Graphic Designers & Illustrators
Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Graphic designers translate verbal and abstract concepts into meaningful visual communication. Self-employed (freelance) graphic designers divide their time between studio work and meeting with clients, photographers and other professionals involved in the design process. Some travel may be required. Designers employed by advertising agencies or design studios spend most their time in the agency or studio, occasionally attending meetings with clients. In advertising agencies, account executives or directors may act as liaisons between clients and designers. (alis)
This profile page includes: Graphic Designer, Animator, Medical Illustrator, Scientific Illustrator.
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Canadian occupational descriptions
- O*NET Online - U.S. resource for occupational descriptions and information
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information - Graphic Designer (includes video)
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information - Animator (includes video)
- Graphic Designer profile - from Focus on Information Technology by ICTC
- Alumni Advice: Graphic Designer - U of M Career Services' Learning to Earning 2012
- Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer - from The Princeton Review (U.S.)
- Interview: Creative Director in Digital Media - from StudyinCanada.com
- Interview with a graphic designer - from DesignBoom (digital architecture and design magazine)
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Graphic Designer
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Illustrator
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Commercial Artist
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Digital Colourist (film)
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Technical Artist
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Multimedia Animator
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Art Director
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Games Artist
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Cartoonist
- Sokanu - occupational info and videos (U.S.): Video Game Creative Director
- Medical Illustrator - profile from ExploreHealthCareers.org (U.S.)
- What is medical illustration / animation? - Association of Medical Illustrators
- So, you want to be a medical illustrator?- from University Affairs
- I am a Medical Illustrator - profile from Science careers magazine
- Video profile of a student pursuing a career in Scientific Illustration - Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Most graphic designers have post-secondary education in visual communication design or graphic design. Developing a strong portfolio of work is essential for finding employment as a graphic designer. (alis)
U of M Academic Calendar
The Academic Calendar & Catalogue outlines program admission and course requirements. Use the left menu to navigate to a specific faculty and program. To determine which degree path suits your unique occupational goals, speak with a Career Consultant. For support with course registration and academic issues, speak with an Academic Advisor.
Faculty and Department Homepages
Visit U of M's faculty and department homepage to learn about program application deadlines and processes, as well as additional in-house resources and opportunities.
Exploring Other Education Options
- Education Programs in Canada - from the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada
- National Association of Schools of Arts & Design (U.S.) - accredited institutions
- Association of Independent Colleges of Arts and Design (AICAD) - Canada & U.S.
- Biomedical Illustration Graduate Programs accredited by the CAAHEP - listing from the Association of Medical Illustrators
- Search Education Directories
Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
- Trend Analysis: Job Market Report (Winnipeg Region) - Gov. of Canada Job Bank
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Job outlook for the U.S.
- Canadian Industry Outlook Forecasts - industry reports from ICTC
- Robert Half Salary Guides - view the Tech & Creative guides for salary and hiring trends
Professional associations may organize events and provide directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities may also be available: engage, learn and network!
- Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC)
- Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators
- Association of Registered Graphic Designers (Canada)
- The Advertising & Design Club of Canada
- Society of Publication Designers
- Society of Illustrators
- American Institute of Graphic Arts (IAGA)
- Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI)
Directories, Industry Associations, and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- New Media Manitoba
- Tech Manitoba - Directory
- Creative Manitoba (formerly the Arts & Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba)
- Mentorship programs
- Canadian Animation Directory - animation companies and industry resources listing created by the Ottawa International Animation Festival
Search the industry-specific job boards below to learn about skill requirements, employers, job duties and available jobs. You may also wish to search more general online job boards.