“My background was in graphic design, but when I was doing it, it was all hand-drawn stuff, not computers.“
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Actor
Pros and Cons of Working as a Graphic Designer
A career as a graphic designer has become increasingly popular over the past decades.
If you are also interested in working as a graphic designer, you should definitely check out the pros and cons of being a graphic designer in this article.
After that, you will have a better impression of what such a career will look like and whether you still want to go for it or rather choose a different career path instead.
Table of Contents
Graphic Designer Job Profile
|Job Description||Graphic designers create nice pictures and graphics that are published in printed or electronic formats for educational, entertaining or advertising purposes.|
|Salary||$65,000 per year on average, most graphic designers make between $44,000 and $75,000 per year.|
|Job Security||Decent since good graphic designers are in high demand right now.|
|Job Satisfaction||Good if you love to be creative at work.|
|Work-Life Balance||Good since you will have free weekends and also don’t have to work at nighttime as a graphic designer.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be mentally demanding.|
|Future Outlook||Decent since good graphic designers will always be needed in the future.|
|Requirements||You need a degree for becoming a graphic designer.|
Advantages of Being a Graphic Designer
- Graphic designers can make decent money
- You can work indoors as a graphic designer
- Graphic designers can be creative at work
- You can work for many different companies
- Graphic designers can work self-employed
- You can stay up-to-date with latest technologies
- Teleworking will often be possible for graphic designers
- You can make significant money on the side
- Graphic designers don’t have to work on weekends
- You will come home from work rather early
- Good work-life balance for graphic designers
- You can leverage digital channels
- Working as a graphic designer is not that stressful
- You can avoid heavy physical work
- Good job prospects for graphic designers
- Good graphic designers will also be needed in the future
Graphic designers can make decent money
One advantage of being a graphic designer is that you can make decent money from what you are doing.
While most graphic designers will not get rich, most of them still make enough money to cover their basic expenses and to afford some nice things from time to time.
In fact, graphic designers make a little bit more than the average person and it is therefore not the worst choice for sure when it comes solely to financial considerations.
If you work really hard, you may even be able to earn a six-figure income and make more than train drivers and most other people make from their jobs.
You can work indoors as a graphic designer
As a graphic designer, you also don’t have to work under adverse conditions outdoors.
While some people like construction workers, roofers or service technicians often have to work outdoors during rain or even snow, you will be able to enjoy a rather cozy work environment as a graphic designer and can even enjoy a nice tea or coffee.
You can also use our modern technologies and also make use of air conditioning and heating to make your life at work as convenient as possible.
Graphic designers can be creative at work
Another benefit of working as a graphic designer is that you can be really creative at work. In fact, you need to be creative for succeeding in this field in the long run.
Every client and every project will be different and while this can be really challenging and mentally demanding, it still gives you the opportunity to develop your skills further every day and chances are that you will never get bored with what you are doing and can really enjoy your time at work.
You can work for many different companies
You will also have the privilege to be able to work for many different companies as a graphic designer.
Due to our digitalized world, graphic designers are needed in several different industries and you will be free to choose in what niche you want to specialize.
Hence, this will also make it rather easy for you to quit your job and to work for someone else in case you are no longer satisfied with the working conditions.
In turn, you will have options and having options is crucial for a happy life since only if you have options, you will have the freedom to do what you want and you will also have peace of mind regarding your overall prospects in life.
Graphic designers can work self-employed
Another huge upside to becoming a graphic designer is that you will also be able to work self-employed.
Many graphic designers work on their own or even have their own graphic design businesses.
Sure, this is not for everyone since having your own business also implies serious challenges and you will likely work much more than a regular employee.
However, if you want to be free to structure your day and to do what you want every minute of your workday, chances are that a career as a self-employed graphic designer will be much better suitable for you compared to just working as a normal employee.
It is also pretty easy to start your own business in this field since you will barely have any upfront costs and if you are willing to work really hard and also have a certain talent for graphic design, you can make money quickly as a graphic designer.
You can stay up-to-date with latest technologies
As a graphic designer, you will also always have to stay up-to-date with latest technologies.
In fact, if you don’t always learn, you will likely become obsolete pretty soon and will also lose many clients.
While this can become a serious issue and it is quite challenging to always adapt to new conditions, you will still be able to learn a lot and this can not only help you for your professional, but also for your private life since you will be able to leverage this knowledge when it comes to helping out your friends and so on.
Teleworking will often be possible for graphic designers
Another advantage of working as a graphic designer is that you will also be able to work remotely quite often.
