How To Get A Graphic Design Job & Salary Guide Australia

See how to get a graphic design job in Australia. This Swinburne Open Education job and salary guide can help you land a role in this growth industry.

Young female graphic designer with dark hair and arm tattoos uses a stylus on a tablet to sketch out a design

Graphic designers play an essential role in meeting the visual communication needs of businesses in the creative industry. They create compelling visual designs for various purposes, including marketing materials, branding, digital platforms, and print media. 

Many graphic designers work in manufacturing, media, technology, finance, and telecommunication companies, as well as in freelance roles. 

Working as a graphic designer allows you to express your creativity and imagination through visual elements. You can transform ideas into captivating designs and leave a lasting impression on viewers. Read on to find out more about visual design and how you can become a successful graphic designer in Australia.

How To Become A Graphic Designer 

Study a course online

While no strict formal qualifications are required to start a career in graphic design, gaining a solid understanding of design principles and business administration can give you a competitive edge and equip you with valuable skills to excel in the industry.

If you're in the early stages of your career, pursuing a Diploma of Graphic Design can serve as a foundational step into the design industry. This diploma will empower you with essential skills such as design principles and elements, software proficiency, digital illustration, and vector graphics.

Gain experience and self-promote

Look for internships or entry-level positions at design agencies, advertising firms, or in-house design teams. These opportunities provide hands-on experience and allow you to learn from professionals in the field.

Utilise social media, networking events, and online platforms to promote your portfolio and services. Connect with fellow designers, participate in design communities, and let your work speak for itself.

As a budding graphic designer, your portfolio is your canvas to exhibit your own unique designs, problem-solving abilities and design evolution. Begin by curating your work, even if it's from personal projects or made-up clients.

Ensure to emphasise your capability to tackle challenges and produce results. You can document your journey by creating an online graphic design portfolio to showcase your creativity and professional growth.

Graphic designer salary

The average graphic designer's salary in Australia is about $85,000 per year, which translates to pay of $43.59 per hour. Entry-level graphic designers usually command a lower full time salary (starting at $74,995 annually) compared to their more experienced designers, who often secure substantially higher compensation packages (up to $108,814 per year). 

This range depends on various aspects such as experience level, geographical location, and the nature of the employing organisation. For example, those in major urban centres like Sydney and Melbourne may receive higher earnings than those working in regional areas.

Is graphic design a growth industry? 

The number of illustrator, web and graphic design jobs in Australia is expected to increase by 21.7% from 2021 to 2026, creating about 13,900 more jobs, according to Australian Government trends into the labour market. This amounts to a total of 78,000 Australians employed in these design fields by the end of 2026.

What skills do you need to become a graphic designer?

Becoming a graphic designer requires a diverse skill set that combines creativity, technical proficiency, communication abilities, and business acumen. Here are some of the skills you need to become a successful graphic designer in Australia:

  • Creativity and artistic skills to craft visually appealing and innovative designs

  • Technical proficiency for efficient use of design software and tools to bring concepts to life

  • Typography for effective visual communication through appropriate font selection and arrangement

  • Layout and composition for an aesthetically pleasing design and easy comprehension

  • Communication and collaboration to convey ideas and work effectively within a team or with clients

  • Problem-solving to find optimal design solutions for client needs and project challenges

  • Attention to detail for precision and enhancing the overall design quality

  • Time management to meet deadlines and deliver high-quality work on time

Why study to become a graphic designer via Swinburne Open Education?

Choosing to embark on the path to becoming a graphic designer with Swinburne Open Education sets the stage for a promising career in the creative world. Swinburne Open’s Diploma of Graphic Design online can assist equip you with graphic design skills to land a job in the field and a national accreditation that employers are increasingly looking for. 

With numerous educational resources online, get the flexibility to tailor your study routine to your needs, ensuring a smooth transition into the vibrant world of graphic design.

Graphic design career FAQs

Q: What are the typical tasks of a graphic designer?

Graphic designers handle a range of responsibilities. They create visual designs, develop layouts, choose suitable colour schemes and typography, and produce design assets for various media. 

Additionally, they collaborate with clients, interpret design briefs, manage projects, and ensure the final design meets client expectations and objectives.

Q: Can I enter the graphic design field without prior experience?

Employment requirements in graphic design can vary by employer. While specific experience is optional, having prior experience in related areas like working as a freelance designer or internships can strengthen your position. 

Studying a graphic design course, certificate or diploma can significantly enhance your chances of entering the field even without prior experience.

Q: Is a degree necessary to pursue a career in graphic design?

A degree is not a strict requirement for a graphic design career, but it can significantly enhance your prospects. Completing a Diploma of Graphic Design equips you with practical skills essential for success in the field. 

The skills acquired in this diploma program are directly applicable to everyday design challenges. The emphasis is on practical skills that are transferable to real-world design problem-solving.

While considering a career in graphic design, you may also explore obtaining a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. Nevertheless, a Diploma of Graphic Design holds significant value on its own.

Q: What are the benefits of pursuing a career in graphic design?

Graphic designers enjoy fulfilling work, diverse projects, and the opportunity to bring creative ideas to life. 

The field offers competitive compensation, job stability, and the chance to collaborate with clients and teams from various industries. It's a dynamic profession that encourages continuous learning and growth within the ever-evolving world of design.

Are you interested in becoming a graphic designer in Australia but don’t know where to begin? Contact Swinburne Open Education today for more information about the nationally accredited online graphic design courses that we offer.


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