,851 annually, but you could make $51,803 in the retail industry. If salary is the most important thing to you, then you should choose the industry you want to work in carefully.

Average Salary
$50,542
Show Salaries
Best Paying Industries
Industry
Average Salary
Retail
Retail
$51,803
$52k
Technology
Technology
$40,562
$41k
Media
Media
$38,277
$38k
Manufacturing
Manufacturing
$37,419
$37k
Professional
Professional
$36,069
$36k

Entry Level Jobs For Graphic Design Majors

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Graphic Design Internships

How To Get A Job With A Graphic Design Degree

Graphic Designers are an employable bunch, especially in the modern era of tech companies and the increasing value companies place on maintaining a strong web presence.

From designing logos and creating graphics to helping design websites and apps, Graphic Designers are needed in a variety of different contexts, and work for a designer can pour in from almost anywhere. But with so many ways that graphic design can be applied to different industries, it can be tough to decide just how a person with this major should apply their talents.

Well, that's where we come in. We literally created a map, just for Graphic Design Majors such as yourself, to navigate your way through the choppy waters of recent graduation.

Feel free to focus on the map alone -- it's pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves. But for those of you who prefer step by step navigation on your path, keep reading. We'll give you the rundown on:

  • What skills you'll need
  • How to begin
  • What jobs you can expect to find as a Graphic Design

    Major

  • Some quick interview tips
  • Consider graduate school
  • External resources

First thing's first: what skills you'll need to get started.

1. Skills for Graphic Design Majors

One way or another, skills for Graphic Designers revolve around the effective use of computers. Hard skills for Graphic Design Majors are very technical, including artistic techniques as well as knowledge of relevant software, or even programming languages.

Soft skills tend to be more about time-management and organization skills -- you'll rarely be working at your own pace with no disturbances, and your ability to work quickly and effectively while also communicating with your team and clients will help you succeed in the long run.

Let's take a closer look at what this means for Graphic Design in particular:

Time-management skills

Graphic Design work is project-based, and that means long hours can frequently occur when a team is in a crunch. Good time management is useful in order for a designer to keep from being overwhelmed even when work is at a normal state, and it's a necessity when work ramps up.

Computer skills

Graphic Design work occurs almost entirely on the computer, so computer skills are a must. Understanding graphic design programs inside and out is essential for being able to create effectively while using them, and programming knowledge is required for certain positions as well.

Artistic talent/Creativity

Some are born with this innately, while others have to learn it. Designers should have artistic ability and a good understanding of color, texture, and light. However, they may be able to compensate for artistic shortcomings with better technical skills.

2. Where to Begin Your Career After Getting a Graphic Design Degree

Internships are an excellent way to start accumulating experience in any discipline, gaining valuable resume cache while also helping you start your network of industry contacts.

In Graphic Design, internships are usually found with some of the larger graphic design firms, but they can also be found at advertising agencies or design studios. Many companies that do graphic design in-house have some sort of dedicated department that you'll be able to find and offer your services to.

When you're not rushing to get coffee for an office full of techie artists, your duties might include assisting with web design, brainstorming, developing prototypes, and learning to use some of the more advanced industry-specific rendering technologies used by the company.

Before you settle on an internship or placement, though, you'll want to make sure it's the right fit for you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where (in the state/the country/the world) do you want to work?
  • What size and type of organization do you want to work for?
  • Do you need compensation in an internship, or might you be able to consider alternative compensation (experience, work samples, references, networking, etc.)
  • Is relocation an option?

3. Available Jobs For Graphic Design Majors

Graphic Designers often work in one of two ways -- either as freelancers, or employed by a larger firm.

However, their work is used in many different forms of products and media, and big companies may keep a firm on retainer for all their graphic design needs. Others might even employ their own art department, keeping all of their design in-house rather than paying others to do so for them.

No matter how a graphic designer is employed, their duties can vary dramatically depending on their specializations and individual project demands.

With our map, you can click the Job Titles and learn more specific information for each position (what their responsibilities are, how much they get paid, etc.) But here, we wanted to call out some of the most common jobs for recent Graphic Design Major grads.

Here are a few of the most interesting jobs for recent grads such as yourself:

  • Web Designer.
  • Web Designers use their graphic design knowledge combined with a strong command of HTML (and other programming languages) to design and build websites, typically focused on improving the ability of users to find and access the various parts of the website as quickly and easily as possible.

