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Job Descriptions

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers typically create and design artistic materials via computer for use on websites, for written materials (e.g., publications), or for other media (e.g., television, film, advertising). graphic designers can work for a variety of employers as most employers who require the use of artistic or visual materials will need a graphic designer. Graphic designers can also be self-employed. If you are a graphic designer, you will have some clearly defined and repetitive tasks (e.g., designing artistic materials via computer to an employer’s specifications).


This job usually requires the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or fine arts.

Previous Experience

Previous experience as a graphic designer (or similar) is preferred. Some employers may require that you have knowledge of certain types of software (e.g., Adobe products). If this is the case, they will specify this requirement in their job advertisements. In some instances, if you do not have a college degree, but you do have extensive experience as an employed graphic designer, an employer may hire you.

Although many employers prefer that you have previous experience, it is strongly encouraged that you apply if you have the required education and skills.

Job Duties

  • Creating and producing visual materials and design layouts using computer software programs.
  • Consult with clients, editors, writers, and/or art directors to determine the overall look, design layout, and artistic elements required to meet their needs.
  • Submit design work to clients for approval and take direction from supervisory staff or clients regarding project plans and changes to design work.
  • Adapt existing design work to suit your clients’ needs.
  • Your employer may also ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work “Out of the Scene.” If you are working a graphic designer, you may not be working with the public on a regular basis.  However, you may be required to speak with and interact with co-workers (depending on if you work alone from home or in an office). You will also need to communicate well with your employer or supervisor to help meet his/her artistic needs.

Skills / Abilities

Graphic Design-Specific Computer Programs and Electronics - You will need to know how to use computers and computer systems, and very specific art/design related computer software, as well as other electronics such as printers and scanners. Many of these skills and abilities will be provided by your college education.

Written Expression - You will be required to write and spell correctly.

Oral Expression - You will be required to speak clearly and effectively.

Reading Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to read, and follow written instructions and ideas.

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to understand and follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Organization and Prioritization - This job requires the ability to clearly organize and categorize work priorities to complete your work.

Manual Dexterity - This job requires the repeated and coordinated use of your hands, wrists, and fingers to use and type on a computer keyboard, requiring the use of fine motor skills.

Environmental Demands

Location - A graphic designer typically works indoors in a climate-controlled office setting. If you work from home, you may choose your own work location.

Noise Level - The noise level will be low (fairly quiet).

Lighting Level - The lighting level will be dependent on your employer. If you work in an office setting at work, you may have to work in florescent lighting. If you are able to work from home, then you can choose your lighting level.

Work Hours- This job may have fulltime hours (40 hours per week) or part-time shifts, during regular business hours (9am-5pm). If you work from home, you may be able to come up with your own schedule.

Amount of Movement –This job typically requires that you sit for long periods of time. It also requires that you work long hours at a computer keyboard, therefore you will need to have good fine motor skills.

Cleanliness and Odors - This job setting is typically quite clean, although it may be dependent on how well you maintain the cleanliness of your office or cubicle.

Work Attire - Work attire will range - if you are in an office setting, work clothing will typically be business casual clothing. If you work from home, you can choose what you want to wear.

Structure and Predictability - This job will typically have a moderate degree of predictability and structure.  This means that you might not do the same tasks each day, and these tasks might be completed in a different order each day.  You might not always know ahead of time how long each task will take to complete.  You will probably work in the same areas or location each day, and interact with the same people (e.g., co-workers) each day. 

What's the Pace?

    • Steady:  In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that you will always have some work to do.  When the work pace is steady, you are working at a level “5” on a scale of “1” (nothing to do) to “10” (extremely busy, rushed pace).

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