Career Profile: Graphic Designer

Career Profile: Graphic Designer

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Hobbies can be fun and relaxing, but sometimes they can be more. Do you enjoy drawing and being creative? If so, you might want to turn your interest into a career. Graphic designers use their skills and creativity to make books, websites, and other documents more interesting and informative.

Basically, a job in graphic design involves working with the visual aspects of documents, whether online or in print. Graphic designers might work with diagrams in technical documents, photographs and illustrations for brochures, and covers for books. Some of them design websites or business logos. Others work with publishers in designing the layout of books and magazines to ensure a good balance of text, illustrations, and blank space.

Becoming a graphic designer involves both skill and education. Community colleges and trade schools offer courses in graphic design, where people can study for one or two years to earn a certificate. Universities also offer degrees in Fine Arts which can help improve people’s chances of getting a good job. A good website to check for information on specific programs is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Through their studies, students learn how to improve their drawing skills and to use the different tools that are available for their work. They also learn other skills. One of the most important qualities in graphic design, as in most other jobs, is the ability to solve problems. The problems might be fairly easy, such as finding an illustration for a cookbook. At times, they could be much harder, such as trying to fit a large amount of text into a small space. Sometimes graphic designers might need to work with other people, such as editors, to solve these problems. Knowing how to resolve the problems they encounter will help graphic designers become better at their jobs and help them succeed.

Some graphic designers get full-time jobs with magazines or other publications. Depending on the size and type of magazine, graphic designers can make between about $34,000 and $54,000 per year, not including extra benefits like money for travel or further education. This type of work can sometimes be stressful because of tight publication deadlines. However, the stability of this kind of work can be worth the busy schedule.

Freelancers make up about a third of Canada’s graphic designers. They might work for several different companies at once or they might work on one project at a time for several months. Even before one project is over, they need to start looking for a new one. This gives them a lot of flexibility in their work, but it also means that they frequently need their problem-solving skills for finding new jobs. For people who enjoy variety and who don’t mind some insecurity, this can be a good option.

Would you like to work at making documents easier to use and understand? If so, you might want to consider a career in graphic design.

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