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Occupation Profile

                                                           GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: COLORADO

Occupation Description

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.

State and National Wages
       High is the wage at which 90% of workers earn less and 10% earn more.
       Middle is the wage at which 50% of workers earn less and 50% earn more.
       Low is the wage at which 10% of workers earn less and 90% earn more.

                                         Pay                                                2011
                                         Period             10%                   25%      Median   75%      90%
United States                            Hourly             $12.60                $16.06   $21.16   $28.56   $37.20
                                             Yearly            $26,200              $33,400            $44,000             $59,400             $77,400
                                             Hourly             $12.58               $15.42            $20.16              $26.45               $33.14
                                             Yearly            $26,200              $32,100            $41,900             $55,000             $68,900

Occupation Wages FAQs

Median Wage by Occupation Across States
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National Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey
State Data Source: Colorado Labor Market Information

State and National Trends

                                                                                          Employment                   Percent
United States                                                                                                                             Job Openings 1
                                                                                      2010           2020              Change

Graphic Designers                                                                   279,200        316,500              +13%                  12,380
                                                                                          Employment                   Percent
Colorado                                                                                                                                  Job Openings 1
                                                                                      2008           2018              Change

Graphic Designers                                                                    4,500          4,540               +1%                     120
1Job   Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-
2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.

Occupation Trends FAQs
Employment Trends by Occupation Across States
Compare Employment Trends by Occupation
Employment Trends by Industry and Occupation

National Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections
State Data Source:

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The most important knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are listed for Graphic Designers.


         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.
         Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including
          applications and programming.
         Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.


         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.
         Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
         Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
         Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
         Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
         Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

        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.
        Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
        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
        Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
        Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Source: Occupational Information Network: Graphic Designers.

Tasks and Activities

Occupation specific tasks and the most important generalized work activities are listed for Graphic Designers.

Occupation Specific Tasks:

        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.
        Determine size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and select style and size of type.
        Develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Internet websites.
        Develop negatives and prints to produce layout photographs, using negative and print developing equipment and tools.
        Draw and print charts, graphs, illustrations, and other artwork, using computer.
        Key information into computer equipment to create layouts for client or supervisor.
        Maintain archive of images, photos, or previous work products.
        Mark up, paste, and assemble final layouts to prepare layouts for printer.
        Photograph layouts, using camera, to make layout prints for supervisors or clients.
        Prepare illustrations or rough sketches of material, discussing them with clients or supervisors and making necessary changes.
        Prepare notes and instructions for workers who assemble and prepare final layouts for printing.
        Produce still and animated graphics for on-air and taped portions of television news broadcasts, using electronic video equipment.
        Research new software or design concepts.
        Review final layouts and suggest improvements as needed.
       Study illustrations and photographs to plan presentation of materials, products, or services.
       Use computer software to generate new images.

Generalized Work Activities:

       Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
       Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions,
        enter data, or process information.
       Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
       Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
       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.

Detailed Work Activities:

       confer with management or users
       consult with customers concerning needs
       create art from ideas
       develop film or other photographic medium
       distinguish details in graphic arts material
       explain products to customer representatives
       identify color or balance
       identify problems or improvements
       make presentations
       obtain information from clients, customers, or patients
       operate film or sound editing equipment
       operate specialized photo equipment
       organize story elements
       paste up materials to be printed
       prepare artwork for camera or press
       prepare instructions for workers
       process photographic prints
       proofread printed or written material
       set page layout or composition
       sketch or draw subjects or items
        tell stories through musical, visual, or dramatic arts
        use computer graphics design software
        use computers to enter, access or retrieve data
        use creativity in graphics
        use creativity in industrial artistry
        use creativity to art or design work
        use film production techniques

Source: Occupational Information Network: Graphic Designers.

Tools and Technology

Graphic Designers View Detailed Report


        Desktop computers - Desktop computers
        Digital cameras - Digital cameras
        Laser printers - Computer laser printers, Wide format printers
        Notebook computers - Laptop computers
        Personal computers - Personal computers


        Data base user interface and query software - FileMaker Pro software, Microsoft Access, Structured query language SQL
        Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe Distiller, Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign, Adobe Systems
         Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress
        Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects, Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Systems Adobe FreeHand, Adobe
         Systems Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
        Web page creation and editing software - Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Systems Adobe
         Macromedia HomeSite
        Web platform development software - Adobe Systems Adobe ColdFusion, Asynchronous JavaScript and XML AJAX, Cascading Style Sheets
        CSS, Dynamic hypertext markup language DHTML, Hypertext markup language HTML

Source: Occupational Information Network: Graphic Designers.

