Advertising Designer: Job Description and Education Requirements

Oct 02, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an advertising designer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and career outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

From billboards to newspapers to websites, advertising is something people are exposed to almost every day. Advertising designers are the people who create advertising campaigns that are intended to get consumers to buy the ad's featured product. Their role involves researching what is effective for reaching their target customers, and developing advertising strategies that can increase sales.

Essential Information

Advertising designers are in charge of developing appropriate ideas and advertisements for a company, organization or agency. Most advertising designers have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field such as graphic design. Developing a professional portfolio to showcase their design work is crucial for advertising designers seeking employment.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Portfolio, optional certification
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 3% for all graphic designers
Median Salary (2018)* $50,370 annually for all graphic designers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for an Advertising Designer

An advertising designer works with an agency, group, firm or organization to produce effective campaigns for ads. They work closely with clients and companies to convey a message using type, photography, illustration and color. An advertising designer may choose to work within several media, such as in print or Web. They research trends to see what works for customers. Ad designers must have a keen eye for details and a creative mind. They are required to adhere to strict deadlines and may be required to work irregular hours.

Job Duties

Ad designers are typically responsible for planning a new project or ad campaign. They must create eye-catching advertisements or a memorable theme. Advertising designers edit and manipulate ad presentation according to client specifications. They must be able to communicate with management or clients in order to determine the appropriate direction of a project. Advertising designers may be required to sketch several layouts for customers.

Salary and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes advertising designers within the larger category of graphic designers when reporting salary and employment growth. As of May 2018, the median salary of all graphic designers was $50,370, according to the BLS. Between 2018 and 2028, employment for graphic designers could grow by 3%, the BLS predicted.

Educational Requirements for Ad Designers

The BLS stated that graphic designers, including advertising designers, typically hold a bachelor's degree. However, some entry-level assistant designer positions can be gained through the completion of a certificate or associate's degree in graphic or advertising design. Advertising designers seeking management or advanced positions in the field may find master's degree programs. Programs and courses in advertising design are available through community colleges and universities.

Program Curriculum

Within the program, prospective designers will complete coursework in design communication, typography, composition, drawing, digital publishing, digital imaging and illustration. Students will also delve into graphics software applications, such as Adobe Photoshop. They may also complete an internship to gain hands-on experience in the field. Programs typically culminate in the completion of a portfolio of designs, websites and animations to demonstrate proficiency to prospective employers.

Advertising designers may be able to begin a career in this field with a certificate or associate's degree in graphic or advertising design; however, a bachelor's degree is preferred and may increase job prospects for those pursuing work in this field. Creativity and artistic ability is essential, and aspiring advertising designers need to develop a portfolio of their work to appeal to potential employers.

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