Nebraska is country’s 38th largest state (by population) and it is home to several major cities including Omaha (Pop. 408,958), Lincoln (Pop. 258,379), and Bellevue (Pop. 50,137). Every Nebraska city, no matter how big or small, has its own distinct art and design scene. This means that artists and designers have a variety of unique places to choose from, whether they are just starting a career in advertising or looking for quality schools that offer graphic design programs.
Although Nebraska is known as The Cornhusker State, it is home to art galleries galore, from the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney to Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, as well as design centers, web design studios, and edgy multimedia firms. AIGA (The Professional Association for Design) has a chapter here, and designers (digital, graphic, and others), will have no problems finding a number of advertising agencies and web design firms that are always looking for fresh talent. Just a few top Nebraska agencies include Redstone (Omaha & Des Moines, IA), Bozell & Jacobs (Omaha) and Envoy (Omaha). Although many of the state’s top agencies and design firms are located in Omaha, graphic designers can still find a number of companies and studios in Lincoln, Bellevue, and more.
Nebraska’s art schools, technical schools, and traditional colleges can be found all over the state as well. Some are situated on sprawling campuses in small towns, while others are located in the heart of “the big city.” Most of these schools offer programs for graphic designers that may lead to a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design or related field.
Nebraska Graphic Design Schools
Nebraska is home to 43+ accredited colleges and universities. Each offers a variety of degree programs for aspiring graphic designers, whether you plan to stop at a B.A. or advance to a master’s program. Scroll through the list below to review Nebraska’s best options for graphic design majors and what they have to offer.
Chadron State College – Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Graphic Design Option
University of Nebraska Lincoln - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Studio Art with Graphic Design or New Genres Emphasis; B. F. A. Theatre - Film and New Media Production; M. F. A. Studio Art with New Genres Emphasis
Union College - Degrees Offered: B. S. Graphic Design, Computing with Graphic Design/Web Design Emphasis
University of Nebraska at Omaha - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Studio Arts with Emphasis in Graphic Design, Independent Game Design, Intermedia, Visual Technology
Peru State College - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. S. Fine Arts with Graphic Design Option
Concordia University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design
Wayne State College – Degrees Offered: B. A., B. S. Graphic Design
More Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Nebraska Graphic Designers
The population of graphic designers in Nebraska has increased slightly since 2006. This is excellent news considering the unemployment rate and a sluggish economy. Nebraska was home to 1,290 graphic designers in 2006 and 1,310 in 2010. Nationwide, the population of salaried graphic designers increased significantly between 2005 and 2010. In 2005, the nation was home to 178,530 graphic designers. In 2010, the population was 192,240.
The average salary for Nebraska graphic designers also increased between 2006 and 2010. In 2006, the average salary was $34,370. In 2010, it was $37,630. Across the country, the mean annual wage for graphic designers overall was $48,140 in 2010. The lowest paid graphic designers earned less than $26,110 (median), and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,660 (median). The middle 50 percent earned between $32,600 and $56,620 (median). Salaries for higher-level graphic designers, freelancers, and partners vary, but are typically higher than average earnings for salaried designers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “senior designers, who may supervise junior staff or have some decision-making authority that reflects their knowledge of graphic design,” earn a median salary of $60,000. “Solo designers who freelanced or worked under contract reported median earnings of $57,000. Design directors, the creative heads of design firms or in-house corporate design departments,” earn $95,000. “Graphic designers with ownership or partnership interests in a firm or who are principals of the firm in some other capacity” average $95,000 per year.