Desktop Publishing Careers

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in desktop publishing. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job growth information. Schools offering Visual Communication degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Desktop Publisher?

Creative individuals who know computers, web pages and design can have a career in desktop publishing. These professionals will work with a variety of computer software to design layouts and pages for various print media and online publications. Desktop publishers use computer programs and software to produce newsletters, magazines, catalogs and brochures. Graphic designers can also work in the same field using their artistic skills and computers to help create products that inspire, motivate or inform consumers. Art directors work with clients and designers to create an overall theme for a project and help with the plans, design and marketing of an advertising product.

Check out the following table for information about the types of careers that involve desktop publishing.

Desktop PublisherGraphic Designer Art Director
Degree RequiredAssociate's degree recommended Bachelor's degreeBachelor's degree
Education Field of StudyGraphic design, graphic communications, graphic arts Graphic design, art and design Graphic design, art
Key Skills Computer savvy, creativity, adaptive, attention to detail Creativity, computer literate, time management, eye for color and layout Leadership, interpersonal, creativity, computer savvy
Job Growth (2014-2024) -21%* 1%* 2%*
Median Salary (2015) $39,840* $46,900* $89,760*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Degree Programs Are Available for Desktop Publishers?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that there are no educational requirements for desktop publishers, and many employees acquire their skills through on-the-job training or online classes (www.bls.gov). Others develop their skills through experimentation with computer software.

Since candidates with some formal training tend to have better job prospects, it's advisable that you acquire an associate's or bachelor's degree in graphic design or graphic arts. An associate's degree program might offer training in layout and design, word processing, text editing, microcomputer operation, art and drawing. You'll also study desktop publishing applications, keyboarding and proofreading.

A bachelor's degree program offers classes in color management, graphics management, Web design, marketing management, advanced writing and principles of economics. Animation, speech and typography may be included in your curriculum. You'll also take college-level mathematics, English and social science courses.

What Are Some Careers in Desktop Publishing?

Desktop publishers might also be known as electronic publishing specialists, layout artists, typographers, image designers or desktop publishing editors. Some jobs that require similar skills include graphic artist, computer typesetter and art director. You might also become a production manager, advertising associate or electronic imager.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

Responsibilities in desktop publishing include creating text and graphics, developing advertising campaigns, and writing headlines for promotional and other printed materials. Sometimes you may add and edit charts, pictures or illustrations. Your job will require the use of desktop publishing equipment, digital cameras, scanners, printers and computer keyboards. Among your other job duties will be page layout design and presentation development.

What Salary Could I Expect to Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, desktop publishers who worked in the newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishing industries earned an average income of $40,210 annually (www.bls.gov). Employees of other information services were paid $49,420 per year on average. Salary levels varied, depending upon experience and job location.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

An associate's degree could have you in a related career field working as a web developer. You would be building websites and layouts, designing pages and creating a variety of artwork for online projects or print media web pages. A bachelor's degree could get you employment as a multimedia artist and animator or industrial designer. Multimedia artists and animators work in various media outlets to create visual effects and animation for online distribution, television shows or feature films. Industrial designers come up with adapted or original concepts for manufactured products like toys, cars and home appliances. Industrial designers need an excellent working knowledge of engineering, business and art.

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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