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Multimedia Designers



What's Needed:

  • Most design firms and corporations do not require formal training. Instead, they place emphasis on your portfolio of work and your knowledge of specific graphic and multimedia design programs.
  • In many cases, it may be helpful to have a certificate to show that you have been trained in these programs and have demonstrated your competency.
  • If you choose to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in multimedia design to improve your job options, you'll likely attend an art or technical college that specializes in the creative fields.

What you study:

If you pursue a degree in multimedia design, you'll likely study all of the following:

  • Principles of Design
  • Computer Illustration
  • Vector Illustration
  • Interactive Design
  • Webpage Design
  • Video and Audio Design

What courses you'll take

Below are examples of courses that you'll likely take as a multimedia design student.

Introduction to Mass MediaHistory and current trends in mass media, including print, motion pictures, radio, television and Internet; media-related values such as freedoms of speech and of the press; responsibilities of mass media creators; channels through which mass media reaches the public; standards and business practices in media career fields.Introduce students to mass media as a form of communication, along with practical and moral considerations involved in the field.
Introduction to the Visual ArtsThe various types of visual arts, including painting, sculpture and architecture; a brief history of each visual art form's development; visual art theory and criticism; production processes; presentation of visual art in venues such as museums, public spaces and digital screens.Provide a survey of visual art forms, focusing on traits that distinguish them from other types of media.
Digital IllustrationPrinciples of typography (the study of typefaces and fonts); using specialized software to create graphics; techniques for color correction; setting proper image resolution; industry standards for digital graphics production, including use of crop marks and color bleeds at the edges of images; digital design workflow.Prepare students to work professionally with digital graphics and typefaces.
Web DesignConstructing web pages using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS); developing and publishing websites with authoring software; planning and testing website functionality; organizing and managing website files; applying graphic design skills and visual art techniques to web development.Ready students to publish multimedia content on the web, and ensure that it looks and behaves as intended.
Multimedia ProductionCreating advertising and other art that involves multiple types of media, such as video and sound; integrating media content across multiple channels, such as print and web; production of interactive content; staying organized while planning and executing a complex multimedia project.Enable students to weave all their content-creation skills into a unified multimedia presentation.

Certifications and Licensing

No certification is needed in order to work as a multimedia design professional. However, many multimedia designers hold certificates in particular design programs or areas in which they work. The most popular of these certifications are offered by Adobe and cover the programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, which is used by design professionals worldwide.

Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

Multimedia designers who work for design firms and corporations may choose to work either full- or part-time schedules. Those individuals who work on a freelance basis tend to work full-time schedules but have greater freedom to take time off.

Work location:

Many design professionals work from home offices or telecommute for at least part of the workweek. Some designers only work in a firm or corporation's offices when they need access to specific design programs and technologies. The majority of multimedia designers have company-assigned laptops that they can use to complete their work from wherever they'd like.

Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for Multimedia Artists and Animators: The Bureau of Labor website provides extensive information about careers in multimedia design. The majority of the information on this site is statistical in nature. Individuals who are interested in careers in multimedia design should visit other websites to get a well-rounded view of work in this field.
  • The American Institute of Graphic Arts: AIGA is widely considered the leading organization for design professionals in the Americas. The AIGA website provides career and job boards, information about design competitions and tools for designers working in all mediums. The site is an excellent resource for both beginning and experienced designers.
  • Icograda: Also known as the International Council on Communication Design, Icograda is the leading international organization for design professionals. The Icograda website provides design news, a member resource library, information about design seminars and a directory of design professionals. This site is particularly helpful for individuals who are working in multimedia design but wish to learn new skills or seek out positions in new markets.

Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
AZPhoenix – Mesa – Glendale$51,090$39K – $87K1400.01%
AZTucson$41,200$33K – $72K700.02%
CALos Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)$81,120$42K – $165K5,7300.15%
CAOakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)$76,410$48K – $143K7500.08%
CAOxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura$69,950$49K – $105K500.02%
CARiverside – San Bernardino – Ontario$53,550$39K – $93K800.01%
CASacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville$71,700$51K – $108K1200.02%
CASan Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos$63,990$42K – $107K2400.02%
CASan Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)$69,710$37K – $111K1,0500.10%
CASan Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara$69,990$46K – $113K3100.03%
CASanta Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)$67,650$42K – $115K2600.02%
CASanta Barbara – Santa Maria – GoletaN/AN/A – N/A2300.14%
CASanta Rosa – Petaluma$61,320$34K – $127K400.02%
COBoulder$56,620$40K – $85K700.05%
CODenver – Aurora – Broomfield$62,120$42K – $89K2200.02%
CTBridgeport – Stamford – NorwalkN/AN/A – N/A8500.20%
CTHartford – West Hartford – East Hartford$36,690$26K – $133K2400.04%
DCWashington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)$59,450$43K – $96K3600.02%
FLFort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$48,880$41K – $73K800.01%
FLJacksonville$60,970$40K – $102K300.01%
FLMiami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)$52,390$40K – $75K1500.02%
FLOrlando – Kissimmee – Sanford$44,960$38K – $62K3000.03%
FLTampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater$49,430$39K – $69K1100.01%
FLWest Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)$48,280$33K – $75K500.01%
GAAtlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta$52,470$35K – $89K7900.03%
HIHonolulu$50,690$32K – $98K1100.03%
ILChicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)$60,130$39K – $96K8100.02%
INIndianapolis – Carmel$44,740$29K – $71K900.01%
LABaton RougeN/AN/A – N/A700.02%
LANew Orleans – Metairie – Kenner$70,800$38K – $119KN/AN/A
MABoston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area)$64,490$39K – $97K4900.03%
MASpringfield$44,730$31K – $60K400.02%
MDBaltimore – Towson$51,760$33K – $76K2500.02%
MDBethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area)$55,990$35K – $96K1600.03%
MIDetroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area)$48,710$22K – $82K500.01%
MIWarren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area)$73,920$40K – $95K2500.02%
MNMinneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington$49,430$31K – $86K4700.03%
MOKansas City$48,240$31K – $86K1900.02%
MOSpringfield$29,580$21K – $59K700.04%
MOSt. Louis$67,360$30K – $98K1800.01%
NCDurham – Chapel Hill$63,850$42K – $99K1200.05%
NCRaleigh – Cary$56,070$27K – $79K7000.14%
NELincoln$38,530$16K – $67K700.04%
NEOmaha – Council Bluffs$35,940$31K – $48K800.02%
NHNashua (Metro Area)$66,360$37K – $94KN/AN/A
NJEdison – New Brunswick (Metro Area)$59,410$46K – $75KN/AN/A
NJNewark – Union (Metro Area)$52,500$33K – $80K1500.02%
NVLas Vegas – Paradise$30,340$19K – $77KN/AN/A
NYAlbany – Schenectady – Troy$57,130$37K – $90K900.02%
NYNassau – Suffolk (Metro Area)$63,060$49K – $109K700.01%
NYNew York – White Plains – Wayne (Metro Area)$68,570$39K – $108K2,2800.04%
NYRochester$45,240$34K – $64K400.01%
OHAkron$50,330$24K – $77KN/AN/A
OHCincinnati – Middletown$58,820$39K – $81K900.01%
OHCleveland – Elyria – Mentor$59,610$40K – $80K700.01%
OHColumbus$59,100$40K – $96K1200.01%
OHDayton$66,450$31K – $91K400.01%
OHToledo$52,270$31K – $76K400.01%
OKOklahoma City$34,590$26K – $62K400.01%
OREugene – Springfield$64,570$38K – $83K900.07%
ORPortland – Vancouver – Hillsboro$54,010$34K – $102K5000.05%
PAHarrisburg – Carlisle$53,950$38K – $77K300.01%
PAPhiladelphia (Metro Area)$60,100$40K – $112K2300.01%
PAPittsburgh$50,220$36K – $85K1200.01%
PRSan Juan – Caguas – Guaynabo$39,240$25K – $51K300.00%
RIProvidence – Fall River – Warwick$58,920$42K – $77K400.01%
SDSioux Falls$36,450$26K – $55K400.03%
TNNashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin$43,850$33K – $90K800.01%
TXAustin – Round Rock – San Marcos$48,720$30K – $91K3400.04%
TXDallas – Plano – Irving (Metro Area)$54,560$33K – $95K7100.03%
TXFort Worth – Arlington (Metro Area)$60,880$38K – $101K800.01%
TXHouston – Sugar Land – Baytown$57,630$25K – $85K2400.01%
TXSan Antonio – New Braunfels$46,360$34K – $73K1300.01%
UTProvo – Orem$58,650$31K – $87KN/AN/A
UTSalt Lake City$51,630$30K – $80K1100.02%
VARichmond$63,840$29K – $82K800.01%
VARoanoke$54,540$28K – $61KN/AN/A
VAVirginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News$55,360$45K – $70KN/AN/A
WASeattle – Bellevue – Everett (Metro Area)$64,300$38K – $110K2,3300.17%
WIMadison$50,730$31K – $65K1900.06%
WIMilwaukee – Waukesha – West Allis$40,590$31K – $75K300.00%

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