Graphic Designers are responsible for creating visual concepts either through a computer software or by hand. The goal of becoming a graphic designer is to really engage consumers through inspiration. So being creative is kind of needed.

Typically Graphic Designers need a Bachelor's degree, but perhaps the most important thing you can bring to an interview is having a well-rounded portfolio.

What Does a Graphic Designer 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.

Learn more about what a Graphic Designer does

How To Become a Graphic Designer

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.

Learn More About How To Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer Job Description

Graphic Designers are creative professionals who often work for marketing companies, advertising agencies, or media companies where they are in charge of creating visuals related to specific themes or concepts, developing advertisement layouts, and creating product designs. They do these using different software applications or by hand.

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Graphic Designer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers in America make an average salary of $49,450 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $69,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Graphic Designer Salary
$49,450 Yearly
$23.77 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Graphic Designer

The role of a graphic designer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general graphic designer responsibilities:

  • Other duties may be assigned to meet business needs) design print ads, web ads
  • Create, design, and implement environmental graphic design, signage
  • Produce and manage video and graphics-based content for our digital platforms (social media, web)use content on digital media to engage players support the brand

There are several types of graphic designer, including:



A career as a designer can go so many different directions. From fashion designers to floral designers or even graphic designers or interior designers, as long as you have an eye for detail and a steady hand you could design whatever you wanted.

The education that is required to become a designer can vary depending on what type of designing you're going to be doing. For example, a floral designer only needs a high school diploma, but a graphic designer may need a Bachelor's degre. It really depends on what direction you want to take your career.

  • Average Salary: $66,347
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Graphic Artist


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.

  • Average Salary: $54,900
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Freelance Designer


Whether we are talking about industrial design or visual communication, a designer is a creative professional who comes up with ideas for objects, packaging, or layouts. Working as a freelance designer means you are not employed by one company but work on your own, for different clients, on a project basis.

There are many different aspects of design. You can be a graphic designer creating product illustrations or visuals for brand identities, a user experience designer making easy-to-navigate websites, software, or applications. You can design interior spaces, or special effects for the entertainment media, or clothes and accessories for the fashion industry.

Whatever the case, as a freelance designer, you are basically an entrepreneur and find your own clients, take care of accounts, and the promotion of your services for yourself and in exchange, you enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working on your own time and your own terms.

  • Average Salary: $57,260
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Graphic Designer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active graphic designer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where graphic designers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Graphic Designer Jobs By State

Graphic Designer Education

Graphic Designer Majors

Graphic Designer Degrees


68.0 %


22.6 %


3.4 %

Top Colleges for Graphic Designers

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. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




9. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Graphic Designer

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, 6.5% of graphic designers listed adobe creative suite on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and artistic ability are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Graphic Designer Resume templates

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

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Graphic Designer diversity

Graphic Designer Gender Distribution


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

  • Among graphic designers, 50.2% of them are women, while 49.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among graphic designers is White, which makes up 70.2% of all graphic designers.

  • The most common foreign language among graphic designers is Spanish at 49.7%.

Online Courses For Graphic Designer That You May Like

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2. User Experience Design (Part Time)


Translate user wants and needs into intuitive digital experiences that power revenue, loyalty, and product success. Build confidence and credibility to tackle complex design problems on the job. This course is offered in person and live online, in a remote classroom setting...

3. Design of Everyday Things


This course provides a summary of key concepts from the first two chapters of The Design of Everyday Things (Revised and Expanded Edition, November 2013) by Don Norman. It's intended to be enjoyable and informative for anyone curious about design: everyday people, technical people, designers, and non-designers alike...

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Best States For a Graphic Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a graphic designer. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Washington, New York, and Maine. Graphic designers make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $58,553. Whereas in Washington and New York, they would average $57,422 and $57,176, respectively. While graphic designers would only make an average of $56,874 in Maine, 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. District of Columbia

Total Graphic Designer Jobs: 228
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Massachusetts

Total Graphic Designer Jobs: 775
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Graphic Designer Jobs: 930
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Graphic Designers

How Do Graphic Designers Rate Their Jobs?


