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How to Become a Graphic Designer - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to Become a Graphic Designer - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

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/ How to Become a Graphic Designer - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to become a Graphic Designer?

Graphic Design is an area where many creative people find their niche in the modern career landscape. Graphic Designers may use a combination of typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce the final creative result, to convey a specific message.

Job Outlook Average Salary Work Hours Age Groups
Education Level Skills Trends Courses Interview with a Pro


Graphic Design Job Outlook

The graph shows historical and projected (to 2019) employment levels (thousands) for this occupation.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, DEEWR trend data to November 2014 and DEEWR projections to 2019. Estimates have been rounded.

Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators is expected to be above average (between 25,001 and 50,000). Job openings can arise from employment growth and people leaving the occupation.

Employment for Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators to November 2019 is expected to grow very strongly. Employment in this very large occupation (49,400 in November 2014) rose strongly in the past five years and in the long-term (ten years).

Graphic Designer Salary

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS EEBTUM survey August 2012 cat. no. 6310.0. Estimates have been rounded and consequently some discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Note: These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate. lists the wage for a Graphic Designer as being between an average of $53 000 to a maximum salary of $68 000.

Graphic Designers' Weekly Work Hours

The graph shows the average weekly hours (by gender and full-time and part-time) worked for this occupation, compared with all occupations. 

Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators have an average proportion of full-time jobs (75.7 per cent). For Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators working full-time, average weekly hours are 40.1 (compared to 40.9 for all occupations) and earnings are below average - in the fourth decile. Unemployment for Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators is average.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Graphic Designer Age Profile

As expected, the Graphic Design industry has a strong appeal amongst young people, making it a vibrant and dynamic work environment.

 Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Graphic Design Education Levels

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

More Creative Industry Employment

According to the last census - Graphic design and graphic arts employment figures have grown 3.8 per cent – which is twice the rate of the national workforce as a whole. The creative industries have emerged as one of Australia’s strongest performing sectors, with employment growing by a steady 2.8 per cent a year from 2006 to 2011. That’s 40 per cent faster than the economy as a whole.

What Graphic Design Qualification Do You Need?

Diploma of Graphic Design

Become a graphic designer and learn about images, graphics, fonts and prints with this cutting edge online course at Open Colleges.

Open Colleges Graphic Design Pathway Program

This exclusive graphic design pathway program has been specifically designed to combine the Fundamentals of Design course and the CUV50311 Diploma of Graphic Design. This is an entry level course, suitable for new students to graphic design.

Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Digital Design)

This online course will train you in fundamental design principles, combining the converging worlds of graphic and web design.

Open Colleges Certificate in Freelance Cartooning & Illustrating

Learn how to bring perspective and proportion to your illustrations and introduce style and text into your work, and how to add a commercial edge.

Open Colleges Certificate in Graphic Design & Desktop Publishing (Mac)

Learn the basics of desktop publishing with this course that provides foundation knowledge about the principles and practice of graphic design for Mac users.

Open Colleges Certificate in Graphic Design & Desktop Publishing (PC)

Learn the foundation skills in desktop publishing and gain the skills and knowledge of the principles and practice of graphic design for PC users.

Why Study Graphic Design through Open Colleges?

Our graphic design courses are delivered online, giving you the flexibility of organising your study around your life. You can enrol anytime of the year and study at your own pace.

Among other things, you'll learn how to source and apply information on the history and theory of design and use typography techniques.

You’ll also learn how to experiment with techniques to enhance digital images, generate design solutions and to realise a creative project.

Your course includes comprehensive student support to help you throughout your study. Some of the certificates allow you to graduate with a government-accredited, nationally recognised qualification that can boost your chances of employment.

Interview with a Graphic Design Professional

Stephen Burton

Creative Director @POMO

In two sentences, tell us a bit about your role as a Graphic Designer.

A Creative Director in graphic design is a person whose responsibility it is to ensure that the creative output of the business (including graphic design) meets client objectives and represents a high standard of design. A Creative Director will often be a senior Graphic Designer and therefore represents a career pathway for those considering graphic designs as an occupation.

What does a person who works in graphic design do on a day to day basis?

A Graphic Designer will find themselves absorbing creative briefs, working out how to respond to those briefs, generating visual concepts digitally, perhaps talking with clients and definitely responding to dozens of requests for changes and corrections.

What are the best parts of the job?

Being able to take your own life skills and experiences and funnel them into a creative solution. Graphic design can be used as a tool to expand the experience or perception of someone when engaging with an everyday item such as a website or a piece of marketing collateral. You can push boundaries.

The type of work you create constantly changes and you also must come to terms with different businesses, different ideas and different perspectives that all must be rolled up and spat out in a design for a client. It's a process of constant change and it is therefore rarely boring - it's a classic "what you make of it" type of job where you can really control your career path.

What skills/attributes do potential Graphic Designers need to have?

Patience, eye for detail and a high level of intelligence that allows them to stand outside of their own set of taste values and respond to a client problem as if the problem was their own.

What’re your favourite things about working in the graphic design industry?

You get to see your design produced in tangible real-world items. You get to see your design produced in tangible real-world items. Hours are often flexible as design can be produced at any time of the day or night. Challenging convention is also something that you can do provided you have the right project and right client. Design is an evolutionary process and as you grow and change so to does your creative work.

Thanks, Stephen, for sharing your story with Open Colleges. 

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