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2020 Graphic Communications Degree Guide

Do you know the difference between Arial and Times New Roman font? Do you believe a picture says 1,000 words? If so, you might be interested in Graphic Communications.

This degree will prepare you for a career manufacturing and distributing graphic communication products. You will take classes on photography, animation, web and graphic design, screen printing, and digital imaging in order to introduce you to the production processes of the different types of graphic communications.

Graphic Communications is a broad topic, so students have the option to specialize in specific areas including Printing Management, Desktop Publishing, Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects, Graphic and Printing Equipment Operation, General Production, Platemaker/Imager, Printing Press Operation, and Computer Typography and Composition Equipment Operation.

Graphic Communications Degrees Remain Stable

#126 Most Popular Major
7.1k Degrees Awarded
-0.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, graphic communications was the 126th most popular major nationwide with 7,115 degrees awarded. This represents small change only -0.9% from the prior year's total of 7,179 graphic communication degrees awarded.

Approximately 130 colleges in the U.S. offer a graphic communications degree of some kind. Explore this or one of our many other custom graphic communication rankings further below.

Graphic Communications Degree Requirements

Those who excel in Graphic Communications are creative, artistically talented, and have strong computer skills. Graphic communicators must develop unique and interesting ideas while possessing the skills to make their ideas a reality. Professionals must also have strong interpersonal skills and be able to work as part of a team to finish products.

Work environments vary depending on the type of career graduates pursue. Multimedia artists, animators, and digital imagers may be self-employed and set their own work hours or decide to work for a company. No matter where you work long hours are typical while working on projects. On the other hand, those interested in careers such as printing management, Platemaker/Imager, and Printing Press Operation will work a more typical workweek.

An internship or summer job will be beneficial to students interested in pursuing a career in Graphic Communications. This will allow students to build a portfolio and gain experience to give them an advantage when looking for a job after graduation.

Prior Education for a Graphic Communication Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional graphic communication certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Graphic Communications Degrees

There are various different levels of graphic communication degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a master's in graphic communications to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. Graphic Communications programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A high school diploma or equivalent is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to graphic communication, with approximately 38.5% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for graphic communication workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 38.6%
Some College Courses 17.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 13.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate 9.2%

54.5% of graphic communication workers have at least a one to two year certificate. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in graphic communications careers have.

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The education level required is different depending on the graphic communication career you are seeking.

Graphic Communication Careers

Average Number of Jobs
$28.8k Average Starting Salary
-12% Decline Job Outlook 2016-26

There are many career options available to Graphic Communications graduates. Some graduates have decided to pursue a career as a multimedia artist or animator within the movie industry while other have decided to work for video game companies or as a freelancer. This degree will prepare you for any type of career within graphic communications.

Most In-Demand Graphic Communication Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your graphic communication degree?

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to graphic communications.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Data Entry Keyers 160,600 -21.2%
Printing Press Operators 160,200 -10.4%
Multimedia Artists and Animators 79,900 8.4%
Prepress Technicians 27,700 -19.9%
Desktop Publishers 12,500 -14.4%

How Much Money Do People With a Graphic Communication Degree Make?

Graphic Communications graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $28,819 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $8,700 to as high as $51,100. As you might expect, salaries for graphic communication graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for Graphic Communication Majors

Salaries for graphic communications graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers graphic communication grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Multimedia Artists and Animators $78,230
Desktop Publishers $46,750
Prepress Technicians $42,240
Printing Press Operators $38,470
Etchers and Engravers $34,550

Getting Your Graphic Communications Degree

With over 858 different graphic communication degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased graphic communication school rankings to help you with this.

One of 3 majors within the Communications Technologies & Support area of study, Graphic Communications has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Audiovisual Communications 7,329
Communications Technology 844
Other Communication Technology 381

View All Graphic Communication Related Majors >

References

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