Graphic Advertisement Careers: Options and Requirements

Degrees in graphic advertisement typically cover design, production and art-related topics. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for graphic advertisement graduates.

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Many professionals work in the field of graphic advertising. Graphic designers create visual images that can be used for advertisements. Art directors organize the material that's being used for a print or TV ad, and advertising, promotions and marketing managers develop marketing strategies to reach their ideal audience with their advertisements.

Essential Information

Most prospective graphic advertisement candidates seek an undergraduate degree in art or graphic design. Through these degree programs, students may learn about illustration, visual communication, computer imaging and other related topics. Internship programs, which may be part of the degree program, are beneficial for obtaining hands-on experience in the individual's field of choice.

Career Title Graphic Designer Art Director Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Manager
Education requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 3% 1% 8%
Median Salary (2018)* $134,290 $134,290 $117,130 for advertising and promotions managers; $134,290 for marketing managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Graphic advertisers, typically considered graphic designers, may choose to become freelance consultants or work in advertising agencies. Television and print media are also popular options for graphic designers. There are even individual organizations such as football teams and museums who hire full-time graphic artists and advertisers. Some graphic advertisers, with enough experience, go on to become advertising directors, chief designers or creative directors.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers target specific audiences by creating visual images either in print or other forms of media. Most prospective graphic designers seek a bachelor's degree in graphic art or a similar field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted to increase slower than the average from 2018-2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $85,760 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $29,610 or less per year.

Art Director

Job duties for an art director include organizing the layout for print media or styling the visual aspects for television or movie production. They may also work directly with other artists to design and organize visual images. A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is most valuable for these professionals, and they may choose to major in graphic arts, photography or a similar field. The BLS predicted a minimal or no change in growth for art directors from 2018-2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $85,760 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $29,610 or less per year.

Advertising, Promotions or Marketing Manager

Managers in the advertising, promotions or marketing fields are responsible for strategically reaching consumers through media forms such as radio, television, print and online outlets. They can provide input regarding the layouts of advertisements, often working directly with artists and designers. A bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising or an art-related field is the standard requirement for these positions. The BLS predicted that jobs for these professionals should increase faster than the average during the 2018-2028 decade. In 2018, the mean annual income for managers in advertising and promotions was $133,090, while marketing managers earned a mean of $147,240.

Graphic Advertising Career Requirements

Education

Graphic designers work with a myriad of media bases. Getting an undergraduate degree in graphic design or art will teach a student typography, photography, illustration and video production. Other coursework includes persuasive writing, physical science for design, copywriting, art history, drawing, painting, visual communication and computer imaging.

Within the programs, students learn how to turn an idea into a consumer targeted production using various forms of imagery while putting together a portfolio that stands out to potential employers. Some schools have programs that allow students to work with seasoned professionals in the advertising industry, giving them an opportunity to learn what may make or break a campaign in the professional arena.

Experience

An excellent way for a potential graphic advertiser to gain experience is through an internship program. Some of the more advanced schools offer such internships through industry and community connections, while other internship opportunities can be found through art societies or outlets. Students can find internship opportunities that offer course credit, as well as paid and unpaid programs.

Imagination

Those working in graphic advertising, more than almost any other professional, are required to be able to think outside the box. The livelihood and marketability of these artists depends on their ability to bring the client something new that will catch the public eye. In larger firms, they may have gigantic production budgets, but as they begin a new career, there is a greater chance that the artist may start out with smaller clients.

A bachelor's degree is usually required to begin a career in graphic advertisement. Graphic designers and art directors typically pursue studies in graphic arts or art. Those interested in working as an advertising, promotions or marketing manager may opt to study advertising or marketing.

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