Digital Graphics Communications: Salary and Career Facts

Careers in digital graphics communications may be found in graphic design, desktop publishing and digital printing. Read on for more information about job duties, training requirements and potential earnings for these fields. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options for Digital Graphics Communications Graduates?

As the name implies, digital graphics communications involves the transmission of pictures or graphic text through electronic or computerized devices. Depending on the area of digital graphics communications you pursue, you may use computer software programs, Internet coding or digital scanners and printers to produce graphics. In the sections below, you'll find information on common job duties, training requirements and salary potential for graphic designers and desktop publishers. Graphic designers use digital imaging software to manipulate and create digital art, logos and publication layouts. Desktop publishers create pages using digital imaging programs, various texts and graphics. These are popular professions within the field of digital graphics communications; however, they're not the only career options in the industry. Below, you can learn some more details about careers in this field:

Graphic DesignerDesktop Publishers
Degree Required Bachelor'sVocational training or Associate's degree
Education Field of Study Graphic DesignDesktop Publishing
Key Responsibilities Work with clients and companies, create images and graphics for websites, use various software programsFormatting text, creating layouts, turn drafts into final copy
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1%-21%
Median Salary (2015)* $46,900$39,840

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Common Job Duties and Salary Potential in Graphic Design?

As a graphic designer, you'll use digital computer programs to conceptualize and prepare animated, photographic, multimedia or text images. In some cases, you'll work in a company's advertising or design department and create graphics for any and all of its business needs. In a graphic design firm, you may create advertisements for various types of businesses, images for use in film or television, or text and graphics for websites. Some graphic designers work on many types of projects, and others specialize in just one. The communicative medium you use in your designs may vary, and some projects - for instance, an animated Web video - will require multimedia graphics. You'll typically use computer software programs like Photoshop or InDesign to create your designs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you'll usually need a bachelor's degree for entry-level employment as a graphic designer (www.bls.gov). Degree programs in graphic design and related areas are widely available, and they generally provide basic instruction in the various applications of graphic design discussed above. Topics commonly covered in required courses include typography, color theory, 2D and 3D animation, digital photography, Web design, advertising design and computer animation. These programs often require several design studio courses, giving you hands-on experience in applying the skills taught in the classroom.

As of May 2015, the BLS reported that graphic designers earned a median salary of $46,900 per year. The 25th-75th percentile salary range for graphic designers was $35,170-$62,650 as of May 2015. Payscale.com also reported that entry-level graphic designers with less than a year of job experience earned a middle salary range of $29,398 - $59,842 as of October 2016.

What Are Common Job Duties and Salary Potential in Desktop Publishing?

Using digital design software and Web publishing programs, desktop publishers take printed publications from typewritten rough draft to polished final copy. As a desktop publisher, you'll also be responsible for formatting text - and any pictures accompanying it - into readable, eye-catching and visually pleasing layouts. You may work on any and every kind of project involving print materials, such as textbooks, newspapers, magazines, websites, brochures, advertisements and other text-based corporate materials. Some desktop publishers, particularly those who work in Web design, specialize in using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) coding to input and format website text.

According to O*Net Online, a career information website, those interested in desktop publishing careers typically need to undergo some vocational or academic training in order to obtain entry-level employment (online.onetcenter.org). This can range from taking a few college courses to earning an associate's degree. Many community and technical colleges offer digital or Web publishing certificates, which teach basic digital photo and text layout and publishing skills. Required courses teach you about color theory, image editing and manipulation, Web design, text layout, page formatting and more. You'll also learn how to use desktop publishing software programs like Adobe PageMaker or Microsoft Publisher.

As of May 2015, desktop publishers earned a median annual salary of $39,840, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). They reported that the 25th-75th percentile salary range for desktop publishers was $30,990-$53,950 as of that same time period.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Web developers is one career that is closely related to digital graphics communication because they typically need to be able to program web graphics when making websites. As creators of web sites they must ensure that their sites are visually appealing, functional and easy to find using search terms. These professionals often have an associate's degree in web design. Editors also may play a role in digital publications, overlooking them for mistakes prior to release. They may have a bachelor's degree in communications.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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