Many graphic designers just work in an office environment for a few days per week and spend the other days at home. Sure, you will also have to work at home.
Yet, you will have much more freedom regarding how to structure your day and may also get some private things done during your workday.
You will also have to spend less time commuting while many other people who will have to be present at work in person all the time will just not have this luxury.
You can make significant money on the side
If you are really good at graphic design and are also willing to work after finishing your day job, you will also be able to make really good money on the side.
In fact, there are more than enough jobs for graphic designers out there that you could do as a freelancer and this means that you will have additional income opportunities in case you urgently need money.
Consequently, you will be pretty flexible regarding how much you actually want to work depending on your individual circumstances.
Graphic designers don’t have to work on weekends
If you work as an employed graphic designer, you will also not have to work on weekends in your day job.
Instead, you can enjoy your leisure with your favorite people and you can also make nice city trips if you want to.
You will also have more than enough time for your hobbies while many other people still have to work during Saturdays or sometimes even Sundays.
You will come home from work rather early
Many graphic designers also don’t have to work many extra hours and often come home quite early.
In turn, you will have the opportunity to meet up with your favorite people after work and enjoy a nice cool drink.
You will also have enough time for your kids while other people have to work long hours every day and barely see their kids at all during the week.
Good work-life balance for graphic designers
In general, most graphic designers report pretty good work-life balance.
Most people who work in this field are pretty happy with the overall working conditions and some of them would be willing to work even more.
Hence, becoming a graphic designer can also make quite a lot of sense for you in case you want to have enough leisure for your hobbies or your family and still want to make decent money at the same time.
You can leverage digital channels
As a graphic designer, you will also have the great opportunity to leverage social media channels to promote your work.
Many popular graphic designers started out as normal people and just shared their work on the internet.
However, they got famous pretty soon by sharing their work on YouTube and other social media channels.
Thus, if you want to become a popular graphic designer, you should definitely leverage those channels as well since they are free to use and you can build a huge audience in a rather short period of time.
Working as a graphic designer is not that stressful
Graphic designers will also have a rather relaxed time at work.
While your work can be mentally demanding, you will still not have the same time pressure and stress level as doctors or investment bankers and this will also enable you to try things out and to really enjoy your work.
In turn, you will likely stay motivated for a longer period of time and may be happy to leave your home and to go to work instead of just looking forward to the weekend as most other people in our current state of the world do.
You can avoid heavy physical work
While your work as a graphic designer can be mentally demanding, you will still not have to do heavy physical work.
In turn, you will often have more energy left when you come home from work compared to welders, roofers or construction workers who have to work in a heavy physical manner all day long and will often come home tired and without any motivation to meet up with people after work or to do other fun things.
Good job prospects for graphic designers
Graphic designers also have pretty decent job prospects right now. Sure, not every graphic designer will be able to work for one of the renowned companies that offer great work-life balance and a nice salary at the same time.
However, if you are willing to put in the work and to improve your skills further every day, chances are that you will be finally good enough to work for one of these companies and that you will also have many options for whom you want to work in general.
Good graphic designers will also be needed in the future
Since our world becomes more digital every day, you will also have pretty good future job prospects as a graphic designer.
In fact, if you always stay up-to-date with latest graphic design software, chances are that you will never struggle with finding a good job.
Hence, also your job prospects in the future will be pretty decent as long as you are willing to always learn and progress.
Now that you know all the advantages of working as a graphic designer, you might think that this would be the perfect job for you.
However, it is still not all upside and we also have to talk about the downsides that come along with a graphic designer career so that you get a more realistic picture of reality and can better decide whether you still want to work in this field or not.
Disadvantages of Working as a Graphic Designer
- Most graphic designers don’t get rich
- You have to work with a computer all day long
- Many graphic design jobs may be outsourced in the future
- You need a degree for working as a graphic designer
- Many graphic designers struggle to pay back student loan debt
- You may be dependent on your parents for quite a long time
- Rather limited promotion options
- You may feel lonely at work
- You may get lazy in the long run
- Graphic designers may have to go to the gym
- You will often not see results quickly
Most graphic designers don’t get rich
One problem with being a graphic designer is that you will likely just not get wealthy or even rich from what you are doing for a living.
Sure, many graphic designers are able to make decent money from their jobs.
However, especially if you live in expensive regions, you may just not be able to afford any luxury since you will have to spend most of your money on rent and other basic things.
