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

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Explore careers in graphic design, industry trends, 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 in 2023

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

Graphic design is a great career path for exploring your creative side, using technology to bring your ideas to life, and adding value to a company’s marketing and branding efforts. As a graphic designer, you can think of yourself as a visual storyteller, conveying a brand’s message and evoking consumers’ emotions.  

As you launch your job search, be sure to stay informed about trends in graphic design. For example, CreativeBloq and InDesign Skills project that in 2023 and beyond, trends like minimalism, anti-branding, bright color palettes, condensed typography, vintage, and typographic distortions may be more prominent [1, 2].

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

Graphic design's impact on different industries

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 January 2023, Glassdoor has entry-level graphic designer job listings in IT, media and communication, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, real estate, entertainment and recreation, restaurants and food service, manufacturing, human resources, retails, and more. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2031, graphic design job openings will reach 271,800 [3]. 

Here are some insights from Piktochart's global survey of over 1,000 professionals on the impact of graphic design on different industries [4]:

  • Human resources teams use graphic design most often for presentations, videos, and reports. 41 percent of HR teams create their graphic designs in-house.

  • Health care teams use graphic design most often for social media graphics, presentations, flyers, and brochures. 62 percent of survey respondents said that graphic designs help customers better understand products and services.

  • Retail teams use graphic design most often for presentations, posters, and social media graphics. 57 percent of retail businesses reported that graphic designs improved brand awareness in 2021.

7 entry-level graphic design jobs 

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 seven 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. Use these as a model for your research process. 

*All job information is taken from Glassdoor and Indeed as of January 2023. 

1. Entry-level graphic designer

  • What they make: $40,718 [5]

  • 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: $59,559 [6]

  • 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 PhD 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: $42,668 [7]

  • 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

Placeholder

specialization

Branding: The Creative Journey

Begin your Career as a Branding Specialist. Master branding strategies, branded content generation, image creation and customer experience

4.6

(871 ratings)

34,371 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 5 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Creativity, Journalism, Branding, Communication, CX, Advertising, Logo, Brand, Brand Identity, Employment, Leadership, Management, Customer Experience

4. Entry-level web designer

  • What they make: $46,984 [8]

  • 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?

Placeholder

professional certificate

Google UX Design

This is your path to a career in UX design. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(57,269 ratings)

716,111 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

User Experience (UX), UX Research, Wireframe, Prototype, User Experience Design (UXD), Usability Testing, mockup, Figma, Adobe XD, UX design jobs

5. Advertising designer 

  • What they make: $56,209 [9]

  • 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 

6. Digital designer

  • What they make: $67,055 [10]

  • What they do: develop designs to be viewed on a screen or digital interface, support other creative teams, stay current with industry trends

  • Skills and qualifications they need: fluency in InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator; proficiency with AutoCAD; bachelor's degree in design, computer science, or related field

  • Where to go from here: senior designer, lead designer

7. 3D designer

  • What they make: $49,050 [11]

  • What they do: collaborate with tech art and design team; create 3D designs, graphics, and animations

  • Skills and qualifications they need: proficiency in CAD programs, ZBrush, 3D Studio Max; bachelor's degree in art, design, computer graphics, computer science, or related field

  • Where to go from here: 3D animator, senior 3D artist, lead 3D artist

Read more: What Is 3D Design? And How to Get Started

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 

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.  

Placeholder

guided project

Creating a Portfolio Using Weebly

In this project, learners will create a stunning portfolio website using Weebly. They will learn important skills such as site setup, selecting and ...

4.5

(35 ratings)

1,234 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Communication Design, Website Development, Portfolio Creation, Uploading images

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 gain a broad understanding of graphic design, take the Graphic Design Specialization, offered by the California Institute of the Arts. By the end, you'll have graphic design work to add to your portfolio and knowledge of trending topics like interface design and motion graphics.

Placeholder

specialization

Graphic Design

Make Compelling Design. Learn and apply the principles of graphic design towards a comprehensive branding project.

4.8

(14,997 ratings)

306,816 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Visual Communication, Branding Communication, Graphic Design, Art History, Typography, Creativity, Graphics, Design Theory, Color Theory, Adobe Illustrator, History, Adobe Indesign, Art, Graphic Arts, Adobe Photoshop

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. With this course, you can expand your graphic design vocabulary and enliven conversations with potential employers.

Placeholder

course

The Language of Design: Form and Meaning

In this course, critique is defined as a detailed, objective analysis of a work of graphic design and its effectiveness. Critique is an integral part of the ...

4.6

(668 ratings)

77,975 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Visual Communication, Graphic Design

Article sources

1

CreativeBloq. "Could these be the hottest design trends of 2023?, https://www.creativebloq.com/news/graphic-design-trends-2023." Accessed January 13, 2023.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Big savings for your big goals! Save $200 on Coursera Plus.

  • For a limited time, save like never before on a new Coursera Plus annual subscription (original price: $399 | after discount: $199 for one year).
  • Get unlimited access to 7,000+ courses from world-class universities and companies—for less than $20/month!
  • Gain the skills you need to succeed, anytime you need them—whether you’re starting your first job, switching to a new career, or advancing in your current role.