How Long Does It Take To Become a Graphic Designer? (2023 Guide) (2023)

The time it takes to become a Graphic Designer can vary depending on the person’s education and experience. A typical university program can take four years, while a graphic design course or UX design bootcamp can range between a few weeks to a few months. Once a Designer has the foundational skills and knowledge of design, as well as a strong portfolio, they can begin freelancing. The time it takes for a Graphic Designer to land their first design job can vary, but their chances will be improved by networking and connecting with other Designers.

How Do You Find Your Speciality?

There are a variety of specialties in graphic design, and finding the right one will depend on your goals, interests, and passions. Consider some of these questions as you work to find your speciality.

  • Who do you want to interact with?
    This includes the people you will be working with, as well as the people who will see your design.
  • What are your passions?
    As you work on different designs, think about what projects you are most passionate about or what work you most enjoy doing.
  • What are your goals?
    What do you want to accomplish as a Graphic Designer? Consider your career goals and what you hope to achieve as you continue in your career.

While specializations can certainly help you stand out, it’s important to note that you don’t need to find your specialty right away. When you are starting out in graphic design, consider experimenting with various types of design. Try and practice different design areas to see what works for you.

Is Graphic Design Hard to Learn?

Learning graphic design is not hard, but it does require creative thinking, an aptitude towards art and design, and time and dedication. Graphic design requires learning the necessary tools, as well as understanding and applying the principles and theories of design.

Graphic Designers need to constantly be practicing and improving their design skills, which takes time and effort. In addition, they will need to stay up-to-date with design trends and technologies. While all of this can be learned, it will require hard work and a passion for the craft.

Do You Need a Degree to Become a Graphic Designer?

You do not need a degree in graphic design to become a Graphic Designer. Some companies may require a degree, diploma, or certification for you to be considered for a role, but most employers are more focused on a Designer’s portfolio and skills. Experience is also essential. Graphic Designers need to always be practicing their craft and working on personal projects to give themselves a leg up on the job market.

Where Education Do You Need to Become a Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designers come with different educational and professional experiences, with some possessing a four-year bachelor’s degree in graphic design or communication design and others succeeding despite having no formal training in graphic design.

There are plenty of bachelor’s degree programs and even master’s degree programs in graphic design, digital media design, and communication design. AIGA, the professional association for design, issued a joint statement with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design stating graphic design students should “make informed decisions about the match between their own educational goals and what programs deliver in actual preparation for performance in the field.”

The statement continued that someone who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication design should be qualified – although there are no guarantees – for many entry-level positions in the field of graphic design. However, the statement continued that one with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or liberal arts would not be considered ready for entry and later upward mobility within graphic design.

There are also plenty of online certificate courses teaching graphic design skills that require varying degrees of commitment to complete. These certificate courses are a great idea even for established Graphic Designers, who would benefit from polishing their skills and learning new graphic design software.

What Makes a Good Graphic Designer?

Great Graphic Designers have more in common than a knack for creating compelling visuals.

Here are the characteristics that make a good Graphic Designer.

1. They Know How to Get a Message Across

It’s the job of a Graphic Designer to communicate a client’s story and brand identity. It takes a real knack for communication and an understanding of what makes humans tick to be able to create a design that conveys those complex ideas and emotions. That’s a skill Graphic Designers need.

Before they can communicate ideas and information through their design, Graphic Designers also have to be talented communicators to secure that work. To present, persuade and negotiate in professional situations, a Graphic Designer must be able to communicate ideas with confidence and authority while listening carefully (and actively) to the needs of the client.

Further, a Graphic Designer creates and works with a wide variety of stakeholders including experts in web design, user experience (UX) design, web development, public relations, sales and marketing, product and information technology, and navigating all of those interactions smoothly will again require having a way with words.

2. They Have a Genuine Love of Design

Graphic design is a creative industry, and you need passion to thrive in a creative industry. Great Graphic Designers have a love of art and an interest in beauty wherever it can be found. Graphic Designers take time to gather inspiration from great design whether it’s found on social media, an art gallery, or a subway platform.

That passion sees good Graphic Designers through the trying times when they might be clocking long hours, trying to pull off a big edit, or working through design elements for a tricky client. A good Graphic Designer will eventually develop the time management skills necessary to carry a balanced workload, but especially early on in a graphic design career, you might rely on that passion to see you through.

That passion should come through in a Graphic Designer’s portfolio. A stellar portfolio will cause employers to potentially overlook a lack of experience or not having exactly the right educational background. Conversely, a portfolio that doesn’t show a Graphic Designer’s versatility and talent could prompt employers to pass on an otherwise strong candidate.

