Graphic Designer / Desktop Publisher

Career Area: Design, Media, and Writing

Occupation Group: Visual Design

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Graphic Designer / Desktop Publisher earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $50,331

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $51,954

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Works with text and images to create design for printed material or web sites. Develops visual designs, such as a logo, that establish an identity or brand for an organization, business or campaign; uses design skills to improve the visual impact of advertising messages, reports, books or websites. May produce documents and printed materials using desktop publishing software and equipment. May work for a publishing company or provide printed business or marketing material for business clients.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina1316+9.6%
Nationwide42539+4.2%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Graphic Designer / Desktop Publisher is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Creativity: Mental characteristic that allows a person to think outside of the box, which results in innovative or different approaches to a particular task.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Detail-Oriented: A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way.
  • Organizational Skills: Experience with a systematic process of structuring, integrating, co-ordinating task goals, and activities to resources in order to attain objectives.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Graphic Design: Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving using one or more of typography, photography and illustration.
  • Adobe Photoshop: Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems for macOS and Windows.
  • Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Systems.
  • Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software and Web services developed by Adobe Systems to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • Adobe Creative Suite: Adobe Creative Suite (CS) was a software suite of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications developed by Adobe Systems.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Graphic Designer / Desktop Publisher that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Art Direction: Art Direction is the direction in theater, advertising, marketing, publishing, fashion, film and television, the Internet, and video games.
  • Video Editing: Video editing is the manipulation and arrangement of video images.
  • Fine Arts: In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from applied art that also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork.
  • Creative Design:
  • Photo Editing: Image editing encompasses the processes of altering images, whether they are digital photographs, traditional photochemical photographs, or illustrations.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years38%
3 to 5 years52%
6 to 8 years7%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Senior Graphic Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • Production Artist

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