Design

Graphic designer

Graphic designers create visual branding, adverts, brochures, magazines, website designs, product packaging and displays.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Graphic designer jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • discussing the client's requirements and coming up with creative ideas
  • working out budgets and deadlines
  • producing rough drafts and presenting your ideas
  • preparing designs using specialist software
  • making presentations to clients for feedback and approval
  • producing a final layout
  • explaining requirements to photographers, printers, manufacturers or games developers
  • keeping up with design trends and developments in software tools

University

You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • graphic design
  • art and design
  • illustration

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation studies diploma in art and design 
  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

College

You could take a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Graphic Design or Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Art and Design, and use this to join a company as a design assistant.

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

Apprenticeship

You could start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in design, specialising in graphics.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

£16,000 to £50,000

Starter salary: £16,000 to £18,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £30,000

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

You'll usually work around 37 hours a week in a studio or office. You may need to work longer hours to meet deadlines.

You may go out to visit clients.

There's a lot of competition for graphic design work. You'll need a portfolio that shows your creative ideas, skills and work experience to help you get started.

You could become a senior designer, creative director or move into management.

You could go freelance or start your own design agency.

Another option is to move into teaching or lecturing.

You could join the Chartered Society of Designers and the International Society of Typographical Designers for professional development and to make industry contacts.

You can find out more about careers and training in graphic design from Creative Choices.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competentl
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