Utah is home to a large population of artists, from ballet dancers and vocalists to painters, filmmakers, and digital artists. This means, Utah’s art and culture scene has something for everyone. Stop in Salt Lake City to take in a breathtaking performance at Ballet West or you can browse the extensive galleries at Utah Museum of Fine Arts or the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA). Head to Provo to explore Brigham Young University, where BYU Museum of Art attracts art lovers from across the region, or drive to Orem where you’ll find the beautiful Woodbury Art Museum of Utah Valley University.
More than 15,000 salaried artists and designers call Utah home. They work at creative agencies, production studios, marketing firms, technology companies, and more. The Beehive State is home to creative companies such as Amenat Studios (Bountiful), Creative Media Group (Orem), Studio 4D1, (Bingham Canyon) and M54 Entertainment (Provo), as well as technology/gaming companies such as Electronic Arts (Salt Lake City).
In addition to an active art and design scene, Utah is home to a number of schools that offer competitive programs for artists and designers. Just a few of the best include Broadview Entertainment Arts University (BEAU), Brigham Young University, and The University of Utah. Continue reading to learn more about Utah’s best options for artists and designers, and what they have to offer.
Utah Graphic Design Schools
Utah is home to just 41 Title IV colleges and universities, but the state has more schools than at least 14 other states. Twenty-five Utah schools are private for-profit, 12 are public, and 4 are private not-for-profit. Private schools can be costly, but because they have Title IV status, they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, even the most expensive schools listed below, such as Broadview Entertainment Arts University and Stevens-Henager College, are accessible to students with financial need.
Southern Utah University (SUU) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design
Utah State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Specialization in Graphic Design; M. F. A. Art with Specialization in Graphic Design
Stevens-Henager College - Degrees Offered: B. S. Graphic Arts
Utah Valley University (UVU) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art and Visual Communications with Emphasis in Graphic Design, Illustration
Brigham Young University (BYU) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration
Salt Lake City
Broadview Entertainment Arts University (BEAU) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Comic and Sequential art, Digital Video and Media Production, Game Art, Graphic Design
The University of Utah – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design Emphasis
More Grapgic Design related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Utah Graphic Designers
Utah is home to 15,770 salaried artists and designers, up from 13,800 in 2002. They average $42,690 per year, up from $34,700 in 2002. Utah’s graphic design industry has experienced the same impressive increase in employment and salaries between 2002 and today. In 2002, the state was home to 1,160 graphic designers averaging $35,420 per year. Today, Utah is home to 2,070 salaried graphic designers averaging $41,810 per year.
It is important to keep in mind that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports average salaries only. Individual salaries depend on factors such as seniority, type of company, industry, education and experience, job title, and more. 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,” earned a median salary of $60,000.
They Bureau also states, “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.
Whether you’re interested in an entry-level position or starting your own agency, some cities offer more opportunities than others. Salt Lake City—the largest in the state, is home to more art museums, creative agencies, production studios, and technology companies than any other city in Utah, followed by West Valley City, Provo, West Jordan, Orem, and Sandy. Other principal cities include Ogden, St. George, and Layton. Most of the state’s major cities are less than 100 miles apart, so “city-hopping” is the norm here.