Graphic Communications
Sign In
Overview
Customize information shown
Graphic communications is a program that generally prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills in the manufacture and distribution or transmission of graphic communications products. includes instruction in the prepress, press, and postpress phases of production operations and processes such as offset lithography, flexography, gravure, letterpress, screen printing, foil stamping, digital imaging, and other reproduction methods.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in graphic communications at each level last year.
02004006008001K0-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year Certificate2-4 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreeMaster's Degree
People with this bachelor's degree have gone to work in these careers
DesignersManagers (specialized areas)Artists and related workersFirst-line supervisors of reta...Elementary and middle school t...Retail salespersonsMarketing and sales managersWeb developersCustomer service representativ...Secretaries and administrative...Wholesale and manufacturing sa...Chief executives and legislato...Applications and systems softw...Postsecondary teachers
Commercial Art and Graphic Design majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all graphic communications graduates from this last academic year. We found a lower percentage of international graduates than in 55% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 69% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in graphic communications earned in the last academic year, 61% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a lower percentage of women than 41% of other programs.
Advertisement
Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in commercial art and graphic design, which includes graphic communications and 21 other programs.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in commercial art and graphic design have a median salary of $51,228.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 10% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 27% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in commercial art and graphic design, which consists of 22 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 4.0%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are less likely than the bachelor's graduates of 66% other fields to be employed.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 13% of workers who earned a bachelor's in commercial art and graphic design are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Commercial Art and Graphic Design (which combines 22 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Advertisement
Staring Salaries and College Debt by Award
How are students who recently completed a degree in Graphic Communications doing?

New data from College Scorecard gives us a glimpse into the earnings and debt for recent graduates in their first year or two after leaving school. Shown is the distribution of the medians reported for all schools with graduates in the given program/award level.

Starting salaries by award level
$28K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50KBachelor's Degree
Median cumulative federal loan amount
$12K$27K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50KBachelor's DegreeAssociate's Degree
Advertisement
Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data is for bachelor's recipients of several programs including graphic communications

This section is informed by household surveys collected for the American Community Survey (ACS). For each person in the households surveyed, we learn about their college major (if applicable), final educational attainment, age, occupation, salary, and more. Using the ACS data lets us share something about what financial and career outcomes people can expect after majoring in a particular field in college.

Within our program pages, Ididio details over 1700 programs. However, the ACS surveys only report on 170 college major degrees. There is no published crosswalk between the programs and degrees. Some of the programs we describe are mostly offered as certificates or graduate programs, and don't make sense as college majors. For the remaining programs, we created a mapping to the best-fitting ACS degree designation.

We placed graphic communications within the ACS commercial art and graphic design degree designation, which contains a total of 22 programs.

All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree with a major in the degree commercial art and graphic design. While we compile data on those who also received graduate education, unfortunately ACS does not record the subject area for graduate degrees.

Programs included in the ACS commercial art and graphic design degree
Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design
Printing Management
Printing Press Operator
Specialized Graphic Communications
Web Page, Digital, and Information Resources Design
Apparel and Textiles
Fashion and Fabric Consultant
Specialized Programs in Apparel and Textiles
Furniture Design and Manufacturing
Design and Visual Communications
Commercial and Advertising Art
Industrial and Product Design
Commercial Photography
Fashion/Apparel Design
Interior Design
Graphic Design
Illustration
Game and Interactive Media Design
Specialized Study in Design and Applied Arts
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects
Employment overview
Percentage of commercial art and graphic design bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in commercial art and graphic design lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage commercial art and graphic design majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 18.5% of commercial art and graphic design graduates are currently not working. However, only 4.0% are classified as "unemployed," while 14.5% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

81%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether commercial art and graphic design majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

4.0%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for commercial art and graphic design majors

How does the median (middle) salary for commercial art and graphic design majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$51,228$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for commercial art and graphic design majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$52K$52K$40K$48K$53K$51K$68K$51K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KState government (3.2% )Private for-profit (71.9% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (6.9% )Private not-for-profit (6.7% )Self Emp. Incoporated (5.7% )Local government (3.9% )Federal government (1.5% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for commercial art and graphic design majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in commercial art and graphic design. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (40%)
Women (60%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that commercial art and graphic design has more women than most other degrees.

60%40%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of commercial art and graphic design majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$47K$55K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For commercial art and graphic design graduates, men generally earn 16% more than women. This is better than many: 82% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

16%16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of commercial art and graphic design bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in commercial art and graphic design can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for commercial art and graphic design graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$42K$58K$54K$62K$52K$59K$59K$30K$62K$0$50K$100K$150KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
020K40K60K80K100KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can commercial art and graphic design majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for commercial art and graphic design majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all graphic communications completions reported last year, 57% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 4% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in graphic communications
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in graphic communications today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in commercial art and graphic design when in college.

