Minnesota is home to a cool collection of cities known for producing some of the biggest talents in the world. Yes, Prince is Minnesotan, and so are actor Josh Hartnett, record producer Steven Greenberg, and singer/actor Judy Garland. The state is also the birthplace of famous chemists, engineers, politicians, and iconic entrepreneurs such as J. Paul Getty. Need we say more?
Why Minnesota has such an impressive list of natives is no mystery. Art, business, and innovation thrive here, so many of the state’s famous natives still call Minnesota home. In addition to having an atmosphere that encourages individuals to follow their dreams, Minnesota goes a step further by offering a number of learning institutions that pay an active role in reaching one’s goals. Just a few top
schools include the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota State University.
These (and other) prime Minnesota colleges offer majors from one end of the spectrum to the other. This means that at any given institution, graphic designers will rub elbows with engineers and business majors will study alongside game developers.
Minnesota Graphic Design Schools
The North Star State is home to 117 accredited colleges and universities. Many of these schools offer graphic design degrees at all levels. Scroll through the list below to review Minnesota’s top schools for graphic design and what they have to offer.
University of Minnesota (Duluth) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design; M. F. A. Art and Design with Emphasis in Graphic Design
Minnesota State University (Mankato) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design; M. A. Art with Specialization in Graphic Design
Southwest Minnesota State University – Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design, Animation, Illustration, Web and Multimedia Environments; M. F. A. Animation, Graphic Design; Graphic Design Certificate
University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art, Graphic Design; M. F. A. Time and Interactivity (also called Experimental and Media Arts)
Minnesota State University (Moorehead) - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design; B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Illustration; B. S. Graphic Communications with Emphasis in 3D Graphics, Digital Design and Production or Interactive Multimedia
St. Cloud State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Studio Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design, Integrated Media
Employment and Salary Trends for Minnesota Graphic Designers
Minnesota’s population of graphic designers is growing. The nearly 5,200 salaried designers work mainly in major cities such as Minneapolis (the state’s largest), St. Paul, Rochester, and Duluth. They may work for advertising firms, graphic design studios, web design firms, art studios, technology firms, and schools. The state is home to more than 1,000 technology firms, and hundreds of advertising, marketing,
PR, and web design firms that are always looking for fresh talent. Thanks to a healthy employment scene, the population of graphic designers increased from 5,090 in 2006 to 5,160 in 2010.
Salaries are on the rise as well. In 2006, Minnesota graphic designers averaged $43,250. In 2010, they averaged $45,640. 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 veteran graphic designers, freelancers, and partners vary, earnings for these individuals are usually higher than earnings for average 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.