Consequently, if money and luxury are really important to you and you just don’t want to live a basic life, you may rather want to strive for a career in the medical field or as a judge instead of becoming a graphic designer.
You have to work with a computer all day long
Graphic designers also have to work in a classical office environment for most of their workday. In fact, you will just do most of the work with the help of a computer since you can do your work just much quicker.
Consequently, you will also have to stare at a computer screen for many hours per day and this will not only hurt your eyes in the long run, but it may also make you tired and you may even burn out in the long run.
Thus, if you rather want to do hands-on work instead of computer work, chances are that you will not get happy with a career in graphic design.
Many graphic design jobs may be outsourced in the future
While job prospects for graphic designers are pretty decent right now, they may become worse in the future since many jobs will be outsourced to low-wage countries in the long run.
In fact, people in third-world countries will often do the same job for a small fraction of the wage people in high-wage countries will demand and this gives companies the incentive to outsource part of the work.
Sure, if you are really good at what you are doing, chances are that you will still have pretty decent job prospects as a graphic designer.
However, you should not expect that your job prospects stay as good as they are right now.
You need a degree for working as a graphic designer
Most companies out there also require you to have a degree if you want to work for them as a graphic designer.
In turn, this means that you will have to spend lots of time and money on college education and you should therefore make sure that graphic design is really what you want to do for a living for quite a long time to make it worth the investment you have to make upfront.
Many graphic designers struggle to pay back student loan debt
If you don’t have wealthy parents, you might also have to take on student loans to finance your studies.
However, you will also have to pay back those student loans sooner or later and this may financially constrain you in the future and may also prevent you from financing a home rather early in your life.
You may be dependent on your parents for quite a long time
Due to the significant costs related to college education, you may also stay dependent on your parents for quite a long time.
Hence, while many of your friends who start working right after high school will make enough money to stand on their own feet, you will often have to go to college for quite a long time before you make significant amounts of money and if the relationship between you and your parents is rather bad, you may just not want to become dependent on them for such a long time.
Rather limited promotion options
Many graphic designers also really struggle to get promoted.
While you may get a raise from time to time, you will still do the same job for quite long since real promotions are pretty rare in this field and you will therefore do similar jobs like people who just started your career, even though you might have been with the company for decades.
You may feel lonely at work
Graphic designers also work on their own for an extended period of time.
Quite often, you will simply not have that many collaboration opportunities with your colleagues and will rather work on your own projects.
In turn, working as a graphic designer may become pretty lonely in the long run and social isolation may also become a serious issue.
You may get lazy in the long run
Another downside of working as a graphic designer is that you may just get lazy.
Since you will work in front of a computer screen all day long, you will just not get any physical exercise and this may not only be pretty bad for your health, but you may just lose the motivation to go out and to really do things.
Graphic designers may have to go to the gym
Due to the lack of exercise at work, there may also be the need to go to the gym if you want to stay fit and in shape as a graphic designer.
Otherwise, you might just gain weight and become obese in the long run, with all the unpleasant issues that might come along with it.
You will often not see results quickly
Another disadvantage of a career as a graphic designer is that you will also not see results quickly.
Quite often, you will work on your projects for weeks or even months before you produce results that are really valuable.
This can be really frustrating since you will just not get the immediate satisfaction from your work as other people like construction workers who see the results of their labor every day do.
Top 10 Being a Graphic Designer & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Graphic Designer Pros||Being a Graphic Designer Cons|
|Graphic designers can make decent money||Graphic designers don’t get rich|
|You will not have much stress at work||Some jobs may be outsourced|
|Graphic designers don’t work on weekends||You have to work with a computer|
|You will come home from work rather early||Graphic design can be lonely|
|You will work with latest technologies||You may get lazy in the long run|
|Good job for creative people||Overweight may become an issue|
|You can work for many companies||You may have to go to the gym|
|Good job prospects for graphic designers||You need a college degree|
|You can make money on the side||Student loan debt can be annoying|
|You can avoid physical work||You will be dependent on your parents|
Should You Become A Graphic Designer?
As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being a graphic designer.
You should definitely take your time and evaluate all the pros and cons of a graphic designer career carefully so that you can make a profound decision regarding this important topic and can stay happy and motivated for quite a long time.
If you are still interested in a graphic designer career, you should also get detailed information on the salary, future outlook, duties, job satisfaction, working hours, work-life balance and educational requirements of graphic designers.
Also make sure to check out the following articles to get more information on other job options:
Own research and interviews.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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