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Working as a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a graphic designer/illustrator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $20.33 an hour? That's $42,282 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 Designer/Illustrator Do

There are certain skills that many graphic designer/illustrators 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a graphic designer/illustrator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.8% of graphic designer/illustrators included adobe creative suite, while 9.8% of resumes included graphic design, and 9.2% of resumes included company website. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

If you're interested in becoming a graphic designer/illustrator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 64.9% of graphic designer/illustrators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.5% of graphic designer/illustrators have master's degrees. Even though most graphic designer/illustrators 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 designer/illustrator. When we researched the most common majors for a graphic designer/illustrator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on graphic designer/illustrator resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary$42,282
Job Growth Rate3%

Graphic Designer/Illustrator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Top Careers After Graphic Designer/Illustrator

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Average Salary for a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Graphic Designer/Illustrators in America make an average salary of $42,282 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $63,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Salary
$42,282

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range41k - 70k$54k$53,906
Chicago, IL
Salary Range38k - 63k$49k$49,308
New York, NY
Salary Range35k - 58k$45k$45,455
Houston, TX
Salary Range30k - 52k$40k$40,195
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range29k - 47k$38k$37,620
Colorado Springs, CO
Salary Range26k - 44k$35k$34,602
$26k
$70k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Illustrator and Graphic Designer
Illustrator and Graphic Designer
Amerrix Marketing, LLC
Amerrix Marketing, LLC
07/29/2019
07/29/2019
$52,37007/29/2019
$52,370
Illustrator and Graphic Designer
Illustrator and Graphic Designer
Amerrix Marketing, LLC
Amerrix Marketing, LLC
07/24/2019
07/24/2019
$52,37007/24/2019
$52,370
Graphic Designer/Illustrator
Graphic Designer/Illustrator
Zyrobotics, LLC
Zyrobotics, LLC
06/03/2017
06/03/2017
$32,76806/03/2017
$32,768
Graphic Designer and Illustrator
Graphic Designer and Illustrator
Zonberation Group (United States) Inc.
Zonberation Group (United States) Inc.
02/26/2016
02/26/2016
$33,90402/26/2016
$33,904
Graphic Designer/Illustrator
Graphic Designer/Illustrator
Google Inc.
Google Inc.
07/23/2015
07/23/2015
$125,70007/23/2015
$125,700
See More Recent Salaries

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Graphic Designer/Illustrator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Graphic Designer/Illustrator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Graphic Designer/Illustrator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Graphic Designer/Illustrator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Graphic Designer/Illustrator Demographics

Gender

male

56.3 %

female

38.9 %

unknown

4.8 %

Ethnicity

White

75.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.3 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.8 %

French

8.5 %

Japanese

6.2 %
See More Demographics

Graphic Designer/Illustrator Education

Degrees

Bachelors

64.9 %

Associate

17.6 %

Masters

7.5 %

Top Colleges for Graphic Designer/Illustrators

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

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 designer/illustrators listed adobe creative suite on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and artistic ability are important as well.

Best States For a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a graphic designer/illustrator. The best states for people in this position are Virginia, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. Graphic designer/illustrators make the most in Virginia with an average salary of $53,675. Whereas in Oregon and Nevada, they would average $52,542 and $50,217, respectively. While graphic designer/illustrators would only make an average of $50,114 in Washington, 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. Oregon

Total Graphic Designer/Illustrator Jobs:
106
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
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. Virginia

Total Graphic Designer/Illustrator Jobs:
319
Highest 10% Earn:
$84,000
Location Quotient:
1.2
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. Washington

Total Graphic Designer/Illustrator Jobs:
222
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
1.14
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
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Top Graphic Designer/Illustrator Employers

1. Contractors
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$80,020
Graphic Designer/Illustrators Hired: 
7+
2. Independent Artists
2.9
Avg. Salary: 
$43,226
Graphic Designer/Illustrators Hired: 
6+
3. Dril-Quip
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$43,064
Graphic Designer/Illustrators Hired: 
5+
4. Creative Group
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$45,874
Graphic Designer/Illustrators Hired: 
5+
5. Aquent
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$46,245
Graphic Designer/Illustrators Hired: 
5+
6. Whole Foods Market
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$65,140
Graphic Designer/Illustrators Hired: 
4+
Updated October 2, 2020