The main goal of a visual communications artist is to creatively convey messages and defined ideas. They accomplish this goal by using elements of graphic design, illustration, photography, multimedia, painting, and more to create visual materials that entertain, sell, or inform. Visual communications artists create visual materials for creative agencies, industrial and interior design firms, book and magazine publishers, museums, and more.
Because it takes special talent to create effective visual materials, visual communications artists are in high demand in the industries listed above and more. Some companies employ VCs in house, while others seek out agencies that only hire the best. To become the best, it takes talent, skill, and the right training program. Fortunately, visual communications programs can be found at some of the nation’s best traditional colleges, art and design schools and even a technical schools.
In the state of Texas, several dozen schools offer programs for aspiring artists and designers. These schools can be found all over the state from Amarillo to San Antonio. The University of North Texas College of Visual Arts & Design, University of Houston, Baylor University, Texas A&M, Texas Christian University, and the entire University of Texas system are just a few of the best options for aspiring artists and designers. Continue reading to find out which schools are tops for aspiring visual communications artists, and where to find them.
Texas Visual Communications Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Texas is home to 252 Title IV colleges and universities. This includes the top schools for visual communications artist. Title IV status means these schools are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, whether you live in state or out, a variety of financial aid programs are available. Continue reading to find out more about Texas’s best visual communications schools and what they have to offer.
University of Texas at Arlington - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Visual Communication; B. F. A. Art with Digital Media Track; M. F. A. Art with Concentration in Film/Video Art, Intermedia Studio and Visual Communication
Texas A&M University Commerce - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Visual Communication Arts with Emphasis in Art Direction, Design, Illustration/Copywriting, New Media or Photography, B.A., B.S. Media Studies; Film Studies (Minor)
Texas Tech University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Specialization in Communication Design; B.F. A. Studio Art with Emphasis in Painting + Drawing, Photography (DigiPrint Option Available), Printmaking (DigiPrint Option Available); Studio Art (Minor); B. F. A. Visual Studies
More Texas Visual Communication related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Texas Visual Communications Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012), the state of Texas is home to 106,350 artists and designers. This includes visual communications professionals, multimedia artists, graphic designers, art directors, and more. The population of the “artists and designers” group as a whole has increased significantly since 2002, when the state was home to 84,040 artists and designers. Salaries are on the rise as well. The average salary for Texas artists and designers is $45,730 up from $36,780 in 2002.
According to the most recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. is home to 23,610 salaried media and communications professionals. They average a mean salary of $52,700 per year. The highest paid professionals average $91,180 per year, and the lowest paid professionals average $23,900 per year. The State of Texas has a growing industry as well. First, Texas is home to two metropolitan areas that made the list of top ten metro areas with the highest salaries for media and communications professionals. The average salary for a communications designer working in the Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area is $65,840 (5th highest), and the average salary for the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area is $55,520 (10th highest).
Next, employment for salaried media and communications professionals is up. In 2008, Texas was home to 260 media and communications professionals. Today, the state is home to 350 media and communications professionals. Salaries are also on the way up. In 2008, the average salary for Texas-based media and communications professionals was $47,430. Today, the average salary is $54,710.
The most popular fields for visual communications artists are the film and video industries; advertising, public relations and related services; colleges, universities, and professional schools; radio and television broadcasting, and local government. The film and video industry has the highest level of employment in this field. As of March 2012, the film and video industry employed 6,060 visual communications artists and they averaged $67,200 per year.
Texas is home to a large community of 18,050 public relations professionals, averaging $58,550 per year. In 2002, they averaged $46,410. The talent pool has increased significantly as well. In 2002, Texas was home to 6,990 public relations professionals. Visual communications artists can find employment in these (and many other) fields in just about any Texas city or town. However, some of the best opportunities can be found in principal cities such as Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, and Plano.