Graphic Designers plan, design, develop and prepare information for publication and reproduction using text, symbols, pictures, colours and layout to achieve commercial and communication needs with particular emphasis on tailoring the message for the intended audience.
Specialisations: Exhibition Designer, Film and Video Graphics Designer, Publication Designer.
A bachelor degree or a diploma in graphic design is usually needed to work as a Graphic Designer.
Determines the objectives and constraints of the design brief by consulting with clients and stakeholders.
Undertakes research and analyses functional communication requirements.
Formulates design concepts for the subject to be communicated.
Prepares sketches, diagrams, illustrations and layouts to communicate design concepts.
Negotiates design solutions with clients, management, sales and production staff.
Selects, specifies or recommends functional and aesthetic materials and media for publication, delivery or display.
Details and documents the selected design for production.
Supervises or carries out production in the chosen media.
May archive information for future client use.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 68% of people employed as Graphic Designers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Graphic Designers||All Jobs Average|
Around 77% of Graphic Designers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Sydney - City and Inner South
- Melbourne - Inner South
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Sydney - Inner West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Graphic Designers is 35 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 55% of the workforce. This is 7 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Graphic Designers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.2||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree or a diploma in graphic design is usually needed to work as a Graphic Designer.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Information and Communications Technology VET training pathways and Printing & Graphic Arts VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Graphic Designers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||6.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators who have good interpersonal skills, work well in a team and are creative and innovative. Employers also value computer literacy.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
70%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
69%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
63%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
60%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
47%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
43%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
38%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
36%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
34%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
30%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
27%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
27%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Read and understand written information.
48%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
See details that are far away.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
79%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
71%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
69%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
68%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
66%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
60%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
57%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
55%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
55%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
51%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
51%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
49%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
48%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
48%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
47%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
47%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
41%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Use electronic mail.
98%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
Work to strict deadlines.
88%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work with people in a group or team.
83%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
81%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
79%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
78%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
75%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
68%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
67%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
65%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
60%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
60%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
56%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-1024.00 - Graphic Designers.