Graphic designer apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeship
You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in graphic design, art and design or illustration. You'll usually need:
- a foundation diploma in art and design
- 1 or 2 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could take a college course, like a Level 3 Diploma in Graphic Design or Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Art and Design, and use this to join a company as a design assistant.
You may need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course. You'll need 1 or 2 A-Levels, a Level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a Level 4 or 5 course.
You could start by doing a Level 3 apprenticeship in design, specialising in graphics. You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths. There's a lot of competition for graphic design work. You'll need a portfolio that shows your creative ideas, skills and work experience to help you get started.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Chartered Society of Designers and the International Society of Typographical Designers for professional development and to make industry contacts.
Graphic designer apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- design skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of media production and communication
- knowledge of English language
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- excellent verbal communication skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- the ability to work well with your hands
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Graphic designer apprenticeships - what you'll do
Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- discussing the client's requirements and coming up with creative ideas
- working out budgets and deadlines
- producing rough drafts and presenting your ideas
- preparing designs using specialist software
- making presentations to clients for feedback and approval
- producing a final layout
- explaining requirements to photographers, printers, manufacturers or games developers
- keeping up with design trends and developments in software tools
You could work in a creative studio, in an office or at a client's business.
Career path and progression - Graphic designer apprenticeships
You could become a senior designer, creative director or move into management.
You could go freelance or start your own design agency.
Another option is to move into teaching or lecturing.