The latest U.S. Census report is out and it’s official—Vermont’s population is growing. The state is now home to 626,431 residents, making Vermont the 49th largest state. Although Vermont is smaller than every state except Wyoming and Washington, D.C., big things are happening here with the economy, education, and the art and culture scene.
First, Vermont is one of only ten states with low unemployment rates. Next, 32.5 percent of the adult population has a Bachelor's degree or higher. This is higher than national average. Finally, the state is home to some of the top schools in the nation.
So, what does this mean for graphic designers? For starters, aspiring graphic designers have their choice of excellent schools that offer art and design programs. Next, after graduating, talented graphic designers have a good chance of landing a lucrative position in the field at one of Vermont’s many creative agencies. Finally, as the population continues to grow, so will the art and culture scene. So far, the state is home to the active Vermont Film Commission (Montpelier), Shelburne Museum, Fleming Museum of the University of Vermont (Burlington), Middlebury College Museum of Art, and one of the country’s best art museums for regional artists and designers—Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
Vermont is also home to a sizable population of salaried artists. More than 5,000 artists of all kinds reside here, and nearly 10 percent are graphic designers. While art and design jobs can be found in a number of cities and towns, the best opportunities can be found in major cities such as Burlington, South Burlington, Montpelier, and Rutland—home of the popular Chaffee Art Center.
Many of the states best schools for graphic designers are also located in principal cities. Continue reading to find out which Vermont schools offer graphic design programs and where to find them.
Vermont Graphic Design Schools
Vermont is home to 24 Title IV schools. Six are public, 17 are private not-for-profit, and one is private for-profit. Private schools are usually more expensive than public schools, but because these schools are Title IV, they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, even the most expensive schools are accessible to students with financial need. Scroll through the list below to review Vermont’s best schools for graphic designers and what they have to offer.
Champlain College - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Creative Media with Specialization in Game Media, Interaction Design, B. F. A. Graphic Design and Digital Media, B. S. Game Art and Animation, Game Design; M. F. A. Emergent Media
Castleton State College – Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) - Degrees Offered: M. F. A. Graphic Design
More Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Vermont Graphic Designers
According to the most recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012) Vermont is home to 5,280 salaried artists and designers, up from 4,240 in 2002. They average $41,040 per year, up from $36,320 in 2002. Of the state’s 5,000+ artists and designers, 500 are graphic designers, up from 490 in 2002. They average $41,990, up from $35,050 in 2002.
It is important to note that mean and median amounts may be different, but not by much. For example, in 2002, median wages for graphic designers nationwide were $36,680. The mean was $41,380. In 2006, the mean was $43,830 and the median was $39,990. Today, the median wages for graphic designers nationwide are $44,010. The mean is $48,690. The U.S. is home to 191,550 salaried graphic designers, up from 141,830 in 2002. The lowest paid graphic designers earn less than $26,210 and the highest 10 percent earn $77,370 (mean) or $74,660 (median).
Average salaries increase significantly for senior level designers, business owners, and freelancers. 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,” average $60,000, while “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. “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,” averaged $95,000.
The state of Vermont is home to a number of creative agencies, design studios, web design firms, production studios, and more. Just a few well-known companies for artists and designers include KSV (Burlington, Boston, New York), Shark Communications (Burlington), hmc2 Agency (Richmond), Spike Advertising (Burlington), Lincoln Brown Illustration (Burlington), Fiction Media Group (Vermont, Washington D.C., New York), Subatomic Digital (Williston), Dreamlike Pictures (Burlington) Mt. Mansfield Media (Colchester), Shadow Productions (Burlington), and Cavallaro Films (East Arlington).