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Arts and Design Schools

According to the website for one school for the arts, "The revolution in electronic communications, multimedia and entertainment has created a growing need for highly skilled artists and designers." Graphic designers today not only work in print advertising and publications, but may also be involved in website design and development. Illustrators do not draw artwork only for books anymore: With computer technology, they can use their talents as interactive gaming illustrators.

Career specializations for artists and designers

Today's artists have a wide variety of career and employment options. They may work from home as freelancers or independent contractors or be employed on staff by large enterprises. But wherever they work, they typically must be able to play well with others and meet deadlines. Clients, art directors, publishers -- anyone you work for up and down the food chain -- has a vision of what the final product you work on should look like. You have to be wise enough to know when and how to accept their direction even if at times it conflicts with your own creative vision. Some of the most important skills you need as a commercial artist are not just creativity and talent -- they are the ability to adapt, change gears and have work completed on time.

Talented artists and designers who have these qualities often find careers in the following areas of specialization, which may overlap, making it possible to cross over from one area to another with some additional training:

Graphic and interactive design. Graphic artists, or communications designers as they are sometimes called, work in print or digital media to visually communicate ideas. They may design materials that include advertising and marketing brochures, logos, packaging, corporate reports and webpages. Combining art with the use of software, they lay out text and choose fonts, select and edit images to illustrate text, create images from data to convey statistical information in a visual format and incorporate design and decorative elements to give the work a finished and eye-catching appearance. Some of the sub-specialties that graphic designers might choose include these occupations:

  • Typography designer
  • Visual interface designer
  • Advertising designer
  • Logo/corporate identity designer
  • Web designer

Illustration. Some illustrators work in pen and ink and make drawings that are scanned to produce electronic images, but more and more illustrators are using computer technology to create digital images directly. They primarily make illustrations for books and other publications, advertising and animation. Various types of specialties that illustrators can choose from include the following:

  • Children's book illustrator
  • Medical, science, technical or nature illustrator
  • Book jacket illustrator
  • Police sketch artist and courtroom illustrator
  • Interactive gaming illustrator

Digital and multimedia arts. If being a part of the entertainment industry appeals to you, digital arts could be your field. Digital artists and illustrators work with 3D design, computer-generated images (CGI), graphic illustration and animation. Your skills could land you a job creating visual effects for movies, TV and video games. Computer animators must be team players who each contribute his or her part toward creating the final product. Occupations for digital artists include these:

  • Game designer
  • Concept artist
  • Animator
  • Storyboard illustrator
  • Production illustrator

Certifications and degrees for artists and designers

Talent and creativity do not guarantee an artist a paycheck. While some artists and designers can find work in their chosen field straight out of high school, few do. Many earn a bachelor's or even a master's degree in fine arts before looking for a job. The objective of any art training, however, should be the compilation of your portfolio -- or in the case of animation, a "reel" -- which showcases your creativity for prospective employers or clients. Earning a certificate from a vocational school may be one way to start the creation of your body of work, which is as important as a resume is to other occupations. Technical schools for arts and design offer certificates and include some of these courses in the following career tracks:

  • Graphic design -- basics of illustration and typography, color theory and Photoshop
  • Web design -- Web development, Internet systems architecture, JavaScript, graphic design for the Web
  • Illustration -- 2D design, drawing, various art surveys, portfolio development
  • Digital media -- digital media production, new media animation, video animation
  • Multimedia arts -- intro to motion, html and css essentials, Photoshop, video production, editing, After Effects
  • Game design and animation -- 3D graphics programming, game theory, design principles, character animation
  • Fine arts -- color theory, life drawing, painting, studio

Some vocational school programs allow you to add concentrations in other art specializations through an advanced certificate program.

Salary and job growth projections for arts and design careers

Employment growth for graphic designers, multimedia artists and fine artists such as illustrators is expected to be slower than average than for that of other occupations as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) for 2012-2022. Average wages for graphic designers nationwide was $49,610 as of May 2013, with the top-paying jobs in metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Multimedia artists averaged $72,400 with the highest-paying jobs concentrated in Los Angeles and San Francisco. California, New York and Florida employ the most fine artists, which includes illustrators, and their average salary was $50,900 nationwide; however, those illustrators employed in the video and motion picture industries averaged $68,630.