3. Openness to Ideas and Criticism

To be an innovative Graphic Designer capable of crafting fresh and eye-popping designs, you’ve got to be open-minded. This means both that you don’t fall into a rut by repeating the same design ideas because they’ve worked in the past, and it also means trying out different tools, graphic design software, photo editing software, and layout software constantly to see if it’s possible for computer software to take your design game to the next level.

It’s also crucial that Graphic Designers learn how to take criticism, whether it’s constructive or not. It’s easy for a Graphic Designer to feel attacked when people point out flaws in their designs, but it’s a necessary part of life in a graphic design career.

Try to grow a thick skin and learn how to use criticism from colleagues and clients to your advantage. If you can put your pride aside, you’ll likely learn something from the information they provide you, which will really improve your designs.

4. They Never Stop Learning

Further to the point about learning new computer software, good Graphic Designers understand that thriving in design requires that one become a lifelong student.

That education can come in plenty of different shapes. Most Graphic Designers picked upon design concepts and fundamentals like color theory in school, so as professionals, they make a routine out of making sure their skills are adequately sharp by watching YouTube tutorials, reading graphic design blogs, or listening to graphic design podcasts. Other Graphic Designers use online courses to brush up on their graphic design skills. There are plenty of ways to take in new information about graphic design.

Other great Graphic Designers step out of their comfort zone and attend a coding bootcamp or part-time course in a different but related field – user experience (UX) design or web design, for instance – to make their design skills more well-rounded.

Whichever way they pursue it, continuing education is a way of life for a top Graphic Designer.

5. Clients Can Count On Them

Whether Graphic Designers are working or consulting on a self-employed, freelance basis, or they work as part of a larger company or design agency, it’s crucial to be consistent, sturdy, and reliable.

Good Graphic Designers must prove themselves to be trustworthy by consistently meeting (and managing) client expectations and delivering quality work on time and on budget.

For freelance Graphic Designers who are self-employed, this means having the business side of your work in order. It’s important that freelance Graphic Designers create a diligent routine that clients can rely on. Making sure that you are billing on time and managing your schedule so that your workload is manageable will help ensure that you never let any client down.


How Long Does It Take To Become a Graphic Designer? (2023 Guide)? ›

Graphic design is a great career for people who are creative thinkers and enjoy art, technology, and communication. There are design needs across every industry, so Graphic Designers have many opportunities to take on a range of new and exciting projects.

How to become a graphic designer in 2023? ›

  1. step 1Learn Graphic Design Principles. ...
  2. step 2Enroll In a Graphic Design Course. ...
  3. step 3Learn Key Graphic Design Tools. ...
  4. step 4Work On Your Own Projects to Develop Your Graphic Design Skills. ...
  5. step 5Develop a Portfolio to Showcase Your Graphic Design Work.

Is graphic design a good career for 2023? ›

Graphic design is a great career for people who are creative thinkers and enjoy art, technology, and communication. There are design needs across every industry, so Graphic Designers have many opportunities to take on a range of new and exciting projects.

How long will it take me to become a graphic designer? ›

The time it takes to become a Graphic Designer can vary depending on the person's education and experience. A typical university program can take four years, while a graphic design course or UX design bootcamp can range between a few weeks to a few months.

Can I become a graphic designer in 3 months? ›

It is possible to become an amateur Graphic Designer who is well on the road to becoming a professional Graphic Designer in about three months. In short, three months is what it will take to receive the professional training required to start building a set of competitive professional job materials.

Can I become a graphic designer in 6 months? ›

The amount of time it takes will depend on your mode of learning and your own abilities. Many bootcamps will take you from novice to job-ready in about six months. You should give yourself at least that much time if you're self-learning graphic design.

What age do most graphic designers start? ›

Graphic Designer Age
Graphic Designer YearsPercentages
40+ years42%
30-40 years35%
20-30 years24%
Sep 9, 2022

At what age should I start graphic design? ›

Yes you can learn Graphics designing in any age. And when it comes to learning anything then age is not the barrier so you can learn anything at any age. It totally depends on your mindset, so make a mind that you can also learn graphics designing as other professional graphics designers.

Where will graphic design be in 10 years? ›

“Graphic design will be more immersive in 10 years. Paper will be obsolete, so every design will be digital with a website feel. These designs will require layers allowing the user to click deeper into the design, ultimately selling the product without actually making a pitch.

