Updated November 2022
Many people seem to think that graphic design is a dying industry.
They’ve heard that print has no future. And they figure that with all the user-friendly software options out there, anyone can throw a digital design together quickly and easily, without help from a professional.
The reality is very different.
It’s true that graphic design is increasingly focused on digital media like websites, animations, television shows, and video games. But print is still with us: think posters, album art, business cards, book covers, product packaging, etc.
And more and more companies rely on trained graphic designers’ expertise at using images to communicate ideas and inspire action (think websites and social media).
The bottom line? Skilled graphic designers are in demand, and many positions come with comfortable salaries.
Read on for all the details.
WHAT’S THE JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS IN ONTARIO?
While the demand for print-based designs is expected to be moderate, digital media is certainly on the rise.
The Government of Canada Job Bank says graphic designers with skills related to game design, animation, e-learning, and UX/UI should have bright prospects in Ontario in the years ahead.
According to Ontario government estimates, employment of graphic designers should grow by 12 to 13% between 2021 and 2025.
As many as 8,000 job openings are expected across the province!
Miguel Suarez teaches the graphic design program at Herzing College Toronto. He says the field is evolving and generating many cool new opportunities.
“Classical animation is making a massive comeback in the gaming industry. Demand for classical art skills is on the rise, so students who paint and draw can benefit from this trend.
New jobs are emerging in app development, UI/UX, and motion graphics, video, and animation content creation.
There has also been an increase in augmented reality, and changes to how movies are created.
It is truly an exciting time to be a graphic designer!”
HOW MUCH CAN YOU EARN IN GRAPHIC DESIGN?
Graphic design is a broad field with many potential paths and specializations.
To get a realistic sense of what different roles pay, we analyzed government data plus dozens of current job postings on Indeed and LinkedIn.
Here’s what you could make in both entry-level and advanced roles in the graphic design industry.
Graphic designer salaries
Overall, graphic designers in Ontario have a median salary of about $58,000, according to the Job Bank.
And with experience, your earnings can increase significantly. The Job Bank says graphic designer salaries in Ontario can exceed $86,000.
We found job postings for graphic designers in the Toronto area that paid anywhere from $37,000 to $94,000. Most were in the $40,000-to-$50,000 range.
Web designer salaries
It’s common for graphic designers to focus on creating functional, visually appealing websites. The most current graphic design programs include training in web design, programming, and wire-framing.
The Job Bank says the median salary for web designers in Ontario is about $67,000. The highest-paid web designers in the province make more than $114,000.
Our research turned up many web designer job postings for the GTA that came with salaries between $50,000 and $73,000.
Motion graphic designer salaries
Motion graphic designers specialize in creating 2D motion graphics and 3D animations for corporate sites, social media channels, and other media. They might also create storyboards, edit videos, and add special effects.
Motion graphic designer salaries vary greatly. We found Toronto-area postings that paid as little as $30,000 and as much as $65,000.
One freelance contract offered $40 to $45 per hour, which would be roughly $83,000 to $94,000 for a full year’s work.
UI/UX designer salaries
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers strive to ensure that digital products are designed in a way that makes sense for their targeted users.
UI/UX designers research users’ behaviours and goals and use that data to design the layout, look, and flow of an app or website.
Their goal is to make it simple and intuitive for a user to accomplish a task like completing a game or purchasing a product.
According to PayScale, salaries for UX designers in Toronto range from $45,000 to $84,000. The median is $64,000.
We found many postings for UI/UX designers that came with salaries of $40,000 to $75,000.
Art director salaries
Art directors come up with the visual style of a product or ad campaign and direct a team of designers who create the actual images.
They are responsible for making sure all design projects further the company’s branding and style goals.
This is not an entry-level role. Art directors typically come to the job with several years of experience in different areas of graphic design.
PayScale says art directors in Toronto make between $46,000 and $91,000. The median salary is $69,000.
You can also choose to work freelance or start your own design company rather than pursue a salaried position.
This is a popular option: the Job Bank says nearly a third of Ontario’s graphic designers are self-employed.
Going this route could increase your earning potential because you'll set your own rates.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A GRAPHIC DESIGNER?
Start by exploring the 10-month graphic design program at Herzing College Toronto.
Students get hands-on training in Adobe software and build a professional portfolio of both print and digital media projects. They also complete a six-week internship at a local company.
Our grads have been hired by Gladstone Media, Lampo Communications, Cineflix Productions, and other organizations in the GTA.
Click below to get complete details on the graphic design program and chat live with an admissions advisor. We’re here to help!