If you have a passion for art and your heart is set on a career in design, pursuing a certificate or degree from a technical or vocational school could be the first step.

Sources:

Careers in the Arts, Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development, http://www.mica.edu/Documents/Career%20Services/Careers%20for%20Visual%20Artists11.pdf

Craft and Fine Artists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm

Digital Media Production Certificate Program, Emerson College, http://www.emerson.edu/academics/professional-studies/certificate-programs/digital-media-production

Fine Artists, including Illustrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271013.htm

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm

Graphic Design Certificate Programs, Sessions College for Professional Design, http://www.sessions.edu/certificate-programs/graphic-design-certificate?utm_expid=10211580-17.1UF9IpjwRSKVHI5jZzybvw.1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sessions.edu%2Fcertificate-programs%2Ffine-arts

Illustration Certificate, Prince George's Community College, https://www.pgcc.edu/Programs_and_Courses/Program_Detail.aspx?programID=6442462312

Multimedia Artists and Animators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271014.htm

Multimedia Artists and Animators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm

Multimedia Arts Professional Certificate, Sessions College for Professional Design, http://www.sessions.edu/certificate-programs/multimedia-arts

Online Game Design and Animation Certificate, Post University, http://www.post.edu/online/degrees/game-design-certificate/

Parsons Certificate Programs, Fine Arts and Foundation, http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/fine-arts-foundation-certificate-programs/

Temple University, About Tyler School of Art, http://tyler.temple.edu/careers-visual-arts

Web Design and Development Certificate Courses, UC Irvine Extension, http://unex.uci.edu/areas/it/web/courses.aspx

Arts and Design Schools
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At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.

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Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

Mesa: 1620 South Stapley Drive Mesa, AZ 85204

Los Angeles: 14320 Firestone Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

San Bernardino: 451 E. Vanderbilt Way Suite 100 San Bernardino, CA 92408

Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

San Marcos: 277 Rancheros Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

Colorado Springs: 2 North Cascade Avenue Suite 100 Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

El Centro: 3095 N. Imperial Avenue Suite 101 El Centro, CA 92243

Palm Desert: 75153 Merle Dr. Palm Desert, CA 92211

Costa Mesa: 3150 Bristol Street, Suite 100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Gardena: 1515 W. 190th Gardena, CA 90248

Diamond Bar: 1370 S. Valley Vista Dr. Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Lancaster: 1220 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

Online: Online, MO

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs : Graphic Design (AS), Design & Technical Graphics (BS), Illustration (BS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Tucson: 5099 E. Grant Rd. Suite 100 Tucson, AZ 85712

Houston: 10740 North Gessner Drive, Suite 190 Houston, TX 77064

Sacramento: 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

San Bernardino: 674 East Brier Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

Durham: 410 Blackwell St. Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

San Diego: 7650 Mission Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92108

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

San Antonio: 1000 IH - 10 West Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78230

Draper: 121 West Election Road Suite 100 Draper, UT 84020

Fort Lauderdale: 1799 S.E. 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

Virginia Beach: 4500 Main Street Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23462

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

Santa Monica: 2900 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Santa Ana: 3601 West Sunflower Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704

York: Formerly Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts 1409 Williams Road York, PA 17402

Sterling: 21000 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20166

Portland: 1122 N.W. Davis Street Portland, OR 97209

Austin: 101 W. Louis Henna Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78728

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Tampa: Parkside at Tampa Bay Park 4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33614

Indianapolis: 3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 1010 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Milwaukee: 320 East Buffalo Street Suite 100 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Cincinnati: 8845 Governors Hill Drive Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45249

Nashville: 100 Centerview Dr. Suite 250 Nashville, TN 37214

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Fort Worth: 7000 Calmont Avenue Suite 150 Fort Worth, TX 76116

Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.

Programs : Graphic Design (BS), Graphic Design (AS), 3D Animation (C), and more..