Does graphic design require math? ›

Graphic design focuses on creating art for a purpose such as an advertisement or company logo. For this major you'll take lots of graphic design classes. But you'll also need to take classes in the arts, science, math, and social sciences to earn your bachelor's degree.

Is graphic design stressful? ›

Graphic design is no more stressful than any other field,” says graphic designer Ryan Mungia. “A lot of the stress depends on what kind of job you have and who you are doing it for.” That said, there are a few common sources of stress for graphic designers: Keeping up with deadlines.

Can you self teach graphic design? ›

There are certainly exceptional self-taught graphic designers who have launched careers without a formal education. While it's true that it can be done, that doesn't mean it's the best route for you.

How do I know if graphic design is for me? ›

If you dream of spending your days doing something active at work, graphic design might not be the right career for you. Design is inherently a desk-based job. If you enjoy spending your days in front of a computer being creative and collaborating with others, then design is a great fit.

How do I get my first graphic design job? ›

How to get a graphic design job
  1. Develop your skills. Start familiarizing yourself with essential graphic design tools and software packages. ...
  2. Consider formal education. ...
  3. Get an internship. ...
  4. Begin freelancing. ...
  5. Develop your portfolio. ...
  6. Find and join an industry community. ...
  7. Prepare your materials.
  8. Study the organization.
Jul 21, 2022

Is graphic design hard in college? ›

Is Graphic Design Hard in College? Generally, a graphic design major isn't difficult. However, it requires passion and aptitude toward art and design as well as creative and innovative thinking. Just like other majors, graphic design also requires time and dedication.

What does a graphic designer get per month? ›

Average salary for a Graphic Designer in India is 3 Lakhs per year (₹25.0k per month).

Can I be a graphic designer in one year? ›

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to spend three years at university! Graphic design is open to all, and you can enter the profession in under 12 months.

Can I learn graphic design in 2 weeks? ›

Students looking to become comfortable experimenting with the tools can learn graphic design in only a few weeks. Students looking to master the tools for professional use may take months or even years to become comfortable with them.

Do graphic designers make 6 figures? ›

Many graphic designers don't think making six figures on your own is possible. Most graphic designers don't make that, and salaries are quite less than that, so why should they think that it's possible? Well, it is. But you have to get yourself into the right mindset.

Who is the youngest graphic designer? ›

Sareer Shaukat, a student of class IX has had a keen interest in computer science and information technology since he was just ten years old. Along with his studies, he spends most of his time on the computer and is busy learning web designing and graphics.

Is it smart to go to school for graphic design? ›

Absolutely. In fact, the opportunity to work with, be inspired by and just be around a whole bunch of fellow creatives for a considerable amount of time is one of the biggest benefits of a graphic design degree.

Is graphic design an easy career to get into? ›

With all its diversity, graphic design is a very competitive field. Sure, it's fairly easy to land great projects if you have years of experience. However, the market looks quite a bit different through the eyes of an entry-level designer.

Can I become a graphic designer if I am not good at drawing? ›

We often get asked 'Do Graphic Designers need amazing Drawing skills? In short, the answer is NO. You can still become a successful Graphic Designer and not be good at drawing.

Should I learn drawing before graphic design? ›

In fact, drawing skills generally aren't even a requirement in most graphic design job descriptions. In an analysis of more than 46,000 graphic design job postings, eight of the top 10 skills in highest demand are associated with design software.

Is 13 good for graphic design? ›

In our tests, the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch achieved better performance in both single and multi-core CPU tests than the M1 version, and that leads to excellent graphical design performance, even at very high resolutions.

Why I quit graphic design? ›

There are a lot of reasons why you might not be interested in continuing your career as a graphic designer. Maybe you're sick of the clients, terrible management, working with unrealistic deadlines, the creative demand, or maybe it's all of that rolled together.

What major is close to graphic design? ›

What majors go well with graphic design? A graphic design major is a great way to build the skills to enter the design field. Other relevant majors for graphic design include web development, industrial design, and digital arts.

Is graphic design still a good career? ›

Salary and job outlook

The BLS projects the graphic designer field will grow 3 percent from 2021 to 2031 with an average of 23,900 openings. Many openings will be from workers leaving for different occupations or exiting the labor force [2].