We know that about 10% commercial art and graphic design majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of commercial art and graphic design majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

10%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: commercial art and graphic design majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 10% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in commercial art and graphic design, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in commercial art and graphic design by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$49K$62K$75K$63K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

27%52%28%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for commercial art and graphic design majors
Careers for commercial art and graphic design majors

As we explained at the start of the previous section "Salary and Employment for Majors", the career data in all of these tabs is supported by the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides career information based on the broad degree commercial art and graphic design. For of the career statistics we report here, we consider all bachelor-holders in graphic communications and 21 other programs to fall under the ACS data we aggregated for the commercial art and graphic design degree.

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in commercial art and graphic design, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in graphic communications. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
Designers
$0$200K$52K
31.0%
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$73K
4.7%
Artists and related workers
$0$200K$43K
3.1%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
$0$200K$40K
3.1%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$52K
2.3%
Retail salespersons
$0$200K$31K
2.2%
Marketing and sales managers
$0$200K$75K
2.1%
Web developers
$0$200K$61K
2.0%
Customer service representatives
$0$200K$32K
1.6%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
$0$200K$37K
1.5%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
$0$200K$62K
1.3%
Chief executives and legislators
$0$200K$96K
1.2%
Applications and systems software developers
$0$200K$97K
1.2%
Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$63K
1.0%
Market research analysts and marketing specialists
$0$200K$64K
1.0%
Accountants and auditors
$0$200K$61K
0.9%
Real estate brokers and sales agents
$0$200K$51K
0.8%
Secondary school teachers
$0$200K$54K
0.7%
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
$0$200K$60K
0.7%
Management analysts
$0$200K$78K
0.7%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten commercial art and graphic design careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by commercial art and graphic design graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

Commercial Art and Graphic DesignFine ArtsArchitectureCommunicationsElectrical EngineeringGeneral BusinessMarketingBusiness Management and AdministrationMechanical EngineeringEnglish Language and LiteratureAccountingPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentEconomicsFinanceCommunication TechnologiesStudio ArtsLiberal ArtsFilm Video and Photographic ArtsMass MediaAdvertising and Public RelationsGeneral EducationElementary EducationSpecial Needs EducationEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationHistoryComputer ScienceGeneral Computer and Information SystemsJournalismCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionSociologyDesignersManagers (specializedareas)Artists and related workersFirst-line supervisors ofretail sales workersRetail salespersonsElementary and middleschool teachersWeb developersMarketing and salesmanagersCustomer servicerepresentativesSecretaries andadministrative assistantsAll othersThis degreeTop 10 CareersTop 10 degrees hired
Jobs that choose commercial art and graphic design majors
What careers hire commercial art and graphic design majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have commercial art and graphic design as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of commercial art and graphic design majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Web developersPhotographersArtists and related workersAdvertising and promotions managersArchitectsDesignersAll other careersCommercial Art andGraphic DesignAll other degreesCareers where this degree is a top 10 hireDegree
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer graphic communications degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
57 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
School
State
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Aims Community College
CO
3,668
30.7
$7,555
54%
33%
Arizona State University - Polytechnic
AZ
4,161
20.6
$12,011
69%
65%
Arizona State University - Skysong
AZ
20,123
31.0
$14,166
69%
54%
Bluefield College
VA
925
23.0
$21,574
66%
52%
Bryant & Stratton College - Amherst
NY
237
38.1
$11,930
28%
40%
Bryant & Stratton College - Online
NY
5,064
145.4
$13,747
28%
20%
Caddo Kiowa Technology Center
OK
339
8.9
$3,922
California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
CA
20,563
22.8
$20,036
91%
83%
California State University - Los Angeles
CA
21,573
31.3
$4,403
63%
62%
Canadian Valley Technology Center
OK
1,333
34.9
$5,055
Carroll University
WI
2,834
26.5
$23,217
82%
59%
Central Maine Community College
ME
1,666
32.6
$9,324
64%
34%
Central Piedmont Community College
NC
15,514
39.4
$6,682
32%
21%
Central Texas College
TX
10,143
53.6
$5,258
47%
10%
Chowan University
NC
1,487
22.5
$17,298
45%
26%
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
OH
5,983
32.8
$3,478
44%
22%
City Colleges of Chicago - Kennedy - King College
IL
2,308
36.5
$5,731
46%
25%
Danville Community College
VA
1,829
43.0
$7,751
42%
27%
DePaul University
IL
14,575
22.4
$30,584
72%
67%
Ferris State University
MI
9,871
20.4
$13,351
73%
55%
Explore similar programs

Graphic Communications is part of a larger collection of programs: Design, including Graphic, Interior, and Fashion. Is there a different program that's close to Graphic Communications that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
Advertisement
mmmmmmmmmmllimmmmmmmmmmlli