Education and Training

Occupation: Graphic Designers
Typical education needed for entry: Bachelor's degree
Typical work experience needed for a job in this occupation: None
Typical on-the-job training once you have a job in this occupation: None

Related Instructional Programs:

       Agricultural Communication/Journalism
       Commercial and Advertising Art
       Computer Graphics
       Design and Visual Communications, General
       Digital Arts
       Graphic Design
       Industrial and Product Design
       Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design

Distribution of Educational Attainment
                                                                Percent of employees aged 25 to 44 in the occupation whose highest level of educational
                                                                                                     attainment is
                         Occupation                          Less than High school        Some                                                Doctoral or
                                                                                                      Associate's   Bachelor's    Master's
                                                            high school diploma or      college, no                                           professional
                                                                                                        degree       degree       degree
                                                             diploma    equivalent        degree                                                degree
Graphic Designers                                              2.7%         12.7%         19.6%         13.9%         43.1%          7%           1.1%
Art and Design Workers                                         2.8%         12.2%         19.6%         12.2%         42.8%         9.1%          1.3%
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media                     3.1%           12.8%     21.3%          9.6%          40.7%         10.6%         2%
Total, All Occupations                                            10.4%           27.4%     20.9%          8.9%          19.5%          8.2%         4.7%

Find colleges, training schools and instructional programs for this occupation.

Find education and training programs where you can earn a certificate, diploma, or award in less than 2 years with the Short-Term Training Finder.

Access additional Education Resources in the Career Resource Library.

Use the Financial Aid Advisor to help find funds for financing education.

WIA Eligible Training Provider List: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDLE-EmployTrain/CDLE/1248095317783

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections (Education/Training Level, Educational Attainment); National
Center for Education Statistics (Typical Instructional Programs)

Related Occupation Profiles
Occupations with similar skill requirements

        Art Directors
        Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
        Commercial and Industrial Designers
        Fashion Designers
        Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
        Interior Designers
        Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance
        Producers and Directors
        Set and Exhibit Designers

Web Resources
                                             The following resources are related to occupations in the job family
                                                      Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

Art and Design Workers
Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers
Media and Communication Equipment Workers
Media and Communication Workers

Art and Design Workers

       Animator, Princeton Review
       Art Directors, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Artist, Princeton Review
       Craft and Fine Artists, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Design Careers, WetFeet.com
       Fashion Designer, Princeton Review
       Fashion designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Fashion Designers, California Occupational Guide
       Fashion Designers, CareerZone
       Floral Designer, Future Farmers of America
       Floral designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Graphic Designer, Princeton Review
       Graphic Designers, California Occupational Guide
       Graphic Designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Industrial Designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Interior Designer, Princeton Review
       Interior Designers, California Occupational Guide
       Interior designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Medical Illustration, Association of Medical Illustrators
       Merchandise displayers and window trimmers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Multimedia Artists and Animators, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Product Designer, Princeton Review
       Set and exhibit designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Sketch Artists, CareerZone
Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers

       Actor, Princeton Review
       Actors, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Athletes and Sports Competitors, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Baseball Player, Princeton Review
       Coach, Princeton Review
       Coaches and Scouts, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Comedian, Princeton Review
       Dancers and Choreographers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Film Director, Princeton Review
       Music Directors and Composers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Musician, Princeton Review
       Musicians and Singers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Producers, CareerZone
       Producers and Directors, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Television Producer, Princeton Review
       Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Media and Communication Equipment Workers

       Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Broadcast Technicians, California Occupational Guide
       Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers, California Occupational Guide
       Camera Operators, Television, and Motion Picture, California Occupational Guide
       Film and Video Editors, California Occupational Guide
       Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Film Editor, Princeton Review
       Photographer, Princeton Review
       Photographers, California Occupational Guide
       Photographers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Professional Photographers, CareerZone
       Radio Operators, Occupational Outlook Handbook
       Stage Technician, Princeton Review
Media and Communication Workers

      Announcers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
      Book Publishing Professional, Princeton Review
      Broadcasting, WetFeet.com
      Copy Writers, CareerZone
      Disc Jockey, Princeton Review
      Editor, Princeton Review
      Editorial and Writing, WetFeet.com
      Editors, Occupational Outlook Handbook
      Interpreter for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, The Council for Exceptional Children
      Interpreters and translators, Occupational Outlook Handbook
      Interpreters and Translators, California Occupational Guide
      Journalist, Princeton Review
      Proofreaders and Copy Markers, California Occupational Guide
      Public Relations, WetFeet.com
      Public Relations, Princeton Review
      Public Relations Managers, California Occupational Guide
      Public Relations Managers and Specialists, Occupational Outlook Handbook
      Public Relations Specialists, CareerZone
      Publicist, Princeton Review
      Reporters and Correspondents, California Occupational Guide
      Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts, Occupational Outlook Handbook
      Technical writers, Occupational Outlook Handbook
      Technical Writers, California Occupational Guide
      Telecommunications Specialist, Princeton Review
      Television Reporter, Princeton Review
      Translator, Princeton Review
      Writer, Princeton Review
      Writers and Authors, Occupational Outlook Handbook

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