What to expect from a career as a Graphic Designer
Graphic design programs at Ontario colleges give you the opportunity to combine creativity with advancing technology. But being a graphic designer means more than having a sense for what looks good – whether you’re interested in traditional or web graphic design, you need excellent business, communication and interpersonal skills to stay on top of projects and work effectively with clients.
If you’re interested in channeling your artistic skills into a practical, in-demand career as a graphic designer, here’s what you need to know.
Graphic Design Courses
Graphic design programs at Ontario colleges give students overall training, from traditional print to online and interactive design and multimedia training. Core courses such as page layout, typography, sketching and photography will be built on with classes teaching digital applications to give students fundamental skills of practice and experience with leading technologies and graphic design software.
Courses in brand identity, professional practices and material management will help students manage their projects and learn to interact with clients in a professional and productive manner. Project-based assignments and work placements offered by many institutions will help students develop a feel for working in the field.
General Graphic Design Program Requirements
Requirements for a graphic design program include an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. A senior mathematics course may also be required.
Students may be asked to submit a portfolio of their work in the Visual Arts field for revision. Recommended (but not mandatory) courses and experience include:
- Media or Visual Arts
- Computer competency
- Yearbook committee or photography club
Graphic Designer Jobs and Salaries
Graphic design employment is applicable to any number of businesses – marketing and graphic design go hand-in-hand for any business with a message to promote. Opportunities exist within organizations, or you can operate independently as a consultant or freelance graphic designer.
The average graphic design wage is around $21 an hour, but may be a little lower when you first enter the industry. Many positions in companies or firms have hourly wages of roughly $30 an hour, while working as a freelancer can be even more lucrative with hourly rates from $35 to $50 or more.
Ontario Colleges Offering Graphic Design Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of graphic design programs at Ontario colleges.