Graphic Designer Vs Art Educator

Graphic designers and art educators both use art in their daily work tasks, although in different ways. One uses art for design publications, while the other instructs students about art. Find out more about these varying careers.

Comparing Graphic Designers to Art Educators

Graphic designers and art educators both work with art in some capacity. However, graphic designers usually work for employers who publish their work, while art educators focus on training their students in the knowledge or creation of art. Read below for more insight into the similarities and differences between these art-centered careers.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Graphic Designer Bachelor's degree $47,640 1%
Art Educator Master's or doctoral degree $68,650 (for all art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary) 11% (for all art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Graphic Designers vs. Art Educators

Graphic designers and art educators both use art for a specific purpose. For graphic designers, that purpose is to use images and text in a strategic layout to attract the attention of consumers. They usually work in studios and often work with a team of other designers, piecing together their designs with various types of computer software. The responsibilities of an art educator are different, since their job is to teach students the history of art as well as how to perform specific types of art techniques. They usually work in classrooms at colleges or universities and do both teaching and research.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use several different software programs and other tools to finish projects for clients or employers. They may use photo-editing software, digital illustration software, or layout software, as well as drafting tables, to make layouts fit specific criteria. Most graphic designers work for employers on teams with other designers, where they usually work normal full time hours. Some graphic designers are self-employed and may work from home. This means they may have to meet with clients outside regular business hours. When working on projects, they must follow the parameters assigned to them, which often entails using the images and text given to them.

Job responsibilities of a Graphic Designer include:

  • Choosing fonts and colors for layouts
  • Looking for mistakes in their work before turning it in or publishing it
  • Coming up with design ideas
  • Showing their original ideas to clients or employers
  • Implementing the changes their employers or clients request

Art Educator

Art educators often work in university settings, which means they are usually professors. Art professors work from college or university offices and classrooms to show students both artwork that has been created in the past and how to create art of their own. They may teach art history, sculpture, or painting classes. Like most professors, many positions require an element of research. They may have to publish their research as part of their teaching contracts. Full time professors also usually have to attend meetings with other colleagues.

Job responsibilities of an Art Educator include:

  • Working with individual students
  • Coming up with course syllabi
  • Grading papers
  • Advising students about courses they should take
  • Staying aware of changes in the art field

Related Careers

Those interested in the career of a graphic designer should also take the time to learn about fashion illustrators, since both careers often involve creating art using computer software. Likewise, anyone intrigued by art educators should look into becoming a music professor, since both are educators who instruct students in a creative field.

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