Employment and salary growth in the graphic design industry has been growing at a steady pace since 2002, when the nation was home to 141,830 salaried designers. Today, the U.S. is home to 191,550 salaried graphic designers, averaging a mean salary of $48,690 per year and a median salary of $44,010 per year. In 2002, graphic designers averaged a mean salary of $41,380 and a median salary of $36,680. The State of South Dakota seems to be keeping up with the rest of the nation when it comes to employment.
In addition to noted employment growth in the graphic design industry, South Dakota is home to a variety of top-tier colleges that offer graphic design programs. Some are offered art schools in principal cities such as Sioux Falls and Brookings, while others arte off-the-beaten path in places such as Mitchell or Yankton. No matter where you go in Mount Rushmore State, you are sure to find a unique art and culture scene and a close-knit community of artists.
In Sioux Falls—the state’s largest city, you’ll find art meccas such as Washington Pavilion and the Museum of Visual Materials. Stop in Rapid City where you can take in an event at the Dahl Arts Center. Head down to Brookings where you can browse the South Dakota Art Museum, or travel to Yankton to explore a variety of art galleries that support local artists and designers and artists in training. Across the state, aspiring artists and designers will find dozens of arts organizations such as The South Dakota Arts Council (Pierre), The Rapid City Arts Council, and The Vermillion Area Arts Council.
South Dakota Graphic Design Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), South Dakota is now home to 25 Title IV degree-granting institutions. At least five of these schools offer top-tier programs for graphic designers. Scroll through the list below to review South Dakota’s best options for aspiring graphic designers and what they have to offer.
South Dakota State University - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. S. Graphic Design, Studio Arts
Dakota Wesleyan University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Design, Multimedia
University of Sioux Falls - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
University of South Dakota - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Specialization in Graphic Design; M. F. A. Graphic Design
Mount Mary College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Design and Media Arts
More South Dakota Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for South Dakota Graphic Design
South Dakota is home to 5,530 salaried artists, earning an average salary of $34,410. Of the state’s 5,000+ artists, 550 are graphic designers. They earn an average salary of $33,650, up from $27,180 in 2002. Employment has increased as well and South Dakota’s art industry as a whole has experienced significant employment and salary growth between 2002 and today. In 2002, South Dakota was home to 180 salaried graphic designers. The state was home to 4,260 salaried artists in 2002, earning an average salary of $27,140.
It is important to note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics only reports the average salary for graphic designers. Individual salaries vary greatly based on a variety of factors such as type of company, location, seniority, industry (advertising, web design, technology), 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.
In addition, “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.