5 Entry-Level Graphic Design Jobs + How to Land Yours

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Explore careers in graphic design and the steps to getting your entry-level job.

[Featured Image] A woman in glasses searches online for entry-level graphic design jobs on a laptop.

Entry-level jobs in graphic design: What you should know

An entry-level job in graphic design requires little or no prior experience and taps your graphic design skills to communicate visually with an audience. Graphic designers often work for companies designing such things as logos, graphics for social media and other marketing efforts, brochures, ebooks, product packaging, and in some cases, the look and feel of the entire brand

If you want to explore your creative side, use technology to bring your ideas to life, and add value to a company’s marketing and branding efforts, graphic design could be a great career path for you. As a graphic designer, you can think of yourself as a visual storyteller, conveying a brand’s message and evoking consumers’ emotions.  

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that from 2020-2030, graphic design job openings will average 23,900 annually [1]. 

Read more: What Does a Graphic Designer Do? (and How Do I Become One?)

5 entry-level graphic design jobs 

Graphic design is a versatile field. With some graphic design training and experience, you may be able to find entry-level jobs in a variety of industries. For example, as of June 2022, Glassdoor has entry-level graphic designer job listings in IT and business consulting, digital talent recruitment and marketplaces, health care, golf, sports apparel, higher education, retail, publishing, and more. 

It’s a good idea to research entry-level positions early in your job search to get a feel for career opportunities that may fit your goals. Below, you’ll find five graphic design job titles along with information about average salaries in the US for up to one year of experience, responsibilities, requirements, and career advancement. You can use these as a model for your research process. 

*All job information is taken from Glassdoor and Indeed as of June 2022. 

1. Entry-level graphic designer

  • What they make: $84,088 [2]

  • What they do: design digital and print collateral, edit images, work with graphic design software, maintain a company’s brand standards

  • Skills and qualifications they need: bachelor’s degree in graphic design, communications, or related field, knowledge of graphic design software, analytical skills 

  • Where to go from here: graphic designer or senior graphic designer 

2. Junior art director

  • What they make: $96,909 [3]

  • What they do: execute creative briefs, ensure brand standards, support the creative development process, offer constructive feedback on concepts and designs, create architectural designs or storyboards for art spaces  

  • Skills and qualifications they need: bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design, or related field (master’s or Ph.D. may be required for some positions), knowledge of graphic design software, knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, business experience in sales or marketing

  • Where to go from here: art director, senior art director

3. Logo designer

  • What they make: $68,979 [4]

  • What they do: create two-dimensional images (logos) to represent brands, research industries, identify trends, plan and execute product presentations

  • Skills and qualifications they need: bachelor’s degree in graphic design, understanding of how businesses and brands operate, knowledge of graphic design software 

  • Where to go from here: brand designer, brand strategist, graphic designer

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4. Entry-level web designer

  • What they make: $73,798 [5]

  • What they do: use graphic design and computer programming to create a website’s appearance and layout to appeal to a target audience

  • Skills and qualifications they need: bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, experience with programming languages, knowledge of graphic design software

  • Where to go from here: web designer, senior web designer, UX/UI designer 

Read more: How to Become a Web Designer and What Does a UX Designer Do? [Updated 2022]

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5. Advertising designer 

  • What they make: $97,694 [6]

  • What they do: develop advertising campaigns, work with graphic designers to create layouts, research target markets 

  • Skills and qualifications they need: bachelor’s degree in advertising, graphic design, marketing, or related field, project management, knowledge of design software

  • Where to go from here: senior ad designer, creative director 

How to get an entry-level graphic design job 

Once you settle on a career path in graphic design, begin the process of finding an entry-level position. Focus your efforts by following the steps below:  

1. Get a graphic design education.

While some companies don’t require graphic design applicants to have a degree in this field, getting a degree in graphic design (or a related field) may open up more opportunities. You can extend your formal education with courses or certifications in specific topics related to graphic design. 

Knowledge and skills you may need include:

  • The basics of visual form, such as color, contrast, and visual hierarchy

  • Attention to detail

  • Creativity

  • Organization

  • Ability to meet deadlines 

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2. Gain graphic design experience.

Having some graphic design experience before you apply to jobs can be beneficial, even for entry-level positions, as it can demonstrate your familiarity with the field and your ability to complete real-world design projects. 

Here are four ways to gain experience: 

  • Scour job sites for internships and contract freelance work and apply.  

  • Network at professional events and conferences to discover graphic design opportunities.  

  • Volunteer to design graphics for schools, nonprofit organizations, or others in your network.  

Read more: 21 Side Hustle Ideas and How to Get Started

As you gain graphic design experience, create a portfolio that showcases your best work.  

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3. Enhance your graphic design resume.

Before applying for jobs, you need to have a resume that showcases your skills, experience, and training in graphic design. Google “[industry] keywords” or “graphic design keywords” to include in your resume recruiters who use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to process incoming resumes can find it. 

Be sure to include a link to your graphic design portfolio in your resume. 

Read more: 10 Ways to Enhance Your Resume and How to Make a Resume for Your First Job (+ Template)

4. Apply for jobs in graphic design. 

Search general job sites like Indeed and Glassdoor for job openings in graphic design. You can also search sites that are geared specifically to creative or design jobs, as explored in the table below. 

Type of positionCreative / design job search platforms
FreelanceDribbble, Behance, Design Jobs Board, AIGA
Full-timeDribbble, Behance, Design Jobs Board, AIGA
Entry-level, fellowships, internshipsThe Design Kids, Behance, Design Jobs Board, AIGA
Remote onlyWe Work Remotely

Once you select your desired positions, gather all the information and work samples you need to apply and create a schedule for submitting applications. How many jobs will you apply for each week?

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview

Learn graphic design with Coursera 

Taking online courses can be a great way to build graphic design skills and discover career options. 

To explore the world of design and the principles that guide it, take The Language of Design: Form and Meaning course, offered by the California Institute of the Arts. 

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Skills you'll build:

Visual Communication, Graphic Design

To gain a broader understanding of graphic design, take the Graphic Design Specialization, offered by the California Institute of the Arts. 

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Related articles

Article sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Graphic Designers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm.” Accessed June 16, 2022.

2. Glassdoor. “Entry Level Graphic Designer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-entry-level-graphic-designer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,31.htm.” Accessed June 29, 2022.

3. Glassdoor. “Junior Art Director Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/junior-art-director-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.htm.” Accessed June 29, 2022. 

4. Glassdoor. “Logo Designer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/logo-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,13.htm.” Accessed June 29, 2022.

5. Glassdoor. “Entry Level Web Designer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/entry-level-web-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed June 29, 2022.

6. Glassdoor. “Advertising Designer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/advertising-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,20.htm.” Accessed June 29, 2022.

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