By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
Do you have an artistic eye? Are you comfortable with computers? You could work at home as a graphic designer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average income for graphic designers as $45,000 per year. With the option of enjoying the flexible work hours of a home office environment, this is a career worth looking into.
At a minimum, you will need to equip your home office with a computer, printer and design software. Most entry-level positions require at least an associate degree, with a bachelor’s degree preferred.
The key to success as a graphic designer is a killer portfolio. The best way to build a portfolio is to get busy working. That may seem intimidating if you have little or no experience, but there are plenty of opportunities out there if you are willing to do a little pro bono work. Many nonprofit organizations looking for graphic designers, and free is the right price. Idealist.org lists open paid and volunteer positions within the nonprofit sector. Gaining much needed career skills is even more fun when you are assisting a worthy cause.
Choosing a Niche
Once you have built an impressive resumé, you may find it beneficial to choose a niche or specialty. Choose an area of expertise based on your strengths and interests. Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients. Here are a few graphic design specialties to consider:
– Advertising / Commercial Designer
– Desktop Publisher