Graphic Design Production Career: Job Description & Info

Graphic design production is a broad term that may refer to the responsibilities of commercial artists, graphic designers, or website designers. Continue reading to learn more about education requirements and recommended skills, as well as the job outlook and salary potential for graphic design professionals.

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Career Definition for a Graphic Design Producer

An individual who performs graphic design production, typically graphic designers, will assist in the design, production, and release of printed materials for businesses. They work with other designers and artists to set production timelines and produce printed materials. Graphic designers will meet with clients, create images or illustrations, determine the message behind the design, select colors and text, and create websites. Graphic designers usually design for catalogs, magazines, newspapers, and direct mail literature. They may also work for computer systems design services or Web design companies.

Required Education Certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree
Required Skills Computer skills, creativity, time management and the ability to balance multiple projects
Career Outlook (2016 to 2026)* 4% growth for graphic designers
Mean Annual Salary (2017)* $53,280 for graphic designers

*Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers require a bachelor's degree for an entry-level career in graphic design production (www.bls.gov). However, an associate's degree or equivalent certificate may also be acceptable. Degrees most often associated with graphic design production include graphic, visual, or commercial art. Courses for these degrees can include digital imaging, graphic illustration, and Web design. Depending on the degree program, completion of all courses needed for the degree can take up to four years. In addition to coursework, students may complete hands-on experiences, as well as create a portfolio of work that can be shown to prospective employers.

Skills Required

If you are technical, computer-savvy, and creative, then a career in graphic design production may be right for you. Individuals in this career will need to know how to manage time, prioritize assignments, and be able to complete multiple projects.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the BLS, the mean annual salary of a graphic designer working in May 2017 was $53,280. Graphic designers nationwide will experience a slower-than-average employment growth of 4% from 2016 to 2026. More job opportunities may be found in media-concentrated regions, such as Los Angeles or New York.

Alternate Career Options

Other career options include:

Art Directors

The work of an art director is similar to that of a graphic designer or production specialist in that it involves overseeing the images, layouts, and text associated with printed materials. Art directors may also work on commercials, films, or television productions. Completion of a bachelor's degree program and approximately five years of professional experience in a related field, such as graphic design, are the usual requirements for obtaining a position.

Employment opportunities for art directors across the country are expected to increase by just 5% between 2016 and 2026, an average rate, according to the BLS. As of May 2017, art directors earned mean annual wages of $103,510. During the same month, the highest-paying states, as well as those with the highest levels of employment, included California and New York (www.bls.gov).

Printing Workers

Printing specialists, such as pre-press technicians, press operators, or binding and finishing workers, prepare and produce items for publication. Their responsibilities can include adjusting color settings, assembling pages, and maintaining equipment. While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for obtaining a position as a binding and finishing worker or press operator, pre-press technicians usually hold an associate's degree or a non-degree award in a relevant training area.

Due to the growth of digital technology, a 20% decrease in employment opportunities for prepress technicians and workers nationwide is expected from 2016 to 2026, as reported by the BLS. In May 2017, prepress technicians earned mean annual wages of $41,770. During the same month, printing press operators received mean yearly salaries of $37,860, while binding and finishing workers earned $34,040 (www.bls.gov).

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