What Jobs Can I Get with a Graphic Communication Degree?

Graphic communications is all about creating visual materials to convey messages effectively. If you're passionate about this field or considering a degree in graphic communications, you might be curious about the career options it opens up. In this guide, we'll walk you through ten graphic communications degree careers, complete with salary insights and primary duties.

What is a Graphic Communications Degree?

A graphic communications degree focuses on expressing ideas using words and images. Students learn to craft and distribute various media tailored to specific audiences. The coursework covers diverse topics such as animation, computer typography, graphic design, interactive technology, special effects, and video graphics. You can pursue an associate or bachelor's degree, and advanced degrees like master's or doctoral can enhance your earning potential.


A career as an illustrator beckons for those with a Graphic Communications degree, where the average salary is $27,076 per year. Illustrators are skilled professionals who bring images to life, utilizing both traditional tools and digital software. Their creations range from logos to infographics, each crafted with precision to evoke specific emotions or convey particular messages. Specialization in industries like healthcare, science, or technical fields allows illustrators to enhance their earning potential, contributing unique visuals to diverse sectors.


With an average salary of $39,512 per year, photographers find their niche in capturing moments and creating emotional connections through professional imagery. Whether specializing in fashion, portraits, weddings, or wildlife, photographers bring their artistic instincts and patience to deliver striking visuals. Their work extends to various realms, including social, real estate, sports, and military photography, showcasing the broad spectrum of opportunities within this dynamic field.


Animators, earning around $41,103 per year, play a pivotal role in bringing visuals to life through technology. Beyond entertaining audiences with cartoons and commercials, animators may create formal animations for educational purposes. Collaboration with clients, script review, and staying abreast of the latest animation techniques define their responsibilities, making them key contributors to the vibrant world of moving images.

Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishers, with an average salary of $47,560 per year, wield software to design print and online materials. Their expertise lies in applying graphic design principles to format text and images, creating aesthetically pleasing and reader-friendly documents. Attention to detail is crucial as they produce books, newsletters, and business cards, sometimes relying on templates while ensuring adherence to company formatting standards.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers, earning an average of $50,329 per year, are essential in crafting visual media that communicates messages effectively. Using graphic design software, they contribute to building a company's brand identity and promoting specific products. Whether in marketing, politics, or public communications, graphic designers play a pivotal role in presenting a unified image to diverse audiences.


Drafters, with an average salary of $56,626 per year, bridge the gap between architectural and engineering designs and technical drawings. Using advanced software, they meticulously create accurate representations of building plans and layouts. Many drafters embrace the flexibility of freelance work, allowing them to collaborate remotely and potentially enhance their earning potential.

Art Director

Art directors command an average salary of $63,424 per year and are at the helm of creative projects in publishing, advertising, and video production. They play a pivotal role in determining project layouts, visual messages, and target audiences. Assembling and leading a team, offering feedback, and ensuring deadlines are met are part of their responsibilities, ensuring the successful delivery of the final product.

Web Developer

Web developers, earning around $68,516 per year, use coding to transform designs into functional websites. Collaboration among multiple developers ensures consistent page design and user accessibility. Web developers also consult with marketers to optimize the final product for users, maintaining software documentation and providing post-launch support to address issues like page errors and slow loading speeds.

Industrial Designer

Industrial designers, with an average salary of $69,561 per year, channel their creativity into creating outlines for new products. From electronic devices to medical equipment or toys, their work involves extensive collaboration with team members. Effective communication with engineers ensures successful production, while collaboration with marketing teams enhances the advertising campaigns for the designed products.

UX Designer

UX designers, commanding an average salary of $89,636 per year, focus on optimizing website user experiences. Researching target audiences, coordinating information architecture, and incorporating user feedback are key aspects of their role. Ensuring compatibility with mobile devices, UX designers play a crucial role in providing users with a seamless browsing experience wherever they are.


What is the scope of careers with a Graphic Communications degree?

A Graphic Communications degree opens up diverse career opportunities in fields such as illustration, photography, animation, graphic design, and more. Graduates can explore roles that involve creating visual content to convey messages across various industries.

How does specialization impact earning potential in graphic communication careers?

Specializing in specific industries or techniques within graphic communication careers, such as medical illustration or web development, can significantly impact earning potential. The article explores how professionals can tailor their skills to carve a niche in their chosen field.

What are the key responsibilities of an art director in the graphic communications industry?

Art directors play a crucial role in overseeing creative projects in publishing, advertising, and video production. This FAQ delves into the specific responsibilities of an art director, including determining project layouts, visual messages, and assembling and leading creative teams.

How does the freelance model apply to careers like drafting and illustration in graphic communications?

The article discusses how the freelance model is a viable option for careers such as drafting and illustration in graphic communications. It explores the benefits of freelancing, including flexibility and potential increased earning opportunities.

What role does UX design play in the graphic communications landscape?

UX designers focus on optimizing website user experiences. This FAQ provides insights into the role of UX design in graphic communications, discussing the importance of research, information architecture, and user feedback in creating seamless online interactions.

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