Graphic designers are in high demand in advertising, web design, mobile communications, marketing and public relations, technology, publishing, retail, and more. Since 2002, the industry has generated more than 50,000 new jobs and salaries have increased as well. Ten-year projections are so positive that schools have prepared by creating competitive graphic design programs or by expanding existing ones. The State of Carolina is right up there with the leaders of the pack.
South Carolina is home to dozes of top-tier colleges that offer art and design programs. Nearly one dozen offer competitive programs for aspiring graphic designers. These schools can be found all over the state from the charming city of Charleston to the small town of Tigerville. While South Carolina’s creative institutions can be found just about anywhere in the state, a lot of the art and culture action takes place in principal cities such as Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Rock Hill, and Greenville.
Columbia is home to the famed Columbia Museum of Art, while Charleston is home to home to the Gibbs Museum of Art. North Charleston has the popular North Charleston City Gallery, while Mount Pleasant is home to more than a dozen museums and the Treasure Nest Art Gallery (700 paintings). The Greenville County Museum of Art is a major attraction in Greenville, and The Center for the Arts, Gettys Art Center, and Culture & Heritage Museums are permanent part of the Rock Hill art and design scene.
South Carolina Graphic Design Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), South Carolina is now home to 75 Title-IV degree-granting institutions. This includes the top schools for graphic designers. Scroll through the list below to review South Carolina’s best options for aspiring graphic designers and what they have to offer.
Anderson University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
Charleston Southern University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Design
Clemson University - Degrees Offered: B. S. Graphic Communications, M. F. A. Digital Production Arts, M.S. Graphic Communications
Coastal Carolina University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Design
Erskine College – Degrees Offered: B.A. Visual Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
Bob Jones University – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design
Lander University – Degrees Offered: B. S. Visual Arts with Graphic Design Emphasis
Coker College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
University of South Carolina, Spartanburg – Degrees Offered: B. A. Art Studio with Graphic Design Emphasis
North Greenville University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Studio Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
More South Carolina Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for South Carolina Graphic Design
The U.S. is home to 191,550 salaried graphic designers, up from 141,830 in 2002. They average $48,690, up from $41,380 in 2002. The lowest paid graphic designers earn less than $26,210 and the highest 10 percent earn $77,370. South Carolina is home to 15,130 salaried artists and designers, up from 14,680 in 2002. Nearly 1,800 of the state’s 15,130 salaried artists are graphic designers. They average $40,500 per year, up from $34,240 in 2002.
It is important to note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics only determines the average salary for graphic designers, not all salaries. Salaries vary based on a variety of factors such as seniority, company, location, industry, and more. For example, according to the Bureau, “senior designers, who may supervise junior staff or have some decision-making authority that reflects their knowledge of graphic design,” currently 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.