Top Career Choices for Graphic Design Graduates

When you earn a graphic design degree, you graduate with skills that are highly flexible and transferable in this age of visual media. As a result, graduates have an abundance of career opportunities to choose from in many different industries. The following are just a few options that you might want to consider once you have your degree.

Graphic Designer

One of the most common options for a graphic design career is, obviously, becoming a graphic designer. Graphic designers create logos, packaging, brochure layouts, and other visual designs for advertising, branding, print publications, and more.

The median pay for this career is $48,700 overall, but in California, the annual mean wage is about $59,000. The job growth for this position is expected to steadily increase in the coming years. California has the highest level of employment for this job, with more than 30,000 graphic designers working in the state.

Creative/Art Director

Art directors oversee and work closely with a team of artists and designers on design projects. Art directors generally have a median pay of $92,500, but those in California earn a yearly mean wage of $126,440.

Employment for art directors is on track to continue increasing in the next several years, and California is among the states with the most amount of art directors—roughly 6,920. Self-employment is definitely just as much of an option as working in-house or in consultancy for advertising firms, publishers, and companies seeking to market their products.

User Experience (UX) Designer

User experience (UX) designers develop and improve customer experience in products. They streamline interactive experiences for websites, apps, and other digital products. UX designers usually work as part of a team with visual and product designers.

The median pay for professionals in the San Francisco area is $92,000. Depending on factors like job experience, however, it can range from $61,000 to $130,000. The job outlook for UX designers is expected to slightly increase over the next few years.

Visual Designer

Visual designers create appealing layouts, concepts, and other design elements. They work more closely with user experience (UX) designers on web-related and digital designs.

The pay range for visual designers stretches from $48,000 to $120,000 and higher, but the average annual pay in the San Francisco area is $80,000. It is expected that the growth of employment in this career is to be the same as the growth for graphic designers.

Want to learn more about graphic design careers? Academy of Art University is here to help. Explore what our Graphic Design program has to offer, or reach out to our admissions department at 415-274-2222 or for additional details.