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Summary Report for:
27-1024.00 - Graphic Designers

Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Creative Director, Creative Manager, Design Director, Designer, Graphic Artist, Graphic Designer, Online Producer, Production Artist, Publications Designer

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Determine size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and select style and size of type.
  • Confer with clients to discuss and determine layout design.
  • Create designs, concepts, and sample layouts, based on knowledge of layout principles and esthetic design concepts.
  • Develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Web sites.
  • Use computer software to generate new images.
  • Review final layouts and suggest improvements as needed.
  • Maintain archive of images, photos, or previous work products.
  • Prepare illustrations or rough sketches of material, discussing them with clients or supervisors and making necessary changes.
  • Draw and print charts, graphs, illustrations, and other artwork, using computer.
  • Key information into computer equipment to create layouts for client or supervisor.
  • Research new software or design concepts.
  • Study illustrations and photographs to plan presentation of materials, products, or services.
  • Mark up, paste, and assemble final layouts to prepare layouts for printer.

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Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Computer aided design and drafting CADD software; Dassault Systemes CATIA Hot technology ; SignCAD Systems SignCAD (see all 9 examples)
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Oracle Eloqua Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — FileMaker Pro Hot technology ; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Structured query language SQL Hot technology
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology ; Microsoft Publisher Hot technology ; QuarkXPress (see all 6 examples)
  • Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript Hot technology ; Verilog Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite; Microsoft Visio Hot technology (see all 8 examples)
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Music or sound editing software — Avid Pro Tools
  • Object or component oriented development software — jQuery Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office
  • Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Nuance OmniPage Professional
  • Presentation software — Apple iWork Keynote; Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro Hot technology ; Apple iMovie; MAXON CINEMA 4D; YouTube Hot technology (see all 6 examples)
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player; Adobe Systems Adobe Macromedia HomeSite
  • Web platform development software — AJAX Hot technology ; Drupal Hot technology ; Hypertext markup language HTML Hot technology ; JavaScript Hot technology (see all 10 examples)
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers; Wide format printers
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
  • Scanners — Computer scanners
  • Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras
  • Tablet computers — Graphics tablets

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Knowledge

  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Design layouts for print publications.
  • Design layout of art or product exhibits, displays, or promotional materials.
  • Confer with clients to determine needs.
  • Create computer-generated graphics or animation.
  • Collaborate with others to develop or refine designs.
  • Review art or design materials.
  • Draw detailed or technical illustrations.
  • Maintain records, documents, or other files.
  • Research new technologies.
  • Operate still or video cameras or related equipment.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 92% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 38% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 46% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Level of Competition — 62% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 46% responded “Important results.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 42% responded “Important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 24% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
62   Bachelor's degree
15   Associate's degree
8   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: ARE

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $22.90 hourly, $47,640 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 262,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Little or no change (-1% to 1%) Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 65,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Graphic designers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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