Career Guide  
Graphics Designer
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

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Occupation Overview

The field of Graphic Design is dynamic and growing, and employers consistently report a desire for additional qualified individuals. While Graphic Designers have been around for decades, the advent of computer software (which requires a graphical user interface) and the Internet (which most companies have begun developing websites for) has fueled this growth.

Graphic Designers are artistic individuals who develop and/or implement the "look and feel" of a project. The project can be any of a variety of things: advertisements, training materials, marketing materials, software games, K-12 educational software, entertainment software that also educates, a company's internal Internet (called an intranet), etc. This field is project-oriented and deadline-driven.

Successful Graphic Designers possess artistic ability as well as technical skill. While a college degree is not required, training is, and several certificate programs exist to provide it.

This industry is centered in the San Francisco Bay Area… the demand is high and training programs are being developed to fill the need.


Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:

With experience one can become a Senior Graphic Designer or Art Director.

Skills Transferable to:

Animation, Advertising, Technical Writing, Illustration, and Web Design.


Job Descriptions

There are several closely related occupations that can fall under the heading of graphic design: graphic designer, multimedia artist, graphic artist, production artist, illustrator, and web designer.

Graphic Designer - Entry level / Internship ($10 - 14/hour)
The Intern or entry level designer has no previous work experience in graphic design, but they do have demonstrated artistic ability and experience and/or training on a minimum set of relevant software tools (e.g., PageMaker, Quark Express, Power Point, Photo Shop). The major focus of their work is on creating easy computer drawings, fine-tuning the designs made by more senior designers, and pasting stubs.

Graphic Designer - Experienced ($15 - 20/hour)
This Designer will create illustrations and contribute original artwork. Detailed knowledge of several relevant software packages is required, along with a general understanding of the production process and successful completion of several projects.

Graphic Designer - Senior ($21 - 26/hour)
Senior Designers work with the larger clients and have added responsibilities such as setting up presentations. They have five or more years experience as a Graphic Designer and are considered an expert with most software packages and computer platforms.

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