Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Graphic Designers in Phoenix, Arizona

For those living in the Phoenix, Arizona area, there are many career and education opportunities for graphic designers. About 5,920 people are currently employed as graphic designers in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to about 6,630 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for graphic designers, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.9% over the next eight years. Graphic designers generally design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos.

A person working as a graphic designer can expect to earn about $19 per hour or $40,350 yearly on average in Arizona and about $20 per hour or $42,400 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for graphic designers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Art and Design in Arizona, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. People working as graphic designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: digital artist, graphics coordinator, and visual designer.

The Phoenix area is home to seventy-six schools of higher education, including seventeen within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can get a degree as a graphic designer. The most common level of education for graphic designers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a graphic designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Graphic Designer

In general, graphic designers design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. They also may use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers develop designs and sample layouts on the basis of knowledge of layout principles and esthetic design concepts. They also maintain archives of images or previous work products. Equally important, graphic designers have to design negatives and prints to produce layout photographs, using negative and print developing equipment and tools. They are often called upon to use computer software to generate new images. They are expected to design graphics and layouts for product illustrations and Internet websites. Finally, graphic designers key data into computer equipment to generate layouts for clients or supervisors.

Every day, graphic designers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to be creative and generate new ideas.

It is important for graphic designers to mark up and assemble final layouts to ready layouts for printer. They are often called upon to produce still and animated graphics for on-air and taped portions of television news broadcasts, using electronic video equipment. They also research new software or layout concepts. They are sometimes expected to talk with clients to consider and decide on layout design. Somewhat less frequently, graphic designers are also expected to photograph layouts, using camera, to make layout prints for supervisors or clients.

Graphic designers sometimes are asked to inspect final layouts and suggest improvements as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to ready notes and instructions for staff who assemble and ready final layouts for printing.

Like many other jobs, graphic designers must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Phoenix include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Graphic Designer Training

South Mountain Community College - Phoenix, AZ

South Mountain Community College, 7050 S 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85040. South Mountain Community College is a medium sized college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,138 students. South Mountain Community College has a less than one year program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design.

Mesa Community College - Mesa, AZ

Mesa Community College, 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202. Mesa Community College is a large college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,825 students. Mesa Community College has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, one to two year.
  • Design and Visual Communications, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated three and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Chandler/Gilbert Community College - Chandler, AZ

Chandler/Gilbert Community College, 2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225-2499. Chandler/Gilbert Community College is a large college located in Chandler, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,409 students. Chandler/Gilbert Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated one student in 2008.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ

Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated zero, one, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Anthem College-Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ

Anthem College-Phoenix, 1515 E Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Anthem College-Phoenix is a small college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,836 students. Anthem College-Phoenix has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated 107 students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ

The Art Institute of Phoenix, 2233 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021-2859. The Art Institute of Phoenix is a small school located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,144 students and an admission rate of 52%. The Art Institute of Phoenix has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 41 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated six and forty-four students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical InstitutePhoenix - Phoenix, AZ

ITT Technical InstitutePhoenix, 10220 North 25th Ave, Ste 100, Phoenix, AZ 85021. ITT Technical InstitutePhoenix is a small school located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 128 students and an admission rate of 42%. ITT Technical InstitutePhoenix has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Collins College - Tempe, AZ

Collins College, 1140 S Priest Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281-5206. Collins College is a small college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,519 students. Collins College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 182 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated fifty and thirty students respectively in 2008.

Grand Canyon University - Phoenix, AZ

Grand Canyon University, 3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85017. Grand Canyon University is a large university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,087 students and an admission rate of 100%. Grand Canyon University has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two students in 2008.

Paradise Valley Community College - Phoenix, AZ

Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85032. Paradise Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,105 students. Paradise Valley Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Scottsdale Community College - Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Scottsdale Community College is a large college located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,077 students. Scottsdale Community College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Tempe - Tempe, AZ

ITT Technical Institute-Tempe, 5005 S. Wendler Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282. ITT Technical Institute-Tempe is a small school located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 906 students and an admission rate of 55%. ITT Technical Institute-Tempe has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree.

University of Phoenix-Online Campus - Phoenix, AZ

University of Phoenix-Online Campus, 3157 E. Elwood Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-7209. University of Phoenix-Online Campus is a large university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 181,146 students. University of Phoenix-Online Campus has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated one, sixty-nine, and fifty students respectively in 2008.

Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University, , Tempe, AZ 85287. Arizona State University is a large university located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 67,082 students and an admission rate of 82%. Arizona State University has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 32 students in 2008.

Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated one, zero, and four students respectively in 2008.

East Valley Institute of Technology - Mesa, AZ

East Valley Institute of Technology, 1601 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201. East Valley Institute of Technology is a small school located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 203 students. East Valley Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two students in 2008.

Rio Salado College - Tempe, AZ

Rio Salado College, 2323 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281. Rio Salado College is a large college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,186 students. Rio Salado College has a one to two year program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Web Professional - Site Designer: A CWP Site Designer implements and maintains Web sites using authoring and scripting languages, content creation and management tools, and digital media.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Web Graphics and Multimedia Certificate: Equips the student for work as a Web graphic artist, creating illustrations, pictures, buttons, and other images for use on the Web, as well as the ability to create interactive multimedia designs in Flash or other programs.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Designer Associate: Web Designer Associates are proficient in the visual arts and creating the images and designs that capture and keep visitors' interest.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona photo by Urban

Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.