How to Become a Multimedia Designer in 5 Steps
Research what it takes to become a multimedia designer. Learn about the educational requirements, important skills, job outlook and salary information to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Multimedia Design & Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Does a Multimedia Designer Do?
Multimedia designers work with a team of artists to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional effects for movies, TV shows, video games, websites and apps. They may create models, animation or images. Multimedia artists use illustrations and computer programs to produce effects, and as part of their job they may create storyboards of their proposals, meet with clients to discuss their progress, and work with directors to ultimately develop the desired effect for their project.
|Education Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Experience Required||Artistic portfolio of accomplished work|
|Education Field of Study||Graphic design, multimedia design|
|Key Skills||Artistry, creativity, computer proficiency, detail-oriented|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||6% for multimedia artists and animators*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$63,970 for multimedia artists and animators*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Is a Multimedia Designer?
A multimedia designer is responsible for incorporating various types of media -- such as photography, Web design, video, animation and flash programming -- into a finished product. In this role, you might assist in the creation of video games, computer software, websites, animated films and television cartoons. Multimedia designers often find work in the film and television, advertising, computer and communications companies.
Step 1: Strengthen Artistic and Computer Skills
If you want to pursue a career in multimedia design, you need to have some artistic abilities. College Board recommends signing up for art studio and journalism courses while in high school (www.collegeboard.com). You can also become familiar with computers by taking classes at public libraries.
Step 2: Complete Education Prerequisites
Before you can enroll in a bachelor's degree program, many design colleges require you to take art and computer courses or earn an associate's degree. Classes in a 2-year degree program in graphic or multimedia design will teach you computer illustration, drawing and 3-D art. Presenting a portfolio is usually required for admittance into the bachelor's program and you can include art created in these courses.
Step 3: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers require entry-level designer candidates to have a bachelor's degree accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (www.bls.gov). As a multimedia or graphic design major, you can expect to take beginning and advanced level courses in drawing, website design, animation, photography and video production. This degree program can be completed in four years, and some classes are may be available online.
Step 4: Find a Job as a Designer
After graduation, you need to decide which industry you want to work in and seek volunteer opportunities or entry-level employment while you continue to gain experience and build a portfolio. The BLS estimates that employment for multimedia artists and animators will increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is slower than average.
Step 5: Advance Your Career
After gaining work experience, many multimedia designers choose to start their own businesses. You could also continue your education and take courses in new design software and technology advancements. Joining a professional organization, such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, allows you to share ideas and information with other designers as well as locate new clients.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Like multimedia artists, graphic designers also use computer software to generate visual products. They typically work on things like magazines, brochures and advertisements. They are required to have a bachelor's degree. With an associate's degree it's possible to become a web developer. Similar to multimedia artists, web developers must have strong computer skills and knowledge of design concepts to create and design compelling websites. Computer programmers also need a bachelor's degree and strong computer skills.
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: