What Can You Do in Graphic Design Careers?

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There are many graphic design careers and career paths available to skilled professionals in the field of graphic design, whether you work within a graphic design firm, as a freelance designer, or branch out into marketing or web design. For students looking to turn their creative talents and computer skills into a lucrative, fast-paced career, then a degree in Graphic Design is the perfect gateway!

To help you understand the different career options that are open to those who have successfully earned their Graphic Design degree, we have put together a list of 40 careers within the field and their median annual salaries:

Job Title Job Summary

Median Annual Wage

User Experience Director In charge of overseeing user experience features for software by helping to design products and applications based on feedback and market trends.

$139,056

Associate Director, Creative Services Supervisory position that is responsible for planning and directing the creative services marketing program for a company.

$96,447

Creative Director Leader of a departmental team that is responsible for creating and implementing creative work for a variety of company projects.

$89,137

Senior Animator Oversees an animation team to ensure animation designs meet company objectives and are reusable assets for long-term development.

$83,913

Senior Art Director Graphic design professional that leads a design team to effectively develop, create, and edit artistic projects for a company.

$83,424

Interaction Designer Responsible for developing web-based platforms that a company can use to interact with and engage their customers.

$78,457

User Experience Designer Conceptualizes, designs, and communicates user-centered design solutions that are attractive and functional.

$75,492

Technical Artist Works in a variety of industries to develop digital media and artistic projects using advanced computer software tools.

$65,495

Senior Web Designer Oversees a team of designers to create, design, and implement websites for a variety of organizations.

$71,201

Product Designer Creates design concepts and coordinates artists and other designers to develop useful consumer products.

$83,057

Creative Services Manager Manages the creative output of an organization and is responsible for developing ideas and effectively executing them.

$66,722

Digital Marketing Manager Responsible for developing and creating effective marketing projects that are in line with the organization’s goals and values.

$66,721

Art Director Responsible for coordinating concept and design efforts for a company’s promotions across a variety of platforms.

$68,008

Graphic Design Supervisor Supervises a team of graphic designers and illustrators to evaluate, direct, and improve upon their products.

$56,003

Senior Graphic Designer Lead of a graphic design team that delegates graphic work and ensures that all projects meet the standards of the organization.

$62,182

Interactive Designer Responsible for the design and implementation of all aspects of creating a custom, interactive website design.

$61,558

Graphic Design Manager Oversees the look and feel of a campaign’s artwork to ensure that the materials meet the needs of their organization.

$59,632

Production Manager, Print Works with a team of graphic designers to choose print and production methods to effectively execute the vendor’s projects. $59,621
Digital Designer Works across a variety of industries to design and/or animate digital works that help a business execute its design objectives.

$54,577

3D Artist Uses specialized design and drawing software to create 3d artistic images of people, buildings, and objects.

$54,566

Animator Uses a variety of software tools to create cartoons and design videos to meet the needs of their employer.

$53,614

Multimedia Designer Responsible for creating multimedia presentations to educate others and promote their company’s brands, products, and services.

$53,206

Animator, 3D Uses computer software to create vivid video animations that are used for websites, games, commercials, or the media.

$54,392

Layout Artist Works with the artistic department of a business to help create visually appealing images and text for a variety of publications.

$50,000

Graphic Artist/Animator Responsible for creating original digital assets in animation for production of media.

$51,257

Production Artist (Graphic Arts) Helps clients with developing high-quality artistic materials that include signs, posters, brochures, and banners.

$52,089

Web Designer Develops, creates, and codes web pages and applications to ensure creative elements are in line with the brand image.

$50,584

Photo Editor Responsible for reviewing, selecting, and editing photographs that meet the specific needs of their organization.

$50,953

Illustrator Responsible for creating drawings for physical and digital products that meet the needs of the publication.

$49,774

Film/Video Editor Reviews films and uses computer editing systems and digital effects to produce a final product.

$48,275

Digital Media Specialist Works to create and manage digital-related projects that increases brand loyalty for their organization.

$47,570

Graphic Design Specialist Completes design projects for their clients by handling web design, logo creation, and other graphic design related tasks.

$49,534

Electronic Prepress Operator Digital design specialist who works to ensure that their organization’s digital images and files meet high quality standards.

$50,469

Graphic Designer, Web Multimedia web specialist who is responsible for creating and designing websites for organizations.

$48,347

Product Designer, Graphic Arts/Advertising Designs packaging and product prototypes that fit within the brand image of their organization.

$83,057

Graphic Artist Designs visual presentations that include advertisements, logos, signs, and websites for a variety of different organizations.

$45,067

Graphic Designer Uses a variety of artistic functions, such as color, font, and illustrations, to visually communicate a message or present a product.

$45,684

Junior Graphic Designer Part of a company’s creative team that helps senior graphic designers develop and create images and graphics for a business.

$40,523

Prepress Technician Works to prepare materials for the printing process by ensuring that artwork meets company requirements and is completed properly.

$40,885

Graphic Design Intern Entry-level position that works to help business’s design graphic communications for print or the internet.

$40,000

*Data sourced through Payscale.com


What can you do with a Graphic Design Degree?

As is shown in the information above, careers in graphic design can be found across a variety of different industries. Once you have learned the necessary skills to pursue professional employment within the field, you will have the opportunity to work in a company’s creative department, advertising and marketing division, or as a digital artist.

With the variety of job options in graphic design, there is also a wide range in the average annual salary for professionals in this industry. While many graduates start off their careers as junior or entry-level graphic designers, there is potential to work your way up to lucrative executive level positions. The majority of the careers listed in the table above offer annual salaries that are at or above the national average across all occupations.   .

What is a Graphic Design Degree?

A degree in Graphic Design teaches students the foundational artistic, creative, and technical skills that they will need to succeed in the industry. While most students who are interested in this degree program have a high creative aptitude, throughout the course of your studies you will be able to further develop these skills and learn how to translate them into a professional career.

Many accredited universities offer Graphic Design degrees that range from two-year associate’s programs up through graduate degree options. Through each educational level, you will build upon your skillset to master more advanced techniques, software, and design applications. A few of the courses that you can expect to see throughout your degree program may include:

  • Graphic Design and Production
  • Multimedia development
  • Advanced software courses
  • Advertising Design
  • Integrated Design Media

If you need a more flexible class schedule to meet the demands of career or family obligations, then it may be wise to check into the accredited online graphic design degrees offered by many of the nation’s top universities! These programs allow you to complete your coursework at your own pace and offer the same high-quality curriculum used by traditional, on-campus students.

Graphic Design Career Outlook

The world of technology is continuing to expand, and businesses across a variety of industries depend on skilled graphic designers to help them stand out in a competitive marketplace. However, due to strong competition expected for available positions, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the occupational growth for this industry will decrease by 4% between 2019 and 2029. While overall employment is expected to go down, specific projections vary by industry and career.

If you have an interest in a fast-paced professional career that allows you to put your creative skills to the test, then the field of graphic design may be the perfect fit for you! Whether you get a job helping businesses market and design products or you start your own freelance graphic design career, there are a number of exciting opportunities available after you graduate with your Graphic Design degree!

Ready to start your journey?
Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.