How Hard is it to Get a Graphic Design Job? An In-Depth Look


Career Consultant & Blog Writer

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Graphic design is a highly competitive field, and the job market is soaked with talented designers who are eager to find work. However, with a little bit of persistence, hard work, and a strong portfolio, it is possible to break into the graphic design industry and secure a job as a professional designer.

In this article, we will explore the job market for graphic designers, what you need to know about the competition, and tips for how to increase your chances of getting hired.

The Definition of Graphic Design

Graphic design is a creative field that involves creating visual representations of concepts, ideas, and information. It is used in a wide range of applications, including advertising, branding, packaging, web design, and more. Graphic designers use a variety of tools, including Adobe Creative Suite, to create their designs and communicate their ideas effectively.

The Graphic Design Job Market

The graphic design industry is expanding and offers many opportunities for talented individuals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of graphic designers is expected to grow by 3% from 2019 to 2029. This is slower than the average for all occupations, but the demand for graphic designers is still strong. The job outlook for graphic designers is favorable, but competition for jobs is intense.

Competition for Graphic Design Jobs

The competition for graphic design jobs can be great, especially in larger cities where there are many graphic design firms. There are many qualified candidates for each open position, so it is important to stand out from the crowd. To increase your chances of success, you will need to have a strong portfolio, excellent references, and the right skills and experience.

The Hiring Process

The hiring process for graphic design jobs can be competitive, but it is also equitable. Most employers will start by reviewing your portfolio, which should showcase your best work and demonstrate your skills and expertise.

During the interview process, you may be asked to complete a design test or to explain your design philosophy and approach. This is an opportunity to showcase your creative abilities and demonstrate your passion for the field.

Skills Required for a Graphic Design Job

To be successful in a graphic design job, you will need to have technical skills and creative abilities. Some of the key skills required for a graphic design job include:

  • Knowledge of design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
  • Knowledge of web design and coding
  • Creativity and ability to come up with original designs
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills

Education Requirements for Graphic Design Jobs

Many graphic design jobs want a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. However, some entry-level positions may be available for those with an associate’s degree or a certificate in graphic design. It is important to have a strong portfolio of your work to showcase your skills and abilities to potential employers.

Tips for a Successful Career in Graphic Design

Stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies, the graphic design industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay informed about the latest tools, software, and design trends. To increase your chances of getting hired as a graphic designer, there are several things you can do:

Building a Strong Portfolio

Your portfolio is the most important tool you have as a new graphic designer. It is a representation of your skills, experience, and creativity. When building your portfolio, it is important to include a variety of your best work, including designs for print and digital media. Make sure your portfolio is professional, and well-organized, and showcases your abilities in a clear and concise manner.


Networking is key to success in the graphic design industry. Join industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other graphic designers. This will help you meet potential employers and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry.


Consider specializing in a specific area of graphic design, such as logo design, packaging design, or web design. This will help you stand out from other candidates and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Keep learning

Graphic design is a continually evolving field, and it is important to keep up with the latest trends and techniques. Consider taking courses, attending workshops, and participating in online communities to continue developing your skills and staying current.

Continuously develop your skills

Graphic design is a competitive field, and it’s essential to continuously develop your skills and stay ahead of the industry. Take courses, attend workshops, and experiment with new techniques to keep your skills sharp.

Be open to feedback

Graphic design is a combining process, and it’s important to be open to feedback and constructive criticism. Listen to the opinions of others and use their feedback to improve your designs and your approach.

Finding Graphic Design Jobs

There are a variety of ways to get graphic design jobs. You can start by searching for job listings on websites such as Monster, Indeed, and Glassdoor. You can also reach out to graphic design firms and ask if they are hiring. Networking with other designers, attending industry events, and participating in design competitions can also help you find job opportunities.


Getting a graphic design job can be challenging, but it is not impossible for anyone. With a strong portfolio, excellent skills, and a willingness to work hard, you can break into the graphic design industry and secure a job as a professional designer. Remember to network, be persistent, and never stop learning, and you will be well on your way to a successful career in graphic design.


Q: What type of education do I need to get a graphic design job?

A: While a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is preferred by many employers, it is not always required. Some graphic designers have an associate’s degree or a certificate in graphic design, while others have no formal education and have learned through on-the-job training or online courses.

Q: What is the average salary for a graphic designer?

A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for graphic designers was $52,110 in May 2019. However, the salary for graphic designers can vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience, and education.

Q: How can I find a graphic design job?

A: There are several ways to find a graphic design job, including job search websites, networking, and submitting your portfolio to design firms and companies. You can also consider freelance work or starting your own design business.

Q: What type of work environment can I expect as a graphic designer?

A: Graphic designers typically work in an office or studio environment, but may also work from home or on a freelance basis. They may work independently or as part of a team and may collaborate with other designers, copywriters, and clients.

Q: What qualifications do I need to become a graphic designer?

A: You typically need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field, along with a strong portfolio of work.

Q: What are some of the key skills required to be a successful graphic designer?

A: Graphic designers need to be proficient in design software, have strong communication and problem-solving skills, and be able to work well under pressure.

Q: What kind of jobs can I apply for with a background in graphic design?

A: Graphic designers can work in a variety of industries, including advertising, marketing, and publishing. They may also work as freelance designers or start their own design studios.

Q: How much can I expect to earn as a graphic designer?

A: The average salary for a graphic designer varies depending on experience, location, and the specific industry. However, graphic designers can typically earn between $40,000 and $80,000 per year.

Q: What should I include in my portfolio to make it stand out from the competition?

A: Your portfolio should showcase your best work, demonstrating your skills and expertise. It should be well-organized, easy to navigate, and include a variety of different projects that highlight your versatility and range as a designer. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include case studies or brief descriptions of the design process for each project, to help potential employers understand your approach and the thought process behind your designs.