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Career and Education Opportunities for Graphic Designers in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you want to be a graphic designer, the Minneapolis, Minnesota area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 5,220 working graphic designers in Minnesota; this should grow 12% to 5,840 working graphic designers in the state by 2016. 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. In general, graphic designers design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos.

Graphic designers earn about $19 per hour or $41,150 per year on average in Minnesota and about $20 hourly or $42,400 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for graphic designers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Minnesota and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: food stylist, digital artist, and graphic art designer.

The Minneapolis area is home to eighty schools of higher education, including eighteen within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis where you can get a degree 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 studying to be 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 Minneapolis 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

Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College - Saint Paul, MN

Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College, 235 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102-9808. Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,388 students. Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, less than one year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Academy College - Minneapolis, MN

Academy College, 1101 E. 78th Street, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55420-1554. Academy College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 186 students and an admission rate of 100%. Academy College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

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

Capella University - Minneapolis, MN

Capella University, 225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389. Capella University is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,733 students and an admission rate of 100%. Capella University has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.

Minneapolis Business College - Roseville, MN

Minneapolis Business College, 1711 W County Rd B, Roseville, MN 55113-0000. Minneapolis Business College is a small college located in Roseville, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 408 students. Minneapolis Business College has a one to two year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Richfield, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1401 W 76 St, Richfield, MN 55423. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Richfield, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,479 students and an admission rate of 87%. Minnesota School of Business has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

North Hennepin Community College - Brooklyn Park, MN

North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. North Hennepin Community College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,904 students. North Hennepin Community College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park, MN

Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Hennepin Technical College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,617 students. Hennepin Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated fifty-seven students in 2008.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 741 students and an admission rate of 57%. Minneapolis College of Art and Design has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree.

Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, MN

Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, MN 55068-2999. Dakota County Technical College is a small college located in Rosemount, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,919 students. Dakota County Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Plymouth, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1455 County Rd 101 North, Plymouth, MN 55447. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Plymouth, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 520 students. Minnesota School of Business has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design.

College of Visual Arts - Saint Paul, MN

College of Visual Arts, 344 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102-2199. College of Visual Arts is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 195 students. College of Visual Arts has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree.
  • Graphic Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie - Eden Prairie, MN

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie, 8911 Columbine Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie is a small school located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 612 students and an admission rate of 36%. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree.

Brown College - Mendota Heights, MN

Brown College, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1004. Brown College is a small college located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,231 students. Brown College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

Northwestern College - Saint Paul, MN

Northwestern College, 3003 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113-1598. Northwestern College is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,022 students and an admission rate of 95%. Northwestern College has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated nine students in 2008.

Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo - Lake Elmo, MN

Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo, 8565 Eagle Point Circle, Lake Elmo, MN 55042-8637. Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo is a small college located in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 541 students. Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design.

The Art Institutes International Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN

The Art Institutes International Minnesota, 15 S 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402. The Art Institutes International Minnesota is a small school located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,840 students and an admission rate of 51%. The Art Institutes International Minnesota has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated three and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated twenty and thirty-five 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: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.