What subjects should I take for graphic design? ›

Depending on the institution, this might be a three or four year degree, but all degrees will focus on subjects including:
  • Drawing.
  • Photography.
  • Design Techniques.
  • Art theory.
  • Visual communication theory.
  • Illustration.
  • Digital Design.
Aug 21, 2017

Is a graphic design degree worth it or worthless? ›

The data revealed that 88 percent of employers prefer candidates to have a graphic design associate's degree or higher. So whether you earn an associate or bachelor's degree in design, having this formal education under your belt qualifies you to apply for nearly 10 times as many jobs as an individual with no degree.

Is it hard to get a graphic design job without a degree? ›

Well, the good news is that you do not need a degree to become a graphic designer. Graphic design is an amazing creative career with limitless possibilities, but there are definitely certain things you need to know before embarking on your new role.

What are 5 cons of being a graphic designer? ›

  • Most Designers don't get rich.
  • Design is Subjective.
  • Everyone Thinks it's a Easy Job.
  • Competitive Job.
  • Criticism and Demanding Clients.
  • Working All Day on Computer.
  • Jobs May Outsourced.
  • Need Degree for Job.
Jul 12, 2022

What are the risks of being a graphic designer? ›

Cons of being a graphic designer
  • Mostly behind a computer. Graphic designers spend most of their days behind a computer. ...
  • Limited promotion opportunities. As a graphic designer, there are limited opportunities to progress your career. ...
  • Often work alone. ...
  • Deadlines. ...
  • Must meet client specifications.
Nov 28, 2022

How long do graphic designers work a day? ›

While the hours that graphic designers work can vary depending on their project deadlines and workload, most full-time graphic designers typically work between 35 and 40 hours per week. However, it's not uncommon for them to work longer hours when they have tight deadlines to meet.

How can I learn graphic design with no experience? ›

How to Become a Graphic Designer with No Experience 2023
  1. Website development. ...
  2. Print media. ...
  3. Gaming. ...
  4. Social media. ...
  5. Study basic graphic design principles. ...
  6. Take an online graphic design course or earn a certificate. ...
  7. Learn essential graphic design tools. ...
  8. Hone your graphic design skills through personal projects.
Oct 4, 2022

Can I learn graphic design in 2 months? ›

Yes, you can grasp the basics of graphic design in 2 months, but it takes several years to master it. In fact, you'll learn that even decades later you can keep improving your skills. This is the main reason senior graphic designers are paid more than interns.

Is 30 too old to learn graphic design? ›

Is it ever too late to become a graphic designer? No, it is never too late to start a career as a graphic designer. There are several ways to develop the skills and knowledge for this role, and these are open to people of all ages.

Is graphic design a high income skill? ›

This skill is in 'giant' demand—and can pay up to $145 an hour as a side hustle. As far as creative skills go, graphic design is in high demand.

How to be a successful graphic designer? ›

Use these tips to improve your skills and become a better graphic design professional:
  1. Earn an education in design. ...
  2. Take online design courses. ...
  3. Specialize your work. ...
  4. Determine your signature style. ...
  5. Find a mentor. ...
  6. Seek feedback from other designers. ...
  7. Join online design groups. ...
  8. Collaborate with skilled designers.
Nov 28, 2022

How much should I charge as a beginner graphic designer? ›

Hourly rates: $25 - 150 per hour

Hourly graphic design rates vary based on experience and design specialty. Typically, more experienced graphic designers will charge between $65 to $150 per hour. In contrast, more entry-level freelance design rates range from $25 to $50 per hour.

What does a beginner graphic designer do? ›

Entry-level graphic designers train to become skilled in the manipulation of colors, shapes, fonts, images, photography, print design, logos, and animation, and may use computer software or draw by hand.

What do entry-level designers do? ›

An entry-level graphic designer is responsible for producing still images, videos and other visual elements for websites, magazines, presentations, television, movies, billboards and other media. These professionals are crucial for an organization to build and maintain a brand as well while driving sales.

What are the 7 rule of graphic design? ›

The fundamental principles of design are: Emphasis, Balance and Alignment, Contrast, Repetition, Proportion, Movement and White Space.

What are the 12 rules of graphic design? ›

There are twelve basic principles of design: contrast, balance, emphasis, proportion, hierarchy, repetition, rhythm, pattern, white space, movement, variety, and unity. These visual and graphic design principles work together to create appealing and functional designs that make sense to users.

What are the 4 rules of graphic design? ›

The four graphic design principles are contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity (C.R.A.P.).

How long will it take to learn graphic design? ›

The time it takes to become a Graphic Designer can vary depending on the person's education and experience. A typical university program can take four years, while a graphic design course or UX design bootcamp can range between a few weeks to a few months.

