2d Design Professional: Information About a Career in 2d Design

Learn about a career as a 2d design professional. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

Career Definition for a 2D Design Professional

A 2d design professional draws 2-dimensional, or flat, images used in mechanical drawings, electrical engineering projects, video games, animation, clothing construction and architecture. Professionals working in 2d design use a combination of drawing skills and computer-aided drafting technology to create images for plans, brochures, websites and other products. They may meet with clients to determine design specifications, draw images, layout designs, interact with artists and photographers, work with writers to incorporate text and oversee printing processes used to complete a project. Some 2d design professionals work as independent contractors; other possible employers include engineering firms, municipal planning agencies, power plants, graphic design companies, animation studios and video game developers.

While the majority of 2d design professionals work full time, they may occasionally put in long hours to meet deadlines. They typically work in offices or studios with the necessary drafting and software equipment. These professionals may collaborate with a team. On the other hand, self-employed 2d design professionals often work from home, complete projects independently and arrange their schedules around clients' needs. They may spend time marketing their services or bidding on contracts.

Education Associate degree in drafting for technical drawing, bachelor's degree needed for creative positions
Job Skills Artistic drawing, meeting deadlines, sense of symmetry, human interaction
Median Salary (2018) $50,370 for graphic designers
Job Growth (2016-2026) 4% for graphic designers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Many 2d designers earn an associate degree in computer-aided design and drafting if they want a technical drawing position; those who want creative positions usually must hold a bachelor's degree. For design professionals working in a technical field, such as engineering or structural design, employers may require additional coursework in a related discipline. Relevant courses for people in this field include principles of design, computerized design, studio art, printing techniques, graphics production and website design. Students can also use this time to build a professional portfolio, which is required by most employers. Additionally, 2d professionals need to regularly update their skills by staying up to date with new design software.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 2d design professionals, such as graphic designers, must have the following qualities:

  • Artistic drawing abilities and technical knowledge of computer-aided design and drafting programs, such as AutoCAD
  • Good sense of symmetry, design, balance and space in creating mechanical drawings
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Successful interaction with clients and coworkers

Employment and Salary Outlook

Graphic design professionals, such as 2d designers, should experience minimal job growth, with employment projected to increase 4% from 2016-2026, according to the BLS. The best job prospects should be for 2d professionals who work in computer systems design and specialized design services. Competition is often high for design positions; candidates with formal training and digital media skills may have an advantage. In 2018, the BLS reported median annual earnings of $50,370 for graphic designers.


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