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Job Description


A Graphic Designer works with images, wording, or animation to create, visualise, improve and refine design ideas. The graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed, or electronic media, such as brochures and advertising or websites, helping to develop a brand or look by creating visual elements that customers will recognise and find intuitive (in the case of online systems) or persuasive (in the case of advertising). 

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could take a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Graphic Design or Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Art and Design, and use this to join a company as a design assistant.

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

The following local colleges offer courses in Business:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.


You could start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in design, specialising in graphics.

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • graphic design
  • art and design
  • illustration

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

Career tips

There's a lot of competition for graphic design work. You'll need a portfolio that shows your creative ideas, skills and work experience to help you get started.

You could join the Chartered Society of Designers and the International Society of Typographical Designers for professional development and to make industry contacts.

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

Career Path and Progression

You could become a senior designer, creative director or move into management.

You could go freelance or start your own design agency.

Another option is to move into teaching or lecturing.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Web designer
  • Illustrator
  • Photographer

Required Skills

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent creative flair
  • Good at IT with the ability to adapt to new technology
  • Good organisational skills
  • An eye for detail

Salary Range

£16,000 to £50,000

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