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Become A Graphic Designer/Editor

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Working As A Graphic Designer/Editor

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $46,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Graphic Designer/Editor 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 Graphic Designer/Editor

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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Graphic Designer/Editor Career Paths

Graphic Designer/Editor
Editor Consultant Marketing Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Owner Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Producer Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Web Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Web Graphic Designer Web Design/Development Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer And Photographer Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer And Photographer Freelance Designer User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer And Photographer Freelance Designer Senior Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Production Manager Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Senior Producer Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Senior Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Designer Production Manager Print Production Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Communications Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Design Manager Graphic Design Manager
Creative Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Graphic Designer/Editor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Artist 4.4 years
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Media Designer 2.6 years
Freelance Designer 2.5 years
Graphics Editor 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Graphic Designer/Editor
Internship 8.7%
Editor 6.6%
Top Careers After Graphic Designer/Editor
Editor 6.7%
Internship 4.2%
Owner 3.6%
Manager 2.9%
Designer 2.5%

Do you work as a Graphic Designer/Editor?

Graphic Designer/Editor Demographics

Gender

Male

50.2%

Female

40.5%

Unknown

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.0%

French

14.1%

Mandarin

7.6%

Italian

5.4%

German

5.4%

Portuguese

4.3%

Japanese

4.3%

Chinese

3.3%

Russian

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Hebrew

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Romanian

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Khmer

1.1%

Zulu

1.1%

Norwegian

1.1%

Bosnian

1.1%

Catalan

1.1%

Finnish

1.1%
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Graphic Designer/Editor Education

Schools

Full Sail University

9.7%

University of Phoenix

9.7%

New York University

7.5%

Academy of Art University

6.7%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

5.2%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Temple University

4.5%

South University-The Art Institute of Dallas

4.5%

American University

4.5%

Iowa State University

4.5%

Fashion Institute of Technology

4.5%

Syracuse University

3.7%

San Francisco State University

3.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

Art Institute of California - Inland

3.7%

University of Houston

3.7%

Austin Community College

3.7%

International Academy of Design and Technology

3.7%
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Majors

Graphic Design

31.9%

Photography

9.5%

Communication

8.4%

Fine Arts

7.2%

Computer Applications

4.6%

English

4.5%

Journalism

4.3%

Design And Visual Communication

3.9%

Business

3.9%

Animation

3.2%

Digital Media

2.8%

Computer Science

2.6%

Marketing

2.1%

Entertainment Business

2.0%

Information Technology

1.8%

Public Relations

1.7%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.4%

Writing

1.4%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.4%

Theatre

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.6%

Other

16.3%

Associate

11.8%

Masters

10.5%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$46,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$29,000
Min 10%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CyberCoders
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Graphic Designer/Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Graphic Designer/Editor in the United States is $46,695 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $29,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $75,000.

Real Graphic Designer/Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Graphic Design Editor GFR Media, LLC Guaynabo, PR Oct 01, 2014 $76,000
Graphic Design Editor Editorial Primera Hora Inc. Guaynabo, PR Oct 01, 2011 $76,000
Graphic Design Editor GFR Media, LLC Guaynabo, PR Sep 01, 2012 $76,000
Smoke Editor/Graphic Designer Galavision, Inc. Miami, FL Aug 15, 2009 $67,781
Graphic Designer/Video Editor Gvpmedia, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 09, 2016 $50,000
Graphic Designer Editor 13Th Floor Studios, LLC San Antonio, TX Jun 04, 2013 $50,000
Graphic Design Editor Maya Magazines, Inc. Miami Beach, FL Feb 14, 2008 $45,344
Editor/Graphics Designer Image & Vision Ink LLC Portland, OR Apr 28, 2011 $44,390
Editor/Graphics Designer Image & Vision Ink LLC Portland, OR Oct 15, 2010 $44,390
Graphic Designer Editor 13Th Floor Studios, LLC San Antonio, TX Jun 04, 2014 $40,000 -
$50,000
Graphic Design Editor 13Th Floor Studios San Antonio, TX Jun 04, 2011 $37,773
Graphic Designer Editor 13Th Floor Studios San Antonio, TX Jun 04, 2012 $37,773
Graphic Design Editor 13Th Floor Studios San Antonio, TX Jun 05, 2010 $37,773
Graphic Designer/Editor Shine Creative LLC Washington, DC Oct 01, 2011 $37,180
Graphic Design Editor 13Th Floor Studios San Antonio, TX Jun 04, 2009 $36,296

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Top Skills for A Graphic Designer/Editor

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Video Production
  3. Company Website
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Employed various computer software, such as CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator to create graphics.
  • Articulate and formalize digital video production concept features and benefits with multimedia director.
  • Demonstrated initiative by asking to maintain company website and quarterly newsletter.
  • Scanned company logos into specialized software, graphically improved their appearance and printed on special film for use on promotional logos.
  • Attended photo shoots, and collaborated with photographers to accomplish editorial and advertising layout target.

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Top 10 Best States for Graphic Designer/Editors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. Alaska
  6. Virginia
  7. Oregon
  8. California
  9. Connecticut
  10. New Jersey
  • (131 jobs)
  • (926 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (358 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (1,278 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)

Top Graphic Designer/Editor Employers

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Jobs From Top Graphic Designer/Editor Employers

Graphic Designer/Editor Videos

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