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Career and Education Opportunities for Graphic Designers in San Diego, California

For those living in the San Diego, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for graphic designers. About 36,700 people are currently employed as graphic designers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 41,800 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for graphic designers are expected to grow by about 12.9%. In general, graphic designers design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos.

Income for graphic designers is about $24 hourly or $50,520 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $20 per hour or $42,400 per year. Incomes for graphic designers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Art and Design in California, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: commerical artist, label maker, and production designer.

There are sixty schools of higher education in the San Diego area, including twelve within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can get a degree to start your career as a graphic designer. Given that the most common education level 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 San Diego 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.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • 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

MiraCosta College - Oceanside, CA

MiraCosta College, One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056-3899. MiraCosta College is a large college located in Oceanside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,910 students. MiraCosta College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cuyamaca College - El Cajon, CA

Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Pky, El Cajon, CA 92019. Cuyamaca College is a medium sized college located in El Cajon, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,926 students. Cuyamaca College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

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

San Diego City College - San Diego, CA

San Diego City College, 1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101-4787. San Diego City College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,372 students. San Diego City College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated four and two students respectively in 2008.

San Diego Mesa College - San Diego, CA

San Diego Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, CA 92111-4998. San Diego Mesa College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,460 students. San Diego Mesa College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, less than one year.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Palomar College - San Marcos, CA

Palomar College, 1140 W. Mission, San Marcos, CA 92069-1487. Palomar College is a large college located in San Marcos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 28,093 students. Palomar College has 5 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated four, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, associate's degree.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree and two to four year.

San Diego Miramar College - San Diego, CA

San Diego Miramar College, 10440 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126-2999. San Diego Miramar College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,455 students. San Diego Miramar College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, two to four year.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree and two to four year.

ITT Technical Institute-San Diego - San Diego, CA

ITT Technical Institute-San Diego, 9680 Granite Ridge Dr, San Diego, CA 92123. ITT Technical Institute-San Diego is a small school located in San Diego, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,356 students and an admission rate of 48%. ITT Technical Institute-San Diego has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree which graduated 19 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree.

Southwestern College - Chula Vista, CA

Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91910-7299. Southwestern College is a large college located in Chula Vista, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,997 students. Southwestern College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

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

The Art Institute of California-San Diego - San Diego, CA

The Art Institute of California-San Diego, 7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92108-4423. The Art Institute of California-San Diego is a small school located in San Diego, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,092 students and an admission rate of 41%. The Art Institute of California-San Diego has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 26 students in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 59 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated seven and seventy-six students respectively in 2008.

Platt College-San Diego - San Diego, CA

Platt College-San Diego, 6250 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115-3919. Platt College-San Diego is a small college located in San Diego, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 309 students. Platt College-San Diego has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, less than one year which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 96 students in 2008.

Point Loma Nazarene University - San Diego, CA

Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Dr, San Diego, CA 92106-2899. Point Loma Nazarene University is a small university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,681 students and an admission rate of 78%. Point Loma Nazarene University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated one student in 2008.

Coleman University - San Diego, CA

Coleman University, 8888 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92123-1506. Coleman University is a small university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 604 students and an admission rate of 100%. Coleman University has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Computer Graphics which graduated thirty-four, thirty-eight, and six students respectively 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: San Diego, California

San Diego, California
San Diego, California photo by FlickreviewR

San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.