Careers in Graphic Communication

The industry will need machine operators, bindery workers, sales and customer service people, computer operators, graphic artists and designers, chemists, machinists, warehouse operators, mechanics, production supervisors, and all forms of management. Our occupation is stable, and there is ample opportunity for career growth. Individuals who have a high school education can start out as trainees and learn on the job for many positions. With time, they can advance to lead positions and into supervisory positions.

Opportunities for post-secondary education to prepare for a graphics career are available in many forms. Technical colleges offer one- and two-year programs in production and management. There are four-year degrees at several colleges to pursue print management. Continuing education is an important part of the industry as new processes and methods are introduced. Industry associations, manufacturers, technical colleges, and in-house training are among the many ways that workers continue to gain knowledge. There are scholarships available for students who want to pursue higher education and a career in graphic communications. These are offered for all levels of post-secondary.

Companies in the graphic communication industry offer competitive starting wages and salary packages compared to other fields. Nearly all companies offer comprehensive insurance and benefit packages to their employees with 97% having health plans, and a majority offering 401k or other retirement savings plans. The average wage per hour for production personnel averages higher than those in automotive repair and maintenance, and considerably higher than retailing or health aides.

Regardless of the area of a company that a person may be considering going into, today’s mix of technology, craft, and communication skills require bright talented people. Today’s customers have ever rising expectations and projects continue to increase in their complexity. This requires individuals with a high level of skill sets, including verbal and written communication, math skills, computer literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving. Naturally a good work ethic is always important.

Great Lakes Graphics Association—Career Opportunities in the Graphic Arts