Graphic Design and Animation as a Career

Looking to start a Graphic Design and Animation career? Designers are professionals who can help take a client from a simple unformed idea to a full-color professionally-designed product. A graphic design and animation can be very rewarding for someone with an artist eye. The product may be anything from a printed brochure to a social media site, an interactive website, a mobile website, an animated video, or a multi-media presentation. Many graphic artists feel that having a tangible final product at the end of a project is very gratifying. If this kind of creativity sounds appealing to you, continue reading to find out more about this career.

Types of Jobs

A graphic design and animation career is a career that changes with new advances in technology. Designers who were once trained only in print products have had to grow with the times and learn new computer applications and software to keep up their professional skills. As a result of the changes in technology, the types of jobs available in this field have broadened. Depending on your training and skill set, you may be able to look into the following jobs:

  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Flash designer
  • Flash animator
  • Graphic artist
  • Multimedia designer
  • Photoshop specialist
  • Multimedia specialist

Professional Environment

The professional environments where graphic artists, web developers, and animators work can vary, depending on the job. But most jobs are based in offices, and involve working at a desk. Most of your day will be spent on a computer. People trained in graphic design and animation are employed in many businesses. As a graphic artist, web designer, or animator, you might work for:

  • Ad agencies
  • Public relations agencies
  • Publishers of newspapers, magazines, books, or directories
  • Specialized design services companies
  • Manufacturers of products
  • Technology companies

Some graphic designers choose to be self employed. They may find contracted freelance work with ad agencies or other clients, and work from their homes or their own offices.

Employment Outlook

According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of graphic designers from 2014 to 2024 is going to vary, depending on the industry. In some industries, such as computer systems design and related services, the employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 21 percent. But in other industries—especially those that rely heavily on printed materials such as newspaper and periodical publishers—the employment of graphic designers is expected to decline. The handbook suggests that job prospects will be better for graphic designers who work with various types of media and stay current with the latest technology and software programs. For more information about the job outlook for graphic designers and animators, visit the Handbook’s Graphic Designer’s page.

Earnings/Salary for a Graphic Design and Animation Career

As with many jobs, the potential earnings of a graphic designer can vary depending on your level of experience, your skill set, the type of job you find, and your geographic region. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook contains a section that discusses the median annual wage of graphic designers. Remember, when you first start a job in a new field, you may need to start at an entry-level wage. But with most jobs, if you produce high-quality work and keep a positive attitude about your job, there will be opportunities for raises, promotions, or new job positions.

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