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Graphic Designers and Illustrators

What they do?

Graphic designers perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Supervise other graphic designers or graphic arts technicians.

B. Co-ordinate sub-contracting

C. Work in a multidisciplinary environment

D. Determine the medium best suited to produce the desired visual effect and the most appropriate vehicle for communication

E. Develop the graphic elements that meet the clients' objectives

F. Prepare sketches, layouts and graphic elements of the subjects to be rendered using traditional tools, multimedia software and image processing, layout and design software

G. Estimate cost of materials and time to complete graphic design

Where they find work?

1. Specialized design services - 31.0%
2. Information and cultural industries - 14.0%
3. Retail trade - 14.0%
4. Printing and related support activities - 10.0%
5. Advertising and related services - 10.0%
6. Computer systems design and related services - 5.0%
7. Miscellaneous manufacturing - 4.0%

What education do I need?

1. You must have a high school diploma and creative ability as demonstrated by a portfolio of your work.

2. You usually need a university degree in visual arts with a specialization in graphic design, commercial art, graphic communications or cartooning, or a college/other program in graphic arts. As an illustrator, you may also need additional training in your area of specialization.

3. You may need experience or training in multimedia design at a college/post-secondary or technical institution.

4. With experience, you may move up the ranks to become a manager or senior designer.

5. Most recent entrants have a community college diploma.

High School Subject that will help:

1. English
2. Computer-related courses
3. Graphic Design
4. Art

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Graphic Designers and Illustrators is $19.00/HR, which is close to the average for occupations in the art, culture, recreation and sport sector and are close to the average for all technical, professional, and skilled occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Graphic Designers and Illustrators wages

Expected Wage by Age

Graphic Designers and Illustrators Wage By Age


3% of Graphic Designers and Illustrators are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for technical, professional, and skilled occupations.


Graphic Designers and Illustrators Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Graphic Designers and Illustrators Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Graphic Designers and Illustrators is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($19.00) are close to the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (3%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be average because of the emergence of information technologies, and an increasing number of websites.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Graphic Designers and Illustrators are found in Ontario and British Columbia while the lowest concentrations are in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (18%) is below the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Colour

2. Design

3. Innovation

Part Time Workers

Graphic Designers and Illustrators Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

14% of Graphic Designers and Illustrators are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 59,100 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 23% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Graphic Designers and Illustrators Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average reflecting the age/retirement structure of the occupation.

Self Employed

Graphic Designers and Illustrators Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 35% of Graphic Designers and Illustrators are self-employed. This is considered Above average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Graphic Designers and Illustrators Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

41% of the individuals employed as Graphic Designers and Illustrators are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average.