Do you want to work as a graphic designer?
- Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
- Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
- If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential designers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 8 October 2020
1. What is a Graphic Designer?
A graphic designer combines art and technology to communicate concepts that inspire, inform, or entertain.
2. What do they do?
Art & Design / Business
The primary focus of Graphic Designers is to create an image by combining different design methods (including computer software), different letter fonts (typefaces), photos and even videos. They develop the overall layout and production design with both text and images.
- Discuss brief with clients
- Develop a storyboard to help the idea
- Prepare concept drawings
- Selecting photos and typefaces, and developing layouts
- Presentation to clients of work done
- Create and add new work to a portfolio
- Administration and filing
Where they work:
Graphic designers generally work in studios where they have access to drafting tables, computers, and the software necessary to create their designs. They may spend some time in the outdoors, studying and taking photos of the animals they need to draw or use in the designs.
Places of Employment –
Most graphic designers work for established businesses, including magazines, advertising and marketing agencies, universities and more. Some graphic designers do work privately, under contract for various clients.
Most graphic designers can earn an annual salary of around US$47,000. This will differ from country to country, and whether the designer is employed full time or is self employed.
Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience. First year practitioners often begin on a part-time basis, fitting their training commitments around other work demands. Promotion to senior levels are available in all related careers. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:
Intern > Junior Designer > Senior Designer > Supervisor
Graphic designers may work long hours and over weekends and holidays to finish work within tight deadlines.
Future Growth and Possibilities:
The growth of graphic designers is good (around 5% per year) with a lot of competition, although the market in digital (online) graphic designing has definitely shown a very good growth.
3. Which Skills are required?
The skills required for a career as a graphic designer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Creativity and artistic skills
- Excellent drawing ability
- Fine eye for detail
- Strong visualization skills
- A good business sense
4. Which Subjects must I have at School?
The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!
5. What will I need to Study?
The minimum requirements for a graphic designer job is a High School Diploma/ Certificate, plus a good college diploma in graphic design. Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in graphic design may make it easier to land your first job, but a degree isn’t required if you’re a talented designer.
A good background in drawing is essential, so be sure to perfect your doodling and sketching skills. Focus on skills that strengthen language, communications and computer software. There are a lot of good Short Courses that would add to skills.
The duration of a college course could be anything between one or three years. Bachelor’s Degrees are generally 3 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.
Possible Career Preparation Paths:
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.
Why is planning important?
To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
Possible Combined Career Paths:
It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.
Stepping Stone Career:
Being a graphic designer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).
You can begin as an intern designer after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.
Some of the possible paths:
Training and apprenticeship:
Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.
Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert.
Join the Graphic Designer Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!
Average entry level of education across the career:
6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations
Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.
Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.
Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.
7. Where can I study further?
All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.
See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards graphic design.
8. Join the OZT community
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a graphic designer.
Members of the Platform have special access to:
- Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
- Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
- Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being a Graphic Designer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.
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