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How Can I Become a Broadcast Designer?

Broadcast designers use graphic and multimedia content to enhance the appearance of productions and public messages. Learn about degree requirements, coursework, and how to go about finding a job in film and television.

What Is a Broadcast Designer?

As a broadcast designer, you'll create graphics and multimedia designs for motion picture and television productions. Your duties will vary based on the type of work you are hired to do, though some of the more common jobs are related to making 2-D or 3-D animation. Due to the high level of competition within the field, you must have a varied skill set and many unique and creative aspects about your work to get attention, typically displayed in your portfolio. Self-employment may also be an option, though it may be difficult to find jobs with little experience. The table below provides an overview about entering this career field.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Digital media, computer animation
Key Responsibilities Work with clients and other artists to create artwork, may manage a team of artists
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 4% growth (for all multimedia artists and animators)
Median Salary (2018)* $72,520 (for all multimedia artists and animators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Get Your Degree

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multimedia artists and animators typically need a bachelor's degree prior to obtaining a job in the field (www.bls.gov). If you're interested in a career in broadcast design, you can major in a variety of digital media and design fields that offer similar skills training. Some examples of relevant programs include:

  • Digital media
  • Computer animation
  • Motion graphics and technology
  • Computer arts and design
  • Interactive media
  • Graphic marketing

What Will I Study?

Because there are a number of programs and concentrations for you to choose from, your curriculum will vary based on the major you choose. However, several subjects are common to most digital media and graphic design bachelor's degree programs. Focus is generally placed on 2- and 3-dimensional animation, drawing for digital media, color theory, storyboard development, motion graphics, sound design, typography, and editing. Additionally, you could also choose to continue your education with a graduate degree program to receive more specialized training in your area of interest.

Search for Jobs

The BLS reported that most creative and artistic professions could expect fierce competition. As a digital and multimedia artist, you'll need to possess a high level of creativity and unique talent since employers search for the best candidates in the market. The key to catching an employer's eye is having a well-developed portfolio of your work that contains pieces produced during school, at an internship, or for freelance clients.

Self-employment is another option because it allows you to gain experience with a variety of clients and project types. Additionally, becoming a member of a professional organization allows you to network and build contacts with current experts in the field. Professional organizations, such as PromaxBDA and the American Institute of Graphic Arts, represent broadcast design and graphic arts professionals and provide local, national, and global networking events. Membership with these organizations offers several benefits, including a free online presentation of your portfolio, access to the association's job board, discounts for conferences, professional discussion forums, education scholarships, and mentoring opportunities.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Graphic designers create art with the intention of making a statement, either the artist's or a client's. They must make a piece that is both aesthetically pleasing and conveys the intended message clearly. These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree.

Art directors are in charge of managing a team of artists working on a project, designing a style for the project and ensuring that the artists' work appears consistent with the original image. They will also need a bachelor's degree to find work.

Craft and fine artists work with a variety of media, making art with the intent of selling it directly and showcasing it at an exhibit. While no formal education is needed for this job, many artists choose to pursue at least a bachelor's degree to learn various fundamentals of art theory and to experiment with new techniques.