If you love to draw or paint, a vast range of jobs is open to you--with help from one of the many graphic design schools. With training, you'll learn to use various media--print, electronic, and video or film--to create art used for books, newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and even type fonts and textiles. Regardless of the intended use of your art, your work may increasingly be done on a computer rather than on paper.
Most graphic design schools include courses and classes in studio art, design principles, printing, computer design, Web site design, and producing commercial graphics. A four-year liberal arts degree may also include courses in art history, writing, a foreign language, marketing, and business. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 250 schools that provide training in art and design leading to a degree, certificate, or diploma.
The graphic design field is growing about as fast as the U.S. job market in general. In 2006, there were 261,000 graphic designers in the U.S., and between 2006 and 2016 about 26,000 more should be added, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median annual salary of graphic designers in 2008 was $42,400. The highest-paid graphic designers work full-time in design or advertising agencies or for newspaper or book publishers. About 25 percent are self-employed full- or part-time, and may hold a second job in or out of the graphic design field.
To land a lucrative position in graphic design, prepare yourself by earning at least a bachelor's degree, becoming an expert at computer design, and gaining a strong understanding of management and marketing. Classes at one of the many accredited graphic design schools can earn you a diploma or certificate and, ultimately, a degree that can help you design the career you've always dreamed of.
Jane Greer writes and teaches writing at a lovely community college.
Graphic Designers 0000-00-00 http://www.bls.gov http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos090.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008--Graphic Designers 0000-00-00 http://www.bls.gov http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics