Creativity. Tech chops. Versatility. Deep knowledge of branding and marketing techniques. Graphic designers have serious skills that are in high demand. Here’s a look at the graphic designer job description and salary benchmarks.
Job opportunities in the advertising and marketing field are growing. As companies battle to maintain brand dominance, creative firms and in-house departments are taking on additional projects, many of which seek to push the envelope.
Hiring managers are expanding staffing plans to support these bigger workloads. As such, graphic designers, particularly those with web and mobile technology skills, are in strong demand.
Read on for a look at the graphic designer job description and salary projections.
Graphic designer salary benchmarks
According to The Creative Group Salary Guide, the average salary for graphic design professionals with one to three years of experience ranges from $39,750 to $56,750. Those with three to five years of experience can expect $53,250 to $72,250. With more than five years of experience, the average graphic designer salary range jumps to $67,500 to $93,000. Use our handy Salary Calculator to adjust these figures for your city.
Graphic designer duties and expectations
For graphic designer jobs, demands can vary depending on the specific function, goals and needs of the company, but they will generally include:
- Working with creative staff to formulate and pitch concepts to clients
- Developing, designing and producing graphic art that satisfies a creative brief
- Meeting tight deadlines and staying within budget
- Proficiency in programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign
- Knowledge of typography, color and production
- Continuous learning to keep skills and industry knowledge current
- Ability and willingness to quickly adapt to new technologies
Professional experience and skills
Graphic designer job descriptions often show that experience is valued over education. While it’s good to know design theory, you won’t get the role if you can’t execute your ideas. A killer portfolio is the ace up your sleeve.
Your portfolio should show that you’re capable of executing a variety of design projects, such as advertisements, websites, signage, branding, direct mail and more. You’ll need a strong command of Adobe Creative Suite, considered the gold standard in design tools.
Graphic designers need creativity and a strong sense of concept development, as well as problem-solving, research and presentation abilities. Soft skills are also extremely important. Good verbal and written communication skills are vital to working effectively with colleagues and clients. Flexibility and team-building abilities are critical, too.
Advertising and marketing departments want designers who know the ups and downs of client relationships and can roll with the sometimes mercurial demands they make. You might not read it in a graphic designer job description, but the ability to keep calm and steady in a fast-changing environment is essential.
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