Career Definition for Visual Communication Design Technicians
Visual communication design technicians combine their technical design skills with their creative talents to design and produce user interface systems, software applications, animation and a number of other multimedia products. Publishers, digital media outlets, marketing firms and visual design companies are just a few of the businesses that hire visual communication design technicians. Some of the design tools and techniques they use are animation applications, desktop publishing software, font programs and design and Web layout software.
|Education||Associate's degree in visual communications|
|Job Skills||Analytical skills, communication, technical skills, creativity|
|Average Salary (2017)*||$53,280 (graphic designers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||4% (graphic designers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
An associate degree or a technical degree in visual communications is required for an entry-level position, but earning a bachelor's degree may open more job opportunities. Communications design degree programs often include courses in typography, visual design, technical design, graphics and drawing.
Competition for jobs is keen. In addition to a degree, students need excellent communication skills and an ability to use critical thinking under pressure. Visual communications design technicians need the ability to distinguish colors. A portfolio may given candidates an advantage during the job search process.
Career and Economic Outlook
Visual communication design technicians are part of the larger graphic design field. Employment for design technicians is often found in publishing, marketing and advertising agencies and website design companies, to name a few. Graphic designers made an average salary of $53,280 in May 2017, according to the BLS. The BLS expects jobs to increase at a slower-than-average rate of about 4% between 2016 and 2026. Other career choices for people in this field include Web user interface designer, visual communications instructor and visual ad designer.
Alternative Career Options
Those seeking to be design technicians may be interested in similar occupations, including desktop publishing and web development.
Those interested in designing publications may prefer the career of desktop publisher. Desktop publishers work closely with other professionals, such as graphic designers, to plan and format publications, such as a book or newspaper. These workers typically need a minimum of an associate degree, but a bachelor's degree or experience in the field in which they are working may also be required. The BLS reported in 2017 that the average salary for desktop publishers was $45,170. According to the BLS, because many tasks of desktop publishers are being performed by graphic designers and other professionals, jobs in this field are expected to decrease by 14% from 2016 to 2026.
Those interested in visual communications who prefer a fast-growing career field with higher salaries than those of graphic designers may be interested in becoming Web developers. These professionals design and produce websites. They need technical understanding of Web programming languages, which can be learned through an associate degree program. In May 2017, the BLS reported that the average salary for Web developers was $74,110. The BLS projects jobs for Web developers will increase at a much faster-than-average amount of 15% from 2016 to 2026.