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Become A Senior Designer

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Working As A Senior Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $98,719

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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.

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 Senior 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.

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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Senior Designer Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Principal Designer 4.6 years
Machine Designer 4.3 years
Senior Designer 4.0 years
Product Designer 3.8 years
Facility Designer 3.5 years
Head Designer 3.4 years
Lead Designer 3.2 years
Detailer/Designer 3.0 years
Designer 3.0 years
Contract Designer 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Designer 30.3%
Draftsman 4.0%
Internship 3.6%
Drafter 2.5%
Top Employers After
Designer 12.6%
Consultant 2.7%
Owner 2.6%

Do you work as a Senior Designer?

Senior Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

69.3%

Female

27.8%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

58.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Asian

11.8%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.9%

French

11.3%

Chinese

7.9%

Mandarin

7.1%

German

6.9%

Italian

4.7%

Korean

3.4%

Hindi

3.2%

Cantonese

3.2%

Japanese

2.9%

Arabic

2.6%

Carrier

2.1%

Polish

1.8%

Russian

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Telugu

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Nepali

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Portuguese

0.8%
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Senior Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

17.9%

Savannah College of Art and Design

7.1%

School of Visual Arts

6.0%

Purdue University

5.4%

Macomb Community College

5.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.1%

Pratt Institute-Main

5.1%

Rhode Island School of Design

4.4%

Drexel University

4.4%

Michigan Technological University

4.1%

Art Center College of Design

3.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.9%

University of Delaware

3.9%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.8%

University of Houston

3.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.4%

University of Connecticut

3.4%

Syracuse University

3.2%

Houston Community College

3.2%

University of Phoenix

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

27.3%

Mechanical Engineering

12.5%

Drafting And Design

10.6%

Electrical Engineering

6.1%

Fine Arts

5.9%

Business

4.7%

Design And Visual Communication

4.1%

Interior Design

3.3%

Engineering

3.2%

Civil Engineering

2.7%

Architecture

2.4%

Biomedical Engineering

2.3%

Computer Science

2.3%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Education

1.7%

Communication

1.7%

Chemical Engineering

1.6%

Marketing

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.0%

Other

20.1%

Associate

13.8%

Masters

11.1%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Designer Festina Lente LLP New York, NY Sep 11, 2016 $240,000
Senior Experience Designer Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Sep 19, 2016 $197,000
Senior Designer 2 Paypal, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 05, 2015 $184,000
SR. Pdms Instrumentation Designer Duke Marine Technical Services USA Houston, TX Aug 26, 2015 $170,000 -
$205,000
Senior Designer Microsoft Corporation San Francisco, CA May 07, 2016 $168,200 -
$188,200
Senior Designer Microsoft Corporation San Francisco, CA Aug 29, 2016 $168,200
SR. Pdms Instrument Designer Duke Marine Technical Services USA Houston, TX Oct 15, 2015 $162,786
Senior Pdms Instrument Designer Duke Marine Technical Services USA Inc. Houston, TX Jul 09, 2016 $162,240
Senior Designer Karma Automotive, LLC Costa Mesa, CA Jan 08, 2016 $160,000
Senior Designer EBAY Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 26, 2016 $160,000
Senior E&I Designer IV-AGA Texas, LLC Houston, TX May 08, 2015 $159,432
Senior Designer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Sep 07, 2016 $156,700
Senior Designer Segment.IO, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 09, 2016 $155,000
Senior Designer, ID & Audio Designworksusa, Inc. Parksdale, CA Sep 01, 2015 $100,467
Senior Designer, ID & Auto Designworksusa, Inc. Parksdale, CA Sep 01, 2015 $100,467
Senior Designer I Crystal Dynamics, Inc. Redwood City, CA May 03, 2015 $100,250
Senior Designer Wicked Fashions, Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Apr 13, 2016 $100,173
Senior Designer Richline Group, Inc. New York, NY Oct 12, 2015 $100,173
Senior Designer Dollar Shave Club, Inc. CA Aug 01, 2015 $100,000
Senior Designer Vault 49 LLC New York, NY Jan 05, 2015 $100,000
Senior Designer Dollar Shave Club, Inc. Marina del Rey, CA Aug 16, 2016 $100,000
Senior Designer L1 Sapient Corporation Portland, OR Aug 23, 2015 $84,872
Senior Designer TRW Automotive, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI May 12, 2016 $84,394
SR. Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Sep 20, 2015 $83,990 -
$110,000
Senior Designer Carrot Creative New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $83,480
Senior Designer Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. New York, NY Jun 11, 2015 $83,387
Tibco Senior Designer IBM India Private Limited Hoboken, NJ Jan 08, 2016 $83,375
Senior Designer Ciber, Inc. Dearborn, MI Jan 18, 2016 $83,200

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Top Skills for A Senior Designer

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  1. Autocad
  2. Layout
  3. Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created engineering drawings and documents for production using Pro/Engineer and AutoCAD for residential and commercial water heating use.
  • Incorporate township regulations into proposed site layouts.
  • Developed innovative concepts that satisfy function and operational requirements for existing product lines and new product development programs.
  • Initiate and execute designs for Hallmark Personal Expressions line utilizing exceptional conceptual and technical skills to create innovative, distinctive products.
  • Created designs of telecommunications monitoring equipment using VersaCAD and ProEngineer.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Designers

  1. Washington
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Oregon
  5. California
  6. Texas
  7. Alaska
  8. Virginia
  9. Connecticut
  10. Rhode Island
  • (442 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (396 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)
  • (2,353 jobs)
  • (804 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (492 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)

Top Senior Designer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Designer Employers

Senior Designer Videos

FireFall Beta Update Discussion with Senior Designer Dave Williams

Meet an Interaction Designer for Google Search on iOS, feat. Noah

Career Advice on becoming a Senior Designer by Joanne G (Full Version)

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