Best places for Graphic Design Jobs

May 28, 2015
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Graphic Design Jobs Map
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This is a guest article contributed by Callie.

Some words of wisdom for those aspiring graphic designers out there: the better you understand the industry, the better your odds are of landing a job. It seems elementary but it’s tough to find a job if you don’t know where to look. It’s even tougher if you don’t possess the skills and abilities needed to be successful in the position.

So in order to assist you in your research about the graphic design industry, this article will answer two important questions:

You’ll learn about the top graphic design hot spots in the U.S. (see Europe here) and also discover some of the hottest design skills employers are seeking. Use this information to help you in your quest to land your dream graphic design job.

Graphic design job locations

Photo Credit: Rasmussen College

Above you’ll see the number of U.S. graphic design job openings based on region. The color-coded key will help you determine the prevalence of job opportunities in each state.

Top 5 Cities for Graphic Design Jobs

Now that you’ve got a feel for where the jobs are, let’s take a look at the top five U.S. cities that offered the most job opportunities for graphic designers in 2013. You’ll also see the three employers with the most graphic design job openings for each city.

1. New York City, N.Y.

CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
Ralph Lauren

2. Los Angeles, Calif.

Forever 21
Fox Broadcasting Company
Creative Circle

3. San Francisco, Calif.


4. Chicago, Ill.

Razorfish, Inc.
University of Chicago

5. Seattle, Wash.

Starbucks Coffee

Graphic design skills you need to succeed

Knowing where the graphic design jobs are is essentially useless if you’re not qualified to land one. Graphic design is a fast-paced industry that is constantly adopting new techniques and technologies, so it’s important to know which skills are worth focusing on to increase your appeal to employers.

Graphic designers must possess a unique balance between creative innovation and technical prowess. The aforementioned analysis of job postings revealed the top graphic design skills that employers are seeking in prospective designers.

The data can be divided into two categories: soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills tend to be inherent characteristics that are more difficult to teach. They play a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of the job but in such a technical profession, they don’t do much good unless accompanied by the necessary hard skills. Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be measured.

Take a look at the five most requested hard and soft skills for graphic designers

Hard skills in demand:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
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