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Jobs in Graphic Design: Careers for Graphic Design Majors

jobs in graphic design

Every company offers jobs in graphic design. And if you’re a graphic design major, career opportunities are plentiful for you! Learn about your options here.

In the past ten years, almost every American college or university with an art program has supplemented their course structure with classes or degree options in graphic design.  The reason for this dramatic change on college campuses is the sudden growth in the need for talented, experienced graphic designers.  Graphic design can encompass a wide variety of jobs, tasks and projects.  Companies use their staffed graphic designers for a variety of purposes and tasks: some of which barely even relate to the field of graphic design!

If you are considering a career as a graphic designer, you may be wondering what kind of jobs you can expect to find after graduation.  What exactly does a graphic designer do?  Where do they go to find work?  The answers are everything and everywhere.

Jobs in Graphic Design

Graphic designers are artists in the business world.  Unlike the painters, sculptors, and sketchers whose aspirations include selling a painting or sculpture at a high-priced auction, graphic designers lend their artistic talents to the world of business.  Because art is so adept at influencing the minds of humans, businesses are using aesthetics to boost business, sales, and public image.

A graphic designer usually finds his or her work on the staff of a business or company or by contracting out work on a case by case basis.  This contract setup is generally referred to as “freelancing.”  A freelance graphic designer may work on many different projects for many different companies at the same time.  Often, the pay is much higher for a freelance graphic designer; however, freelancing comes with certain risks.  Since a freelancer is not a part of a staff, there may be periods when the graphic designer has little to no work with which to bring in an income.

Freelance Graphic Design Jobs

If you think freelancing may be the best option for you, you’re in luck!  There are hundreds of websites on the internet dedicated to helping talented freelance graphic design artists find profitable and enjoyable work.  Many small businesses need help with logo design, website maintenance, or publication design, but these small businesses cannot afford to hire a full-time graphic designer.  In these instances, they will often contract this work out to a freelancer.  A successful freelance graphic designer has the following characteristics:

A disciplined nature: because you will be finding and performing work completely on your own, you must have discipline in your day to day activities.  If you can’t adhere to a schedule and complete work on time, you will gain a poor reputation and lose business.

A passion for graphic design: the hours of a freelancer are always changing.  The workload is inconsistent.  The job-finding process is often tedious.  While the rewards are great, a freelance graphic designer needs to be passionate about his or her job.

An ability to network: by networking, you increase your recognition and thereby increase your job potential.  Having superb people skills and the confidence to make connections will make you successful as a freelancer.

Careers in Graphic Design

Graphic designers on staff at businesses or corporations usually fulfill a variety of different tasks.  A staffed graphic designer may work on web design, branding, logo design or publication design.  These tasks will vary as the company’s needs change from month to month.  Often, if a company’s graphic design needs wane at some point in the year, a staffed graphic designer will be required to complete other tasks.  Graphic designers at large corporations have been known to complete data entry, answer phones, send mass e-mails, file documents, and many other tasks that have nothing to do with graphic design.  Understanding the company’s needs and expectations will prepare a graphic designer for his or her career.

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