Career Guide  
Graphics Designer
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

V. Back To Career Guide Home Page


Skill Requirements

Intellectual - basic

  • Creativity.
  • Problem solving ability.
  • Attention to detail.

Intellectual - specialized

  • Artistic talent.
  • Strong foundation in areas such as design principles and color theory.
  • In-depth understanding of several graphic software packages.
  • Understanding of the production process.


  • Some projects are completed by individuals, and others by teams of individuals. In either case, good teamwork and communication skills are critical. Creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit tend to be highly valued. Flexibility is critical: not only do projects end (they last from weeks to many months), the underlying technologies utilized also change.


  • Able to work in an office environment. Must be able to work long hours, particularly when a deadline is approaching.

Skill Maintenance Requirement

  • High. While the basics of design (color, layout, etc.) do not change rapidly, the technical tools utilized in graphic design are constantly updated. Expect to learn new software programs, and possibly new technologies and computer platforms on a continuous basis.

Experience Prerequisites

Demonstrated experience with the relevant computer tools for the particular job is required. A portfolio of ones work will be reviewed during the job interview process.

Graphic Designer - Entry level / Internship: Comfortable using computers, experience with the relevant software tools.

Graphic Designer - Experienced: 2 years experience as a

Graphic Designer Graphic Designer - Senior: 5 years experience as a Graphic Designer


Education/Training Required

A Certificate in graphic design or an AA Degree in graphic art or a related field is required.

To obtain an extensive list of training providers for Graphics Designers in California, refer to the State Training Inventory (STI) website:

  • Go to
  • Select "Occupational Titles"
  • Select "Professional, Paraprofessional, and Technical Occupations"
  • Select "Graphic Design, Commercial Art and Illustration" in the Training Program column

The above website will provide a list of the relevant training providers along with their addresses and telephone numbers.

The next section in this career guide ("Bay Area Education/Training Resources") provides detailed information on some of these training programs.

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