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Career and Education Opportunities for Graphic Designers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Graphic designers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 10,550 working graphic designers in Pennsylvania; this should grow 3% to about 10,850 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. 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 per hour or $38,430 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $20 per hour or $42,400 yearly. Graphic designers earn less than people working in the category of Art and Design generally in Pennsylvania and less than people in the Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: graphics coordinator, forms designer, and weapons designer.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including twenty-one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a graphic designer. Graphic designers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn 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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • 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

Bradford School - Pittsburgh, PA

Bradford School, 125 West Station Square Drive, Suite 129, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Bradford School is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 583 students and an admission rate of 95%. Bradford School has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 19 students in 2008.

Point Park University - Pittsburgh, PA

Point Park University, 201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984. Point Park University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,846 students and an admission rate of 79%. Point Park University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Oakbridge Academy of Arts - Lower Burrell, PA

Oakbridge Academy of Arts, 1250 Greensburg Rd, Lower Burrell, PA 15068. Oakbridge Academy of Arts is a small school located in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 50 students and an admission rate of 62%. Oakbridge Academy of Arts has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated one, zero, and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated eight students in 2008.

West Liberty State College - West Liberty, WV

West Liberty State College, Route 88, West Liberty, WV 26074. West Liberty State College is a small college located in West Liberty, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,508 students and an admission rate of 80%. West Liberty State College has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated seven students in 2008.

Douglas Education Center - Monessen, PA

Douglas Education Center, 130 7th St, Monessen, PA 15062. Douglas Education Center is a small school located in Monessen, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 222 students. Douglas Education Center has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree which graduated 80 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has 3 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 five and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and nine students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 420 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1328. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,985 students and an admission rate of 46%. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated seven, three, and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated thirteen, thirty-one, and 116 students respectively in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated six and forty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Carlow University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165. Carlow University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,234 students and an admission rate of 60%. Carlow University has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has 4 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 eighteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, less than one year.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, less than one year and associate's degree.
  • Graphic Design, less than one year.

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated zero, zero, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 23 students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division - Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division, 1400 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4332. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division is a medium sized school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,250 students and an admission rate of 53%. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division has 4 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 twenty-three and nineteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 32 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated sixty-five and one students respectively in 2008.

Pittsburgh Technical Institute - Oakdale, PA

Pittsburgh Technical Institute, 1111 McKee Road, Oakdale, PA 15071. Pittsburgh Technical Institute is a small school located in Oakdale, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 2,086 students and an admission rate of 88%. Pittsburgh Technical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree which graduated 30 students in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, associate's degree which graduated 48 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville - Monroeville, PA

ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville, 105 Mall Blvd Ste 200 E, Monroeville, PA 15146. ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville is a small school located in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 394 students and an admission rate of 37%. ITT Technical Institute-Monroeville has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh, Ten Parkway Ctr, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 413 students and an admission rate of 39%. ITT Technical Institute-Pittsburgh has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated ten students in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated six and zero students respectively in 2008.

International Academy of Design and Technology - Pittsburgh, PA

International Academy of Design and Technology, 555 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 73 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated forty-three students in 2008.

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated thirty-two 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.