  • Art Director.
  • Art Directors are responsible for the visual style of a publication or product, such as a newspaper, magazine, product packaging, or movie. They create the overall design by working with and directing other creative workers to help them carry out their vision.

  • Multimedia Artist.
  • Using drawing and rendering programs, Multimedia Artists create two- and three-dimensional models, animation, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

    4. Some Quick Job Search Tips for Graphic Design Majors

    Start Freelancing

    As early and as often as you can, you should start freelancing in graphic design. Doing so will help you build out your portfolio with every new project you undertake, and, if you're lucky, you might even find yourself making a good amount of money doing so.

    Start by putting your portfolio together and making it look as professional as possible. If you've got the know-how, make yourself a website displaying your work that could be found by anyone who happens to Google your name. Then find an easy freelancing job to start on -- design a new logo for a company, or help a small business design their menu or website.

    Keep track of your work as you go along, and keep some sort of measure of your skills. When asked, you should be able to tell a potential employer all the things you know how to do in Graphic Design at the drop of a hat.

    Look Out for Big Firms

    You can make a lot of money freelancing, and it comes with the benefits of being your own boss and setting your own hours. But there are downsides as well, and if it's consistent work you're looking for, a big Graphic Design firm is the way to go.

    In addition to taking on individual projects from clients, these firms are often kept on retainer by large companies who need specialty work done regularly and consistently. For you, that means a constant stream of projects and rarely having to worry about when the next paycheck is coming in. Of course, there's also the potential for a bit of a monkey's paw situation in which you have more work than you can handle, and you're now answerable to a boss who might not be as lax as you would have been with yourself.

    But for a lot of people, the benefits outweigh the risks, and big firms remain one of the most popular ways that Graphic Designers are employed.

    5. Continuing Education and Certifications in Graphic Design

    Pursuing an advanced degree

    Obtaining a graduate degree in your course of study can serve as an excellent way to separate you from the herd - but you must first decide whether it's worth your time.

    Master's degrees in Graphic Design are offered in certain places, typically when students need a chance to dig a little deeper into some particular aspect of Graphic Design that is of interest to them. However, the more competitive and typically more useful degree to achieve in Graphic Design is the MFA. While the process for achieving the MFA is longer and more intense, it is also the accepted terminal degree for teaching Graphic Design, as it values both practice as well as research.

    The PhD in Graphic Design, while still useful, takes a considerable amount of time and focuses primarily on research with almost no practice involved, with the primary aim of the PhD being to expand scholarship in the Graphic Design field.

    Here are common advanced degrees that people with [blank] degree normally consider:

    Master's in Graphic Design

    • Primarily geared toward getting students to be a little more confident in a particular skill or specialization, many Master's degrees are also designed so that graduates will also leave with teaching certifications.

    MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design)

    • Like the Master's, the MFA is primarily geared toward developing skills, but the MFA takes longer (2-3 years versus the MS' 1-2) and is more commonly accepted as the lowest education level required to teach Graphic Design.

    PhD (Doctor of Philosophy in Graphic Design)

    • PhDs in Graphic Design focus on conducting research, writing papers, and teaching college students about the field of Graphic Design.

    6. External Resources

    If you're still not sure what to do with your degree here are some external sites, to help you with your decision:

    AIGA, Professional Association for Design

    A professional organization for graphic design, AIGA provides conferences, publications, local chapter meetings, continuing education, and other membership benefits. The organization's name AIGA previously stood for the American Institute of Graphic Arts, but it has since been shorted to the initials themselves.

    Freelancer's Union

    The Freelancer's Union is a professional organization for independent workers in the graphic design industry specifically.

    USAJobs

    Enter "[blank]" into the search bar and you can get a sense of what kind of government jobs are available to Visual and Performing Arts Majors. Find a job title you like and come back here to learn more about it.

    Bureau Of Labor Statistics

    The BLS offers detailed data on pay, location, and availability of different kinds of jobs across the country.

    In fact, we draw a lot of our research on the best places for jobs from the information provided on the site.

    And if this all seems like a lot - don't worry - the hard part (getting your degree!) is already over.

    Updated July 15, 2020