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graphic designer Jobs

all about graphic designer jobs

Graphic design careers are very popular. There is no shortage of students enrolling in graphic design programs due to the high demand for graphic designs in many different fields. Graphic designers are not only in demand in marketing, but also in manufacturing, advertising, publishing, and other specialized design service industries.

A graphic designer brings together skills in the arts and technology to create images, websites, print designs, logos and many other graphic elements. As with many other technology-based positions, there is a lot of flexibility in terms of available positions and the type of work being offered.

what being a graphic designer entails

Graphic designers can work in a variety of settings. They can work for large companies, small businesses, marketing and advertising agencies, or as freelancers. You will work typical office hours on full or part time basis, depending on the needs of your employer. Some companies also offer flex hours, allowing you to work during hours of your preference. You'll likely report to a leader or project manager in marketing or IT.

average graphic designer salaries

Graphic designers can expect to be paid well for their role with companies in Canada. The average graphic designer salary is just over $40,000 annually. You can expect a starting salary between $32,000 and $35,000, and you can make up to $75,000 per year once you have a number of years’ experience. There is opportunity to make more money by specializing in a specific area, having a specialized and in-demand skill, or by working as a freelance graphic designer.

your day to day tasks

Day-to-day tasks of a graphic designer will vary based on the project they are working on. Common daily tasks that will be part of your role as a graphic designer include:

  • attending client meetings to discuss design requirements
  • planning campaigns and discussing graphic design options
  • discussing projects with marketers, advertisers, and campaign managers
  • developing graphics, images, audio clips, videos, and other design elements
  • makings edits and revisions based on clients' or colleagues' feedback
  • reviewing designs for errors and completeness
  • troubleshooting, performing software updates
  • keeping up with design trends

where you can work

Graphic designers can work for a variety of different companies in industries across Canada. Jobs are most commonly found with marketing agencies, however medium and large sized companies often have their own in-house design teams which require graphic designers. The Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener-Waterloo area and Vancouver are locations with great opportunities because of the prevalence of IT companies in these regions.

what you bring to the table

As you would expect, graphic designers have a good mix of art and technology skills and experience. Some of the in-demand and recommended skills to have for a graphic design career include:

  • creativity and ability to think outside the box
  • time management and project management skills
  • strong communication skills
  • artistic skills (visual arts, sketching, theory)
  • well versed working with a variety of design and web applications
  • knowledge of UX/UI and design best practices
Technical skills are also required to excel as a graphic designer. Some skills that employers will look for include the Adobe Creative Suite Design programs. Keep up with the latest versions of software such as InDesign, Acrobat X Pro, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator.

training and certifications

A bachelor’s degree or college diploma in graphic design or related area of study is required, however, additional education in marketing, business, advertising, and web development are an asset that will help you stand out from others competing for similar jobs. A strong portfolio of work is also an asset as many companies will be interested in the work you have completed.

As part of your role as a graphic designer, you will also be expected to keep up with new software programs and design tools that come to market. Possessing certifications with graphic design programs and tools is another important asset.

where your career is headed

Graphic designers have many career options. Many graphic designers go on to specialize in a specific area (advertising, web design, branding) or move on to more senior positions such as marketing manager, art director, graphic design manager, and other related positions. Graphic designers with entrepreneurial skills often go on to start their own business or agency. As a graphic designer, you have plentiful career options ahead, with remote positions and self-employment becoming increasingly popular career paths.

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