Is graphic design a good career in 2023? ›

Yes, graphic design can be a good career for those who have a passion for design and creativity. The field offers a variety of opportunities in areas such as advertising, branding, marketing, and publishing.

Can anyone become a graphic designer? ›

You may have a picture in your head of who a graphic designer is and what they look like. Though, forget the stereotypes and the clichés, a graphic designer can be anyone and anyone can be a graphic designer. The design industry is full of people from all walks of life.

What is the highest paying job? ›

Highest-Paying Occupations
Physicians, all otherEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
Physicians, pathologistsEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
PsychiatristsEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
RadiologistsEqual to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
Apr 4, 2023

How much do graphic designers charge for a logo? ›

The cost of a logo design is anywhere from $0 to tens of thousands of dollars, but if you're a small business or startup looking for quality design, a good logo design should cost between $300-$1300. Logo design prices can vary, for instance, the price of a logo design depends on the quality and who created it.

How much do graphic designers charge? ›

Rates charged by graphic designers on Upwork vary from $15 to $150 an hour, with an average rate of around $25 per hour. However, designers don't always bill hourly; it's also common for a designer or creative director to set a fixed price for the work, based on their understanding of your project requirements.

How long is the program for graphic design? ›

Many graphic design programs are designed to be completed in four years with a full-time commitment. However, across all bachelor's degree programs, many students spend five or more years earning their degree.

Can I be a millionaire by graphic design? ›

Yes, you can.

What is the highest income of graphic designer? ›

Highest salary that a Graphic Designer can earn is ₹6.4 Lakhs per year (₹53.3k per month).
These are the top skills of a Graphic Designer based on 19668 jobs posted by employers.
  • Photoshop.
  • Graphic Designing.
  • Illustrator.
  • Corel Draw.
  • Graphics.

What is the most paid graphic designer? ›

15 graphic design jobs that pay well
  1. 3D Designer. National average salary: $53,386 per year. ...
  2. Video game designer. National average salary: $57,355 per year. ...
  3. Industrial designer. National average salary: $68,357 per year. ...
  4. Design technologist. ...
  5. Visual designer. ...
  6. Creative manager. ...
  7. Art director. ...
  8. Concept artist.
Apr 27, 2023

Is there a future for graphic design careers? ›

Whether you want to learn product design, graphic design, or simply move into a more specialized role such as motion design or illustration, the expanding job market for designers won't be slowing down any time soon.

Is it too late to become a graphic designer? ›

Is it ever too late to become a graphic designer? No, it is never too late to start a career as a graphic designer. There are several ways to develop the skills and knowledge for this role, and these are open to people of all ages.

Will there be a demand for graphic designers in the future? ›

Employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations. Despite limited employment growth, about 24,800 openings for graphic designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

What is the future growth for graphic designer? ›

Industry Statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2022 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the graphic design field is expected to grow by 2.6% through 2031, which is slower than average, but digital designers should enjoy a 16.3% job growth rate for the same timeframe.

Is graphic design a stressful job? ›

Graphic design is no more stressful than any other field,” says graphic designer Ryan Mungia. “A lot of the stress depends on what kind of job you have and who you are doing it for.” That said, there are a few common sources of stress for graphic designers: Keeping up with deadlines.

Can you live off of being a graphic designer? ›

Yes, many graphic designers are able to make a living from their careers. However, income can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and industry.

Do graphic designers work a lot of hours? ›

Overall, most graphic designers work the traditional work week of 40 hours, but some also work part-time, depending on their company and position. In contrast, freelance graphic designers may work different amounts of hours during any given week, depending on their client and project loads.

How long do graphic designers stay in that field? ›

People who are unwilling or unable to change could find promising careers declining. Of the nearly 25,000 people who try to enter the field of graphic design each year, only about 60 percent last the first two years, and about 30 percent remain in the field at five years.

What will graphic design look like in 10 years? ›

In about ten years, graphic design will become more immersive as the paper will become obsolete. In other words, all designs will be digital and have a website feel. Note that the designs will need layers to allow users to click deeper into designs, allowing people to sell products without pitching.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 23/12/2023

Views: 5623

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Birthday: 1998-01-29

Address: Apt. 611 3357 Yong Plain, West Audra, IL 70053

Phone: +5819954278378

Job: Construction Director

Hobby: Embroidery, Creative writing, Shopping, Driving, Stand-up comedy, Coffee roasting, Scrapbooking

Introduction: My name is Dr. Pierre Goyette, I am a enchanting, powerful, jolly, rich, graceful, colorful, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.