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Graphic Designer Reviews

Jul 2022

There is so much to like about working as Graphic Designer ... the seeing how all the elements of words, space, colors, visuals (photos, graphics, charts,...) come together on a page...sharing info with others to learn and use


When working with others who can not make up their minds as deadline approaches nor take responsibility and blames others for their own "misdoings".

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Top Graphic Designer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ graphic designers and discovered their number of graphic designer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Minuteman Press was the best, especially with an average salary of $52,106. Robert Half follows up with an average salary of $51,662, and then comes Fastsigns International with an average of $54,255. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a graphic designer. The employers include L3Harris, Medpace, and Page Southerland Page

Most Common Employers For Graphic Designer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
4Pixar Animation Studios$55,981$26.91134
5Independent Contractor$55,656$26.7659
6Fastsigns International$54,255$26.08196
7Signs Now$53,153$25.5568
9Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More$52,619$25.3071

Graphic Designer Videos

Becoming a Graphic Designer 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.

Visual Designer Vs. Graphic Designer

A visual designer is responsible for creating a unified image for a brand across digital platforms, while a graphic designer is a professional who creates visual concepts to communicate information.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Graphic Designer?

It takes 2 years of professional experience to become a graphic designer. That is the time it takes to learn specific graphic designer skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 5 to 7 years years to become a graphic designer.

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.

Do Graphic Designers Get Paid Well?

Yes, graphic designers get paid well. The average graphic designer makes $50,000 in the United States. Meanwhile, highly skilled and experienced graphic designers can average $80,000 while graphic designers just starting average $30,000.

How Do I Start My Graphic Design Career?

To start a career in graphic design, begin either by learning graphic design principles themselves or by enrolling in a graphic design course. The most important thing to do to become a graphic designer is to gain a solid understanding of graphic design principles.

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.

Is Graphic Design A Good Career?

No, graphic design is not a good career. Graphic design is an extremely competitive field that is hard to break into and establish job security in.

Most graphic designers have to pay for a really expensive education to learn about graphic design and start careers in the field.

You need a bachelor's degree in graphic design to be a graphic designer. This is the standard. However, there are many different related degrees one can get to become a graphic designer.

Here is a list of other degrees that can help you get a job as a graphic designer:

  • Commercial and advertising arts

  • Digital arts

  • Industrial and product design

  • Motion graphics

  • Marketing

  • Photography

  • Studio arts

  • Web development

Many graphic designers have bachelor's degrees in graphic design or some of these other related fields, but you do not have to have a degree to become a graphic designer.

Some graphic designers are self-taught or have gained jobs in the field through internships and apprenticeships.

While some graphic designers can make very good money, most struggle to find enough work as freelancers or to find full-time positions at companies.

There are also graphic designers that make six-figure salaries or independent graphic designers that charge exorbitant fees, but once again, this is not the norm.

Generally, graphic designers are not paid well enough to offset the financial cost it takes to become a graphic designer.

The average salary of a graphic designer in the United States is $53,380 per year, which would be decent, except that many graphic designers attend expensive art colleges that can leave them in a significant amount of debt.

There are exceptions to this, of course. Some graphic designers are able to start a career without attending an expensive school. However, this is more the exception rather than the rule.

Is It Hard To Become A Graphic Designer?

No, it is not hard to become a graphic designer. It is not hard to become a graphic designer, but it does take a lot of hard work, enthusiasm, and an eye for design.

Most companies are looking for graphic designers with real-world experience and a strong portfolio. There are several ways you can gain this experience and develop your portfolio. While relevant work experience is preferable for many employers, personal projects, volunteer projects, and internships can all showcase your skills.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Graphic Designer?

The base qualification for a graphic designer is advanced skills in common graphic design software. While the best jobs typically require a bachelor's degree in graphic design, secondary to a strong portfolio and advanced graphic design software skills.

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