How to Become a Visual Designer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Visual Designer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Visual Designer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Visual Designer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
"Graphic Designer" was the nearest match for you query "Visual Designer".

Steps to Become a Graphic Designer

Being a graphic designer is an occupation that combines skill and talent. Learning the tools of the trade as early as high school can provide you with years of valuable practice before entering the job field as a graphic designer. If you're starting your career journey, here are some steps you can take to become a graphic designer.

Learn the Fundamentals of Art

It's important to understand and be able to implement essential art techniques and fundamentals when becoming a graphic designer. Learning the fundamentals can equip you with the artistic talent necessary for the job and the vocabulary to explain and defend your design decisions. High school art classes are a great place to start. If you're out of high school, look for open art classes at your local college or find art courses online.


Earn a Degree or Certification for Graphic Design

Getting a job as a graphic designer does not necessarily require a college degree. However, a college degree will provide you with several advantages, including:

  • Learning how to use graphic design computer technology and software
  • Understanding advanced art techniques
  • How to build a creative portfolio that stands out when applying for jobs
  • Give you the accreditation of graduating from a design program

There are many alternatives to a four-year university when becoming a graphic designer. Technical institutes, private colleges, and online programs can provide you with graphic design education and even a certification upon completing the program. Higher education will additionally help provide you with portfolio pieces to help land you a graphic design internship.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Graphic Designer?

93% of people working as a Graphic Designer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Graphic Designer?

  • Indesign Photoshop
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent Communication
  • Editing
  • Powerpoint
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Graphic Designer in the United States.

Apply for Internships

A graphic design internship can help you gain exposure to the graphic designer profession and get work experience and portfolio pieces before applying for jobs. A graphic design internship can range from 6 months to a year. When applying for graphic design internships, look for opportunities that will offer you hands-on experience with client work.


Build a Creative Portfolio

During your internship as a graphic designer, it's important to build a portfolio of your best work. This portfolio will showcase your talent and expertise to employers when you're looking for a job as a graphic designer, as it is the employer's only way for the employer to understand and gauge your abilities.

Presenting a compelling design portfolio should include a wide selection of examples. It's important to present only your best work and tailor your portfolio to a potential employer. A digital portfolio or online portfolio website is a great method for showcasing different types of work.


Stay Up to Date in Your Field

Graphic design can be a fast-paced profession with new developments happening often. It's important to stay up-to-date in the graphic design field to remain relevant in the industry. Things like learning and mastering new design software, staying on top of art trends, continuing to take education courses and certifications, and staying active in local or online collaborative groups can help keep your graphic design skills relevant and in demand.

Visual Designer Career Path

Graphic Designer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$49K - $73K /yrMost Likely Range
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36% advanced to

Senior Graphic Designer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$70K - $105K /yrMost Likely Range
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Adjunct Graphic Designer

No Years of Experience Reports
$59K - $86K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Visual Designer Career Path

Summer Intern Graphic Designer
Graphic Designer
Senior Graphic Designer
Adjunct Graphic Designer
Principal Graphic Designer
Head Graphic Designer
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Related Careers in the Arts & Design Industry

Interested in other Arts & Design careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Visual Designer skills. Discover some of the most common Visual Designer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Visual Designer
25% skills overlap
5% transitioned to Visual Designer