Designers have a desire to create. They mix knowledge with artistic
ability. Designers focus in a specific area of design such as
cars or Web sites.
The first step is to find out why the design is important to
the client. They must think about the size, shape, weight, and
cost of the design.
Designers make drafts or drawings by hand or with a computer.
Most use computer-aided design (CAD) tools. Designers need up-to-date
computer and telephone equipment.
Most specialize. Some work in more than one area. For example,
commercial and industrial designers develop man-made
products like toys and furniture. Fashion designers make
clothing and accessories like belts and hats. Floral designers
cut and set up live, dried, or fake flowers into designs. Graphic
designers use computer software to design newspapers and
other publications. More graphic designers are making Internet
Web pages. Interior designers plan the interiors of places like
homes, offices, and hotels. Merchandise displayers and window
dressers, or visual merchandisers, plan and set
up windows and interiors of retail stores. Set and exhibit
designers create sets for movie, television, and theater
Designers may work in their own office or in their clients' home
or office. They set their schedules to please their clients. They
may work long hours, including evenings or weekends, to meet deadlines.
Some may travel. Those who are paid by contract are under stress
to please clients and to find new ones to keep a steady income.
|How do you get ready to be a designer?
Designers must have an eye for color and detail. Designers also
need problem-solving skills.
Most designers need formal training after high school. Some attend
a professional design school, but most need a bachelor's degree.
A few designers learn their skills on the job.
New designers get on-the-job training for 1 to 3 years. Some
leave to become teachers in design schools. Some open their own
|How much does a designer get paid?
In 2002, earnings of designers varied widely. For example, the
middle half of all floral designers earned between $15,880 and
$23,560. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $13,440.
The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $29,830. The middle
half of all fashion designers earned between $35,550 and $75,970.
The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $25,350. The highest-paid
10 percent earned more than $105,280.
Designers held about 532,000 jobs in 2002. About one-third were
self-employed. Many self-employed designers also had another job
in design or in some other occupation.
Designers are expected to grow about as fast as the average for
all occupations through the year 2012. However, they are expected
to face keen competition for jobs. Many talented people are attracted
to a career in design.
|Are there other jobs like this?
|Where can you find more information?
More information about designers can be found in the Careers
Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau
of Labor Statistics