Campus Locations :

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Further your education and strengthen your skill set at Rasmussen College

Programs : Graphic Design Associates - Web and Interactive Design Specialization, Graphic Design Bachelors - Animation and Motion Graphics Specialization, Graphic Design Bachelors - Web and Interactive Design Specialization, and more..

Campus Locations :

Bismarck: 1701 E. Century Ave. Bismarck, ND 58503

Appleton: 3500 E. Destination Drive Suite 100 Appleton, WI 54915

Wausau: 1101 Westwood Drive Wausau, WI 54401

Saint Cloud: 226 Park Avenue South Saint Cloud, MN 56301

Minneapolis: 4400 West 78th Street 6th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55435

Lutz: 18600 Fernview Street Lutz, FL 33558

Romeoville: 1400 W. Normantown Road Romeoville, IL 60446

Topeka: 620 SW Governor View Topeka, KS 66606

Moorhead: 1250 29th Avenue South Moorhead, MN 56560

Fargo: 4012 19th Avenue SW Fargo, ND 58103

Tampa: 4042 Park Oaks Blvd Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33610

Lake Elmo: 8565 Eagle Point Circle Lake Elmo, MN 55042

Mankato: 501 Holly Lane Mankato, MN 56001

Mokena: 8650 West Spring Lake Road Mokena, IL 60448

Green Bay: 904 South Taylor St. Suite 100 Green Bay, WI 54303

Ocala: 2100 SW 22nd Place Ocala, FL 34471

Circle Pines: 3629 95th Avenue Northeast Circle Pines, MN 55014

Fort Myers: 9160 Forum Corporate Parkway Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33905

New Port Richey: 8661 Citizens Drive New Port Richey, FL 34654

: 3500 Federal Drive , MN 55122

Aurora: 2363 Sequoia Dr. Aurora, IL 60506

Rockford: 6000 E State St 4th Floor Rockford, IL 61108

We're with you, from start to finish.

Programs : Associate - Web Graphic Design, Associate - Web Graphic Design, Bachelor's - Multimedia Design and Development, and more..

Campus Locations :

Chicago: Chicago, IL

Louisville: 10172 Linn Station Rd. Ste. 300 Louisville, KY 40223

Alhambra: 1000 S. Fremont Ave. Alhambra, CA 91803

Sherman Oaks: 15301 Ventura Blvd B-100 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Oakland: 505 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612

Tampa: 6700 Lakeview Center Drive Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33619

Phoenix: 2149 W. Dunlap Phoenix, AZ 85021

Denver: 1870 W. 122nd Ave. Denver, CO 80234

King of Prussia: 150 Allendale Road Suite 3250 King of Prussia, PA 19406

Houston: 11125 Equity Drive Houston, TX 77041

Kansas City: 11224 Holmes Rd. Kansas City, MO 64131

Cherry Hill: 921 Haddonfield Road Ste. D Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Manassas: 10432 Balls Ford Road Suite 150 Manassas, VA 20109

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

Fort Lauderdale: 600 Corporate Dr. Suite 200 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Saint Louis: 11830 Westline Industrial Dr. Suite 550 Saint Louis, MO 63146

Merrillville: 1000 East 80th Place Ste. 222 Mall Merrillville, IN 46410

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

New York: 180 Madison Ave. Suite 900 New York, NY 10016

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

Dayton: 3610 Pentagon Blvd. Ste. 100 Dayton, OH 45431

Pittsburgh: 210 Sixth Ave. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222

San Antonio: 1919 NW Loop 410 Suite 150 San Antonio, TX 78213

Naperville: 2056 Westings Ave. Suite 40 Naperville, IL 60563

Englewood: 6312 S. Fiddlers Green Cr. Suite 150E Englewood, CO 80111

Hollywood: 14700 Caribbean Way Hollywood, FL 33027

Fremont: 6600 Dumbarton Circle Fremont, CA 94555

Anaheim: 1900 S. State College Blvd. Suite 150 Anaheim, CA 92806

Tinley Park: 18624 West Creek Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Downers Grove: Highland Landmark V 3005 Highland Pkwy. Ste. 100 Downers Grove, IL 60515

