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Graphic Designers picture    Graphic Designers image

Graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists, help clients communicate with a target audience by planning and developing effective visual prints and electronic media. Designers can work regular hours at a company or may work on a job basis as consultants or freelance artists. They can work for corporate businesses, advertising and design agencies or publishing companies.

Graphic Design Schools in California

A bachelor's degree in graphic design is typically required for most graphic design positions and is offered at many colleges and universities as well as private design schools. Most schools require students to successfully complete a year of basic art and design classes before entry into a bachelor's degree program. Graphic design programs usually cover coursework in principles of design, studio art, commercial graphics production and printing techniques. In addition to art and design classes, a liberal arts education that includes courses in marketing, writing, sociology, cultural studies and business may also be beneficial. Creativity, openness to new ideas, communication and problem solving skills are crucial for the job. California graphic design schools offer both online and traditional campus-based programs to give you the education and skills you need to become a graphic artist.

Graphic Designer Salaries in California

Between 2008 and 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment of graphic designers to grow 13 percent. As projects for interactive media--such as websites and mobile phones--continue to grow, those who have experience in website design and animation will be able to find better employment opportunities. To join the almost 28,000 graphic designers in California, begin earning your degree from one of the following California graphic design schools. According to BLS data from May 2009, California graphic designers earned a median hourly wage of $24.70, which equates to an mean annually salary of $51,370. You'll find the most graphic designers in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Ana-Anaheim, while those in the San Jose and San Francisco areas earned the highest annual median salary.

Below is a list of graphic design schools in California to help you start you career as a graphic artist.

Fast Facts for Graphic Designers in California

  • Cities with highest percentage of jobs relative to population: San Francisco, Santa Ana and Oakland
  • Cities with lowest percentage of jobs relative to population: Bakersfield, Visalia and Stockton
  • Cities with the highest absolute number of jobs: Santa Ana, San Francisco and San Diego

Salaries for Graphic Designers in California

  • Metro areas with the highest median salaries: San Francisco, San Jose and Vallejo

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More California Graphic Design Schools

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Los Angeles
Doctorate
43,871
Los Angeles
Doctorate
43,548
Berkeley
Doctorate
40,154
Monterey Park
Associates
36,970
Davis
Doctorate
36,460
Irvine
Doctorate
32,754
San Jose
Doctorate
32,154
Santa Monica
Bachelors
30,828
Sacramento
Associates
30,519
Sacramento
Doctorate
30,510
Walnut
Associates
29,446
San Francisco
Doctorate
29,045
Santa Ana
Bachelors
28,260
Los Angeles
Doctorate
27,827
Pasadena
Associates
27,165
Pomona
Doctorate
25,326
Long Beach
Associates
24,704
Fresno
Doctorate
24,405
Fullerton
Associates
24,073
Torrance
Associates
24,033
San Marcos
Associates
23,923
San Diego
Bachelors
23,560
Fresno
Associates
22,925
Bakersfield
Bachelors
22,710
Sacramento
Associates
22,042
Rancho Cucamonga
Associates
22,002
Costa Mesa
Associates
21,731
Cupertino
Associates
21,716
San Luis Obispo
Masters
21,306
Santa Rosa
Associates
21,217
San Francisco
Associates
21,189
Norwalk
Associates
20,979
Woodland Hills
Associates
20,618
Santa Clarita
Associates
19,966
Mission Viejo
Associates
19,646
Riverside
Associates
19,644
Pleasant Hill
Associates
19,419
Whittier
Bachelors
19,220
Chula Vista
Associates
18,727
Valley Glen
Associates
18,643
El Cajon
Associates
18,498
Stockton
Associates
18,102
Rocklin
Associates
17,833
Modesto
Bachelors
17,684
Los Angeles
Associates
17,661
Chico
Masters
17,557
San Diego
Associates
16,726
Santa Barbara
Associates
16,642
Cypress
Bachelors
15,941
San Jacinto
Associates
15,497
Los Altos Hills
Bachelors
15,369
Glendale
Associates
15,178
Oceanside
Bachelors
14,801
San Diego
Associates
14,722
Irvine
Associates
14,147
Lancaster
Bachelors
14,105
Sacramento
Associates
14,010
Moorpark
Associates
14,010
Hayward
Associates
13,742
Glendora
Associates
12,753
San Bernardino
Associates
12,720
San Francisco
Masters
12,608
Salinas
Associates
12,328
Orange
Associates
12,065
Santa Maria
Associates
12,012
Visalia
Associates
11,959
Huntington Beach
Associates
11,857
Oroville
Associates
11,300
San Francisco
Doctorate
11,003
Oakland
Associates
10,928
Palm Desert
Associates
10,792
Fountain Valley
Associates
10,706
Sylmar
Associates
10,436
San Luis Obispo
Associates
10,232
Norco
Associates
9,831
Fremont
Associates
9,814
El Cajon
Associates
9,738
Los Angeles
Doctorate
9,330
Moreno Valley
Associates
9,202
San Mateo
Associates
9,048
Pittsburg
Associates
8,728
Orange
Doctorate
8,542
Folsom
Associates
8,499
La Verne
Doctorate
8,369
Saratoga
Associates
8,263
Santa Clara
Associates
7,868
Monterey
Associates
7,815
Compton
Associates
7,492
Seaside
Masters
7,274
Berkeley
Associates
6,811
Redwood City
Associates
6,513
Napa
Associates
6,148
La Mirada
Doctorate
6,095
Yucaipa
Associates
5,937
Gilroy
Associates
5,847
Kentfield
Associates
5,621
Redlands
Doctorate
5,071
Eureka
Associates
4,804
Irvine
Doctorate
4,299
Ukiah
Associates
4,238

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Graphic Designers

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for California. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Graphic Designers

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Graphic Designers relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Bakersfield290 $42,610
Chico100 $39,280
Fresno310 $50,930
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade890 $52,130
Salinas90 $54,280
San Diego-Carlsbad2400 $51,740
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim14210 $57,670
Merced50 $55,230
Modesto110 $52,510
Napa120 $57,120
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura400 $54,100
Redding50 $40,550
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario1570 $48,700
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward6090 $69,340
Stockton-Lodi190 $43,790
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara1750 $72,010
Vallejo-Fairfield140 $56,660
Visalia-Porterville80 $47,980
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande140 $48,810
Santa Cruz-Watsonville130 $65,230
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara190 $49,480
Santa Rosa270 $60,890

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