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Graphic Designer

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What Do Graphic Designer Do?

Occupation Description Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Life As a Graphic Designer

  • Maintain archive of images, photos, or previous work products.
  • Draw and print charts, graphs, illustrations, and other artwork, using computer.
  • Research new software or design concepts.
  • Mark up, paste, and assemble final layouts to prepare layouts for printer.
  • Prepare illustrations or rough sketches of material, discussing them with clients or supervisors and making necessary changes.
  • Prepare notes and instructions for workers who assemble and prepare final layouts for printing.

Graphic Designer Needed Skills

Graphic Designers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Graphic Designer Job Titles

  • Label Maker
  • Advertising Layout Worker
  • Online Producer
  • Digital Artist
  • Creative Manager

Is There Going to be Demand for Graphic Designers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 266,300 jobs in the United States for Graphic Designer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.2% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 11,100 new jobs for Graphic Designer by 2026. The BLS estimates 26,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Graphic Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Graphic Designer are Utah, Washington, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Graphic Designer

The average yearly salary of a Graphic Designer ranges between $29,610 and $85,760.

Salary Ranges for Graphic Designers

Graphic Designers who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or New York, make the highest salaries.

How much do Graphic Designers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $46,960
Alaska $59,640
Arizona $54,030
Arkansas $42,250
California $61,100
Colorado $56,670
Connecticut $60,700
Delaware $50,920
District of Columbia $71,180
Florida $48,780
Georgia $54,260
Hawaii $51,690
Idaho $45,620
Illinois $56,890
Indiana $45,030
Iowa $43,920
Kansas $46,270
Kentucky $44,550
Louisiana $45,660
Maine $45,800
Maryland $58,610
Massachusetts $64,010
Michigan $47,700
Minnesota $53,500
Mississippi $42,640
Missouri $50,350
Montana $42,220
Nebraska $47,980
Nevada $49,330
New Hampshire $51,710
New Jersey $59,140
New Mexico $44,040
New York $64,840
North Carolina $49,700
North Dakota $41,800
Ohio $50,130
Oklahoma $40,710
Oregon $56,690
Pennsylvania $53,050
Rhode Island $58,720
South Carolina $45,790
South Dakota $36,300
Tennessee $48,760
Texas $50,700
Utah $48,130
Vermont $50,000
Virginia $60,540
Washington $60,530
West Virginia $45,360
Wisconsin $47,980
Wyoming $38,490

What Tools & Technology do Graphic Designers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Graphic Designers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft Access
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Facebook
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Google Docs
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

Becoming a Graphic Designer

Learn what Graphic Designer education requirements there are.

Graphic Designer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designer Work Experience

Who Employs Graphic Designers?

Graphic Designer Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Graphic Designers employed by various industries.

Graphic Designer Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those who work as a Graphic Designer sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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