Become a Graphic Design Instructor: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Graphic design instructors provide aspiring designers with the necessary education to turn their craft into a career. The following article discusses what it takes to become a graphic design instructor. View article »

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  • 0:01 Becoming a Graphic…
  • 1:20 Step 1: Get a Degree
  • 1:49 Step 2: Become Licensed
  • 2:08 Step 3: Gain Experience

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Video Transcript

Becoming a Graphic Design Instructor

Degree Level Bachelor's; master's for postsecondary teaching positions
Degree Field Graphic design
Licensure License required in all states to teach in public schools
Salary $65,340 (2015 median for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Graphic designers plan and design visual creations in print and electronic media, using aids such as illustrations, color, animation, photography, and special layout methods. They also contribute to promotional displays and marketing advertisements.

Individuals who already have postsecondary degrees in art, along with experience in graphic design, may be able to find employment as graphic design instructors for adult students without further training. Candidates who want to teach children or adolescents, or lack education or experience should apply to accredited schools that offer graphic design or art programs. Another route for aspiring graphic design instructors is to enroll in a teacher's education program and major in art.

At a minimum, graphic design instructors need a bachelor's degree in graphic design, though a master's is needed for college or university level positions. For those hoping to teach in middle or high school, licensure is required at the state level.

As of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers, including graphic design instructors, earned a median wage of $65,340.

Step 1: Get a Degree

To become a graphic design instructor, an individual must have at least a bachelor's degree, usually in graphic design. In some cases, such as for teaching positions at a college or university, an interested candidate must complete a master's degree program in graphic design. In addition to seminars and workshops, course topics may include digital design, visual basic, photography techniques, interactive design and development, marketing and visualization.

Step 2: Become Licensed

Individuals who choose to enroll in a teacher's education program are required to be licensed before they can teach in middle and secondary schools. This is a requirement in all 50 states. To obtain licensure, they must complete an approved training program beyond their degree requirements. They may also have to pass a competency test.

Step 3: Gain Experience

Although internships may be voluntary, they are recommended to give students hands-on experience. With continued education and experience, graphic designer instructors can advance to supervisory or management positions.

Graphic design instructors instruct students in graphic art techniques and skills. Some positions may require instructors to only have a bachelor's degree but higher level courses or working with children will require additional schooling.

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