What Are Some Popular Art and Design Professions?

If you're considering a future in art and design, there are a number of professions available. Some of these include graphic designer, art director, Web designer and animator. Read on to learn more about these careers and to find out if one is right for you. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.


There are many different areas in art and design in which you can choose to start your career. Below we will discuss four different occupations: graphic artists, art directors, web designers, and animators.

Important Facts About Art & Design Professions

Graphic ArtistsArt DirectorsWeb DesignersAnimators
Certification Available through software producers None needed Optional certification in relevant software programs None needed
Training Class projects and internships; building a portfolio 5+ years related work experience Knowledge of and experience with computer software and design On-the-job training in specialized software
Key Skills Analysis, artistry, computer Communication, creativity, leadership Concentration, creativity, customer service Artistry, communication, computer skills
Work Environment* Work in studios, with computers 59% self-employed in 2016; team-oriented; deadline pressure About 16% self-employed in 2016; most work full time in an office 59% self-employed in 2016; work from home common; long hours, nights, and weekends

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Graphic Designers

Graphics designers are experts in visual communications. Career opportunities for these professionals range from print to electronic media, and almost a quarter of them work for themselves, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. Graphic designers may make logos, layouts, illustrations and websites, and they're responsible for using color and text to effectively meet their clients' needs. These professionals usually hold bachelor's degrees.

In May 2018, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of a graphic designer was $50,370. While overall employment growth from 2016-2026 is expected to be slower than average at four percent, the BLS notes that graphic designers who can work in many different mediums have the most leverage in the job market.

Art Directors

Art directors are primarily responsible for the creation of design ideas and presentation tactics. They also manage other design staff members, work with clients and help create budgets. They are employed in industries such as film, advertising and publications.

Art directors are often experienced artists or designers who have a bachelor's or master's degree. According to the BLS, art directors had a median salary of $92,780 a year in May 2018. Their expected employment growth was slow, at five percent from 2016-2026.

Web Designers

Web designers use hypertext markup language (HTML) and graphic art skills to create unique and visually appealing websites for clients ranging from multi-million-dollar corporations to individuals. They deal with the visual aspects of websites, such as the placement of graphics and the design of the layout.

These professionals usually need to know JavaScript and HTML, and an associate's degree is often needed. According to the BLS, web developers of all types can expect much faster-than-average job growth of 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. Web developers made a median wage of $69,430 per year in May 2018.


Animators design and create animated images for film, television and video games. They often work with computers and animation software, and teamwork is common. A bachelor's degree is most common, and animators need to be able to show off their work in a portfolio.

Animation is a field that is expected to see average growth, according to the BLS. It estimates that multimedia artist and animator employment will increase by eight percent between 2016 and 2026, which results in 6,200 new jobs. Animators had a median salary of $51,384 as of May 2019, according to PayScale.com.

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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