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Career and Education Opportunities for Graphic Designers in Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for graphic designers. There are currently 6,030 working graphic designers in North Carolina; this should grow 10% to 6,630 working graphic designers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for graphic designers are expected to grow by about 12.9%. Graphic designers generally design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos.

Graphic designers earn approximately $18 hourly or $37,980 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average 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 North Carolina, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: graphics coordinator, designer, and multimedia developer.

There are twenty-nine schools of higher education in the Raleigh area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Raleigh 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 Raleigh 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

Meredith College - Raleigh, NC

Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607-5298. Meredith College is a small college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,250 students and an admission rate of 69%. Meredith College has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design.

Peace College - Raleigh, NC

Peace College, 15 E Peace St, Raleigh, NC 27604-1194. Peace College is a small college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 713 students and an admission rate of 65%. Peace College has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated one student in 2008.

Wake Technical Community College - Raleigh, NC

Wake Technical Community College, 9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC 27603-5696. Wake Technical Community College is a large college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,839 students. Wake Technical Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated fourteen and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

School of Communication Arts - Raleigh, NC

School of Communication Arts, 3000 Wakefield Crossing Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614-7076. School of Communication Arts is a small school located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 313 students. School of Communication Arts has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated ten, fourteen, and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University, 103 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708. Duke University is a large university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,871 students and an admission rate of 23%. Duke University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated two students in 2008.

Johnston Community College - Smithfield, NC

Johnston Community College, 245 College Road, Smithfield, NC 27577-2350. Johnston Community College is a small college located in Smithfield, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,128 students. Johnston Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated six and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Campbell University Inc - Buies Creek, NC

Campbell University Inc, 450 Leslie Campbell Ave, Buies Creek, NC 27506. Campbell University Inc is a medium sized university located in Buies Creek, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,075 students and an admission rate of 60%. Campbell University Inc has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated two students in 2008.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh - Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University at Raleigh, 2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27695-7001. North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a large university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,871 students and an admission rate of 60%. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated seven and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated eighteen and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty and six students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham - Durham, NC

The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, 410 Blackwell St, Ste 200, Durham, NC 27701. The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham is a small school located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 120 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, associate's degree.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree.

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: Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina photo by Jmturner

Raleigh is located in Wake County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 392,552, which has grown by 42.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Raleigh, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Raleigh are valued at $217,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,685 new homes were built in Raleigh, down from 3,224 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Raleigh are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 44.9% of Raleigh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Raleigh is 7.2%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Raleigh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Highland Church, Hillcrest Church and Wake Chapel are all churches located in Raleigh. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Raleigh is home to the North Ridge Country Club and the Pamlico Junction as well as Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest and Rothgeb Park. Visitors to Raleigh can choose from Hampton Inn - Capital Blvd. North, Best Western Raleigh Inn and Diamond Hospitality Inc for temporary stays in the area.