How to Become a Graphic Designer

how to become a graphic designer
how to become a graphic designer

In our digitally advanced world, graphic designers are becoming more necessary than ever before. Think about all the logos, packaging, and branding you come across on a daily basis. Modern businesses truly depend on graphic designers to help them make a good impression in the marketplace. If you’re a creative person with an eye for design, becoming a graphic designer might be the right path for you. For those who are interested, here’s how to become a graphic designer.

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic designers are responsible for taking ideas and turning them into visual concepts via computer software. They create a range of content in various materials – from brochures to advertisements to magazines to billboards and everything in between – striving to captivate their audience into buying a product or service. Graphic designers tend to be employed in marketing agencies, publishing firms, companies that offer virtual assistant services, and specialized design service companies. However, many graphics designers are self-employed.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Graphics Designer

While graphic designers spend a lot of time using computer software to create graphics, they have a lot of roles and responsibilities beyond the actual art itself. A typical day in the life of a graphic designer includes:

• Discussing budget, requirements, and timelines for any given project from a client.
• Determining the proper size and arrangement of illustrative material for designs.
• Managing proposals from the very beginning design phase all the way to print and production.
• Reviewing rough drafts and revising with edits and/or changes as requested from clients.
• Working with third-party vendors, such as printers, to ensure material is printed in a quality manner.

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Like any career, becoming a graphic designer takes some hard work and determination. If you’re seriously considering becoming a graphic designer, here’s a few steps to take:

1. Start with Your High School Diploma

While you’re attending high school, make sure you’re taking classes related to graphic design, such as art history, graphic arts, and various other art-related classes. You should also try to join extracurricular activities, such as producing the school yearbook, that will help prepare you for your career in graphic design. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure you achieve your high school diploma.

2. Earn a Degree

As graphic design becomes more competitive, it’s helpful to have a degree in the field. Sure, you’re able to find freelancing work without a degree, but having one will certainly give you a competitive edge. Typical coursework will cover:

• Web design
• Photography
• Principles of design
• Marketing and/or advertising

You can earn your degree online or at a school that offers graphic design courses. Be prepared to spend at a minimum, a few months, at a maximum, four years working towards your degree. Here are your options when it comes to earning a degree:

• An online certificate will often take a few months to a year to complete. This will be helpful if you are looking to freelance or start your own graphic design business.
• An associate’s degree will often require a two-year program, and if combined with an excellent, well-maintained portfolio, you will be able to find a career in graphic design.
• A bachelor’s degree will often require a four-year program with 120-180 credit hours of classes. You will have an advantage over those with an associate’s degree.
• A master’s degree will often require a two to three-year program to complete. Those who complete a master’s degree will have more opportunities for advancement in their career field.

3. Create a Portfolio

A portfolio, which is essentially a collection of previous work, is vital for any aspiring graphic designer. Make sure you’re collecting all your best work, and aside from having a physical copy, carry a digital copy on a flash drive or CD as well. Consider taking part in any internships offered through your college program. This will give you practical experience, work for your portfolio, and some professional relationships.

4. Gain Work Experience

Work experience is a crucial part of becoming a graphic designer, especially if you’ve decided not to pursue a degree of some sort. Look for entry-level artist or assistant positions that give you experience. You can also volunteer for local non-profit businesses or small organizations. Ask for letters of recommendation as payment.

Conclusion

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers earn a median annual wage of $48,700 (based on 2017 data). Graphic design employment is expected to grow 4% between now and 2026. It’s a great career, especially if you’re artistic and you enjoy being challenged with new tasks every day. Now that you know how to become a graphic designer, you can start taking the necessary steps to enter and be successful in this field.

15 High Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Four-Year College Degree

high paying jobs that don't require a college degree
high paying jobs that don't require a college degree

Having a four-year bachelor’s degree is the best way to get a high paying job. Yet, it’s undeniable that the high cost of a college education may be out of reach for some people. So what are your options? There are many high-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. You only need to have a high school diploma or a two-year associate’s degree to be eligible for the following jobs:

High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

15. Brick Masons

Average Annual Salary: $51,750
Requirement: High school diploma

Brick masons lay and bind building materials, especially brick, as well as concrete blocks, cinder blocks, and mortar. They can work for construction firms or start their own business.

