What is the Employment Outlook for Graphic Designers?

If you can often be found with a pencil or pen in your hand as you doodle, draw or otherwise create miniature works of art, you might consider the field of graphic design.

The job outlook for graphic designers is expected to have little to no growth change from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this statistic might not tell the entire story. Although some graphic designers who work in traditional industries such as printing and publishing can anticipate fewer job opportunities, those who work in computer and other related fields may see a job increase of 24 to 26 percent in the coming years.

Growing Job Categories

Some types of design such as video editing and design as well as mobile advertising were limited in terms of opportunities as recently as a decade ago. Now, however, industry experts expect that these types of jobs will increase 21 percent before 2024. New and emerging types of design are also found in areas such as social media, mobile advertising, instructional design and user experience. From traditional sites like Twitter and Facebook to more visually oriented media like Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram, most, if not all, social media platforms use graphic and design skills.

Declining Job Categories

All graphic designing positions are not created equal. Some jobs involve more conventional design work fields such as those found in traditional media and publishing. Fast changes in printing and publishing have already moved the majority of content onto mobile devices and online. In addition, some other long-established categories of graphic design such as book design or illustration are over-saturated. These types of graphics and design will likely see at least a five to 10 percent decline over the next decade.

Combine Skills

Graphic designers who also have mobile design skills such as web programming are expected to be in higher demand over the next five to 10 years. If graphic designers can also train themselves in the field of mobile programming platforms or have the skills necessary to design web portals and pages, especially while using the principles of universal design, they can expect to have up to 30 percent more job opportunities than other graphic design-related fields over the next seven to 10 years.

Specialized Skills

Graphic designers who have skills in animation software and who can work with three-dimensional graphics may see increased job opportunities through 2024. Graphic designers may also find work that combines teaching graphic skills and using them. Many universities and colleges of graphic designing classes, and specialized online portals, YouTube and other video sites offer tutorials and training. In addition, some designers and artists have successfully built businesses showing others the techniques, tricks and tips to improve their own design skills.

Like many other professionals, graphic designers are being impacted by sophisticated new software, increased automation and online portals through which people may their own designs without assistance from an experienced designer. Other concepts, like universal design and user experience, require education and specialized training as they are not yet able to be adapted to free, low-cost or do-it-yourself online services. Although traditional types of graphic design are not anticipated to have much, if any, job growth over the next decade, specialized fields and opportunities for someone trained in computer graphics and web design could increase up to 30 percent, depending on the industry.