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

Cincinnati: 8800 Governor's Hill Drive Cincinnati, OH 45249

Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

Mesa: 1201 South Alma School Road Suite 5450 Mesa, AZ 85210

Rego Park: 99-21 Queens Blvd. Rego Park, NY 11374

Duluth: 3505 Koger Blvd. Suite 170 Duluth, GA 30096

Independence: 6000 Lombardo Center Suite 200 Independence, OH 44131

Oklahoma City: 4013 Northwest Expressway Suite 100 Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

Fresno: 7575 North Fresno St. Suite 575 Fresno, CA 93720

Elgin: Randall Point 2250 Point Blvd. Suite 250 Elgin, IL 60123

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

San Diego: 2655 Camino Del Rio North Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92108

Sandy: 9350 S. 150 E. Suite 420 Sandy, UT 84070

Glendale: 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. Ste. 104 Glendale, AZ 85305

Jacksonville: 5200 Belfort Road Ste. 175 Jacksonville, FL 32256

Indianapolis: 9100 Keystone Crossing Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46240

Henderson: 2490 Paseo Verde Parkway Suite 150 Henderson, NV 89074

Philadelphia: 1800 JFK Blvd Suite 104 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Nashville: 3343 Perimeter Hill Drive Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37211

Colorado Springs: 1175 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Lynnwood: Redstone Corporate Center, 19020 33rd Ave W, Ste Lynnwood, WA 98036

Charlotte: 2015 Ayrsley Town Blvd. Suite 109 Charlotte, NC 28273

Milwaukee: 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. Ste 300 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Minneapolis: 7700 France Ave. S. Ste. 575 Minneapolis, MN 55435

Atlanta: 100 Galleria Parkway SE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30339

Long Beach: 3880 Kilroy Airport Way Long Beach, CA 90806

Southfield: 26999 Central Park Blvd. Suite 125 Southfield, MI 48076

Portland: 9755 SW Barnes Road Peterkort Center II Portland, OR 97225

Bakersfield: 3000 Ming Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93304

Fort Worth: City Center Tower II, 301 Commerce Street Suite 2000 Fort Worth, TX 76102

Morrisville: 1600 Perimeter Park Drive Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560

Auburn: 3600 S 344th Way 0 Auburn, WA 98001

Decatur: One West Court Square Ste 100 Decatur, GA 30030

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

Paramus: 35 Plaza Professional Center 81 Rte. 4 W. Ste. 102 Paramus, NJ 07652

Oxnard: 300 E. Esplanade Dr., Suite 100, Oxnard, CA 93036

Gurnee: 1075 Tri-State Pkwy. Ste. 800 Gurnee, IL 60031

San Jose: 2160 Lundy Ave. Suite 250 San Jose, CA 95131

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

Fort Washington: 1140 Virginia Dr. Fort Washington, PA 19034

Chesapeake: 1317 Executive Blvd. Suite 100 Chesapeake, VA 23320

North Brunswick: 630 US Highway One North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Palmdale: One 39115 Trade Center Dr. Ste. 100 Palmdale, CA 93551

Irving: 4800 Regent Blvd. Irving, TX 75063

Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

Programs : Multimedia Specialist, and more..

Campus Locations :

Orange: 3745 W. Chapman Avenue Orange, CA 92868

New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical college offering over 30 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs.

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Graphics, Multimedia and Web Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

East Greenwich: One New England Tech Boulevard East Greenwich, RI 02818

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Programs : Digital Graphics & Multimedia Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

Sanford-Brown can help prepare you for a rewarding career in health and dental care, business, paralegal, criminal justice, Design & Media Arts or information technology.

Programs : Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications: Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Seattle: 625 Andover Park West Seattle, WA 98188

Saint Paul: 1345 Mendota Heights Rd. Saint Paul, MN 55120

Set your career in motion at Virginia College.

Programs : BAC-3D Imaging & Animation, and more..

Campus Locations :

Huntsville: 2021 Drake Ave. SW Huntsville, AL 35801

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