How to Become a Multimedia Designer in the US

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Without multimedia designers, movies, music videos, television adverts, video games and even PowerPoint presentations would certainly be boring to watch. These artists create special effects that are attention-grabbing, entertaining and exciting. If you want to pursue a career where art and technology combine to ‘devastating’ effect, this is a career that could bring out the genius in you.

See Also: The Top 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in Art & Design

1. What Do Multimedia Designers Do?

Their duties include:

  • Discussing the design needs of a multimedia project with clients
  • Using computer software to create graphics and special effects
  • Inserting or merging the special effects into videos
  • Creating, drawing the artwork to be used in animations
  • Creating engaging multimedia presentations for individuals and businesses
  • Collaborating with game designers, animators and other multimedia professionals to execute various projects

Experienced multimedia designers can specialize in creating special effects exclusively for video games, web, television or instructional materials.

2. Work Environment

Fulltime multimedia designers work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. They spend their time in an office or studio environment, where they do their thing.

On the other hand, freelance designers have irregular or flexible work schedules. This means they have the power to work from their homes or personal offices.

3. Salary

According to Indeed, multimedia designers in the US earn an average annual salary of $60,000.

4. Entry Requirements

To become a multimedia designer, it is best to earn a bachelor’s degree in multimedia design and development, multimedia and visual communication, graphic design or a closely related field. Regardless of the degree you choose