RWM Site Logo

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
Matching School Ads

At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.

Programs : BS in Communication/Journalism, A.A. in Information Technology/Web Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

Lancaster: 1220 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

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

Phoenix: 2550 W. Union Hills Drive Phoenix, AZ 85027

Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

Mesa: 1620 South Stapley Drive Mesa, AZ 85204

Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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

San Diego: 3870 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 310 San Diego, CA 92123

San Marcos: 277 Rancheros Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

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

Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

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

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

Gardena: 1515 W. 190th Gardena, CA 90248

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

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

Online: Online, MO

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create. Please Call 855-816-4001 to speak to a customer representative.

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

Campus Locations :

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

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

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

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

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

Miami: 1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100 Miami, FL 33132

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

Novi: 28125 Cabot Drive Suite 120 Novi, MI 48377

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Houston: River Oaks Plaza 4140 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77027

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

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Brookline: 10 Brookline Place West Brookline, MA 02445

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

Jacksonville: 8775 Baypine Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Troy: 1414 East Maple Road, Suite 150 Troy, MI 48083

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

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

Philadelphia: 1622 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

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

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Decatur: One West Court Square Suite 110 Decatur, GA 30030

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

Chicago: 350 N. Orleans Street Chicago, IL 60654

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Arlington: 1820 North Fort Myer Drive Arlington, VA 22209

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

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

New York: 218-232 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018

Schaumburg: 1000 N. Plaza Drive, Suite 100 Schaumburg, IL 60173

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

Atlanta: 6600 Peach Tree Dunwoody Road, NE 100 Embassy Row Atlanta, GA 30328

Charlotte: Three LakePointe Plaza 2110 Water Ridge Parkway Charlotte, NC 28217

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Saint Charles: 1520 South Fifth Street Suite 107 St. Charles Saint Charles, MO 63303

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

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

Get hands-on training with Remington College.

Programs : AAA in Digital Graphic Arts, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fort Worth: 300 East Loop 820 Fort Worth, TX 76112

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

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

Fremont: 6600 Dumbarton Circle Fremont, CA 94555

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

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

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

Kansas City: 1100 Main St. Suite 118 Kansas City, MO 64105

Houston: 2000 West Loop South Suite 150 Houston, TX 77027

Bakersfield: 3000 Ming Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93304

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

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

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

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

Hollywood: 14700 Caribbean Way Hollywood, FL 33027

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independence: 6000 Lombardo Center Suite 200 Independence, OH 44131

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

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

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

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

Oakland: 505 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612

Indianapolis: 9100 Keystone Crossing Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46240

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

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

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

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

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

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

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

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

Irving: 4800 Regent Blvd. Irving, TX 75063

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

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

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

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

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

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

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

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

Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

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

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

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

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

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

Philadelphia: 1800 JFK Blvd Suite 104 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

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

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

Tampa: 3030 North Rocky Point Drive West Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33607

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

Phoenix: 2149 W. Dunlap Phoenix, AZ 85021

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

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

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

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

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

Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

Programs : Multimedia Specialist, and more..

Campus Locations :

Orange: 3745 W. Chapman Avenue Orange, CA 92868

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Video Game Design, Photography, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , PA 94404

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

Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures. Please call 1-855-816-4009 or fill out the form!

Programs : Graphic Design (A), and more..

Campus Locations :

Atlanta: 2309 Parklake Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30345

Denver: 7350 North Broadway Denver, CO 80221

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 Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science in Animation Technology, and more..

Campus Locations :

Seattle: 625 Andover Park West Seattle, WA 98188

San Antonio: 4511 Horizon Hill Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78229

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

Matching School Ads
Arts & Design Vocational & Trade Schools by State
Arts & Design Vocational & Trade Schools by Canadian Province

Related Articles