Making a visual connection with consumers is key to the success of advertising campaigns and building brand recognition. Graphic designers help businesses attract customers by creating attractive layouts for websites, print materials and physical displays. Designers also create logos, illustrations and graphics for video content. A bachelor’s degree in graphic design is usually required to get jobs in the graphic design field.

Salary Range:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual income of graphic designers was $48,690 in May 2011. Average wages in the occupation were $23.41 an hour. The top 10 percent of graphic designers in terms of annual income made more than $77,370 a year, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $26,210. Fifty percent of all graphic designers earned an annual income between $33,410 and $59,410.

Top States:

Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that California employed the most graphic designers of any state in May 2011, and that workers in the state ranked third in the nation in terms of annual income, with average earnings of $57,140 a year. Workers in the District of Columbia ranked first with $66,030 in annual earnings, and designers in New York came in second, with $59,580 in annual income.

Top Industries:

Graphic design is important to businesses in every industry, because advertising and brand image are fundamental aspects of business management. Some companies choose to outsource their graphic design needs to design firms, while others hire designers to work in-house. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that designers providing specialized design services earned $51,150 on average in May 2011, and workers in the newspaper, book and periodical publishing industry made $42,820 on average. Designers providing adverting and public relations services made $49,740 on average, while workers providing computer system design services made $54,240 on average. Federal government employees led the nation with $75,570 in average annual compensation.

Career Outlook:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects total employment of graphic designers to increase 13 percent between 2010 and 2020, a rate that is 1 percentage point below the projected national average for all jobs. Jobs in print publishing industries are expected to decrease by 4 percent, while jobs in the specialized design service industry are expected to grow 27 percent, and employment in the computer systems design service industry is expected to grow 61 percent. New workers are likely to face stiff competition for jobs, because the graphic design business tends to attract many creative individuals who want to employ their artistic talents as a career.

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