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The graphic and interior design industries are multi-faceted and rife with job opportunities to match your skill set and background.

Why Get a Job in the Design Industry?

The graphic and interior design industries are multi-faceted and rife with job opportunities to match your skill set and background. Most positions will require at least a bachelor's degree and job experience related to the industry. Explore the numerous graphic and interior design professions below and consider how an education--whether traditional or through an online degree program--can help you prepare for the right career.

Graphic Design Industry
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, among the five design industries, graphic designers are expected to see the greatest increase in jobs through 2014. Many schools offer bachelor's degrees in any of these five main design industries and can assist you in securing internships within design firms.

Graphic Design Jobs: Graphic design jobs involve strong creative mobility and ease with computer Website design. A bachelor's degree is necessary to understand the art of graphic design and the marketplace, and formal instruction can aid you in honing your skills.

Graphic Design Artist in Newspaper or Magazine: Using your graphic design education and current software, you will create advertisements and visual media for publications. Training to become a graphic designer for newspapers or magazines usually begins with a bachelor's degree and 4 to 5 years of related work experience is necessary for job advancement.

The median salaries for newspaper or magazine graphic designers in major cities are: Los Angeles: $49,200; San Francisco: $51,400; Chicago: $47,000; Detroit: $48,200; Austin: $42,500; Philadelphia: $46,200; Boston: $48,600; New York: $51,500

Advertising Graphic Design Manager: An advertising management position requires skill in planning and designing websites, products, and signage for business advertising. About 4 to 6 years experience in addition to a bachelor's degree or related graphic design certification program is necessary for job advancement.

The median salary ranges are: Los Angeles: $99,000; San Francisco: $105,500; Chicago: $94,600; Detroit: $97,000; Austin: $85,700; Philadelphia: $93,100; Boston: $97,900; New York: $103,700

Animation and Video Entertainment: Animation and video entertainment graphic designers rely upon Website design and animation skills. A bachelor's degree and 4 to 6 years of interactive media experience is usually required for job advancement in this area of the industry.

The median salaries in major cities are: Los Angeles: $57,700; San Francisco: $60,300; Chicago: $55,100; Detroit: $56,500; Austin: $50,000; Philadelphia: $54,300; Boston: $57,100; New York: $60,400

CAD Graphic Designer: CAD graphic designers plan the graphics and layout of Web pages using computer-aided design. The training for this position involves basic computer-aided design savvy and a lot of innovation. Receiving your associate's degree or obtaining two years of relevant work experience is the minimum requirement.

Median salary ranges for an entry-level CAD designer by location are: Los Angeles: $44,600; San Francisco: $46,600; Chicago: $42,600: Detroit: $43,700; Austin: $38,600; Philadelphia: $41,900; Boston; $44,100; New York: $46,700

Freelance Graphic Design Consultant: As a freelance graphic design consultant, you have the flexibility to create your own schedule and be a bit more selective with regards to your clientele. You'll need a graphic design degree and at least 4 years experience to be a successful freelancer for advertising firms or companies. You should be up-to-date with recent design software and maintain a design portfolio to advance in this position.

The median salaries in major cities are: Los Angeles: $57,700; San Francisco: $60,300; Chicago: $55,100; Detroit: $56,500; Austin: $50,000; Philadelphia: $54,300; Boston: $57,100; New York: $60,400

Engineering Graphic Design: Engineering graphic designers assist in larger engineering and architecture projects with their CAD experience and several years of graphic design expertise. Projects such as building construction require a bachelor's degree and at least four years of experience with technology software.

The median salaries for engineering design are: Los Angeles: $48,600; San Francisco: $50,800; Chicago: $46,500; Detroit: $47,700; Austin: $42,100; Philadelphia: $45,700; Boston: $48,100; New York: $50,900

Interior Design Industry
Drawing upon artistic intuition, knowledge of color, texture, furniture, and lighting, interior designers occupy the fast-growing industry of home enhancement. Much like graphic designers, the ability to use CAD software is desirable for a range of projects.

Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design: Breaking into the interior design industry requires formal training, often through an interior design degree program, and obtaining a license after taking a national exam. After this, relevant work experience through an apprenticeship allows a designer to secure an interior design job.

In-Store Interior Designer: Many entry-level interior designers begin by working for an in-store design firm assisting clients as they pick out furniture and colors for their homes. This retail setting requires a bachelor's degree, an interior design license, and relevant work experience working with customers and managing sales.

The median salaries by location are: Los Angeles: $40,000; San Francisco: $41,800; Chicago: $38,200; Detroit: $39,200; Austin: $34,600; Philadelphia: $37,600; Boston: $39,600; New York: $41,900

Interior Designer: When you move into a more independent interior design role, you will be responsible for drafting design ideas and interpreting client needs. A bachelor's degree and 2 to 4 years experience with interior design codes and procedures are needed in this position.

The median salaries by location are: Los Angeles: $46,300; San Francisco: $48,400; Chicago: $44,300; Detroit: $45,400; Austin: $40,100; Philadelphia: $43,600; Boston: $45,800; New York: $48,500

Interior Design Manager: As an interior design manager you are responsible for supervising assistants with interior design projects, performing administrative tasks, and ordering products and furniture. A bachelor's degree and about four years experience is necessary along with an ability to work creatively and oversee multiple details.

The median salaries by location are: Los Angeles: $53,300; San Francisco: $55,700; Chicago: $51,000; Detroit: $52,300; Austin: $46,200; Philadelphia: $50,200; Boston: $52,800; New York: $55,900

Interior Consultant: Interior design consultants generally specialize in one facet of design, such as residential spaces, or they work with a specific clientele. This higher-level position affords greater independence and requires a bachelor's degree and an ability to work on projects of any size. Usually around eight years experience is needed to advance to this position.

Median salaries by location are: Los Angeles: $76,300; San Francisco: $79,700; Chicago: $72,900; Detroit: $74,700; Austin: $66,000; Philadelphia: $71,700; Boston: $75,400; New York: $79,800

Design Project Director: As a design director, you are responsible for developing the design criteria for interior projects, drafting design ideas, and interpreting client needs. A bachelor's degree, interior design degree and at least 6 years experience are necessary. Having an architect's license may also increase your career mobility.

The median salaries are: Los Angeles: $63,200; San Francisco: $66,000; Chicago: $60,300; Detroit: $61,900; Austin: $54,700; Philadelphia: $59,400; New York: $66,100

Independent Contractor/Art Director: When you work for a while as an interior designer, you will begin to understand the business and most likely will establish a clientele. An increased level of expertise may lead to owning your own interior design firm where you will manage other designers and oversee projects. This position requires a bachelor's degree and extensive management and administrative experience in the industry.

The median salaries by location are: Los Angeles: $113,400; San Francisco: $118,500; Chicago: $108,300; Detroit: $111,100; Austin: $98,100; Philadelphia: $106,600; New York: $118,700

Within all of the design industries, earning your related degree greatly increases your job opportunities. With many design houses specializing in particular projects or catering to specific clients, determining your area of interest as you pursue your bachelor's degree is recommended.

Interesting Links
Salary.com
U.S. Department of Labor, Interior Designers
U.S. Department of Labor, Graphic Designers

Vocational & Technical Schools by State

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