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How to become a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers are professionals who design and create images, typography, animations, and other forms of visual work for all types of media, from print to television.

Artistic and creative with a large splash of computer skills? If that describes you, then there’s a good chance a career as a Graphic Designer would suit you.


About you:


  • Creative and innovative
  • A whiz with technology
  • Great time management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Knowledge of typography
  • Attention to detail


The job:


  • Meet with clients or art directors to understand project requirements, scope, and budget
  • Advise strategies for targeting audiences
  • Determine the message to be conveyed
  • Design the images that convey the message or develop graphics for illustrations, websites, and logos
  • Choose branding – font, colour palette, images, layout, etc.
  • Present the project to the client/director
  • Make edits if required
  • Publish the work to a quality determined by the project


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 32% of Graphic Designers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Graphic Designers’ salary (median) $58,200* per year (source: ato.gov.au). *Salaries can vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Very strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • You will be doing most of your work indoors, using computers and other technology.


Graphic Designers are most in demand in these locations:


Many Graphic Designers work in metropolitan areas and capital cities, but using technology means there is also the possibility to work remotely or from home any where in the world. Most Graphic Designers work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry.


How to become a Graphic Designer in Australia


While there are no formal qualifications necessary, having a VET or university qualification can boost your skills and employability.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths. Arts and Design can also be beneficial.


Step 2 – Consider undertaking a relevant VET qualification, such as:


Step 3 – Consider upskilling with a university-level qualification, such as a Bachelor of Design.


Step 4 – Get lots of hands-on experience and build up a portfolio of works to show to potential clients.


Step 5 – Once you have lots of experience, consider starting your own business.


Find out more here –





Similar Careers to Graphic Designer


Visual Artist

Web Designer

UX Designer






Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What options are there for career progression?


As your portfolio grows, you might attract bigger clients, and eventually work for some high profile brands and companies. You might even like to start your own design firm and employ others.


Do I need to go to university to become a Graphic Designer?


Not necessarily. VET qualifications are often satisfactory, and if you have an impressive portfolio, formal qualifications might not be necessary at all.


Where do Graphic Designers work?


Graphic Designers can work in private firms, where they are hired by companies or individuals, or in-house for a company. You could also work freelance or from your own home.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Graphic Designer?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Graphic Designer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Take short courses and workshops to build on your design skills. Learn about colour theory, typography, visual balance, and a variety of other design fundamentals.
  2. See if you can find work experience in arts or design. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to a Graphic Designer to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in design.

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