14. Costume Attendants

Average Annual Salary: $52,870
Requirement: High school diploma

Costume attendants enjoy the glamor of stage and screen while earning good money. They are in high demand in urban areas such as New York and Los Angeles. The job involves selecting costumes and fitting cast members before and during a performance.

13. Catering Managers

Average Annual Salary: 53,640
Requirement: High school diploma

A career in the food services sector is fast-paced and fun. This job involves planning and directing catered food occasions. Be prepared to work weekends.

12. Gas Station Operators

Average Annual Salary: $57,000
Requirement: High school diploma

As of 2017, there are about 150,000 gas stations operating in the United States, so there’s still a considerable demand for gas station operators. This job requires familiarity with various fuel products. Knowledge of basic car repair is a big plus.

11. Real Estate Agents

Average Annual Salary: $58,000
Requirement: High school diploma

There are 1.3 million real estate agents in the US as of 2017. If you want this type of job, you should be familiar with home designs, real estate contracts, and sales. The more you know, the more houses you will sell.

10. Web Developers

Average Annual Salary: $66,130
Requirement: High school diploma

Creating and designing websites remain in high demand. High school education is enough to enter this field, although an associate’s degree would be helpful. You can either work for a company as a web developer, or become a freelancer and find clients online.

9. Casino Managers

Average Annual Salary: $69,000
Requirement: High school diploma

Working as a casino manager can be a pressure-packed job, as you will be dealing with money. You will start as a casino dealer and work your way up to a higher position.

8. Transportation Vehicle Inspectors

Average Annual Salary: $72,140
Requirement: High school diploma

Transportation inspectors check and monitor vehicle performance (sedans, vans, and trucks). While only a high education is required, you must have a background in vehicle repair and construction.

7. Dental Hygienists

Average Annual Salary: $74,070
Requirement: Associate’s degree

Working in this field is stable, thanks to the steady supply of patients who need dental treatments. This job involves cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and assisting a dentist.

6. Postmasters and Mail Superintendents

Average Annual Salary: $74,840
Requirement: High school diploma

Postmasters plan, direct, and coordinate operational, administrative, management, and support services of a post office. They also coordinate the activities of workers engaged in postal services and related work.

5. Commercial Pilots

Average Annual Salary: $78,740
Requirement: High school diploma

Commercial pilots must have at least a high school diploma. If you want to fly an airplane, you must undergo flight school training and earn a commercial pilot’s license from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

4. Elevator Installers and Repair Technicians

Average Annual Salary: $79,480
Requirement: High school education

There is a high demand for elevator installers and repair technicians, while there are only 22,000 professionals in this industry as of 2017. It is expected to grow at a rate of 12.1% through 2026, thanks to the increasing number of residential, commercial, and office buildings.

3. Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Average Annual Salary: $79,970
Requirement: High school diploma

This is a specialized line of work that requires patience, diligence, and keen intuition. The growth rate for this industry is 4.5%, meaning the demand is strong for detectives and criminal investigators.

2. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Average Annual Salary: $93,370
Requirement: High school diploma

A career in this field is easier to obtain than you might think. Obviously, you need to undergo training, but you don’t need to have a college degree to qualify. This job involves starting/stopping reactor equipment, monitoring/adjusting controls, and implementing emergency procedures if needed. Although this job pays well, it has a low demand since the use of nuclear power is not that widespread.

1. Air Traffic Controllers

Average Annual Salary: $96,980
Requirement: Associate’s degree

Air traffic controllers guide aircraft safely through the air and help them land on the ground with no mishaps. Training is necessary.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. Even if you’re only armed with a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, you can still land a job that will pay the bills and earn you a decent living. All that’s needed is a bit of training, perseverance, and most important of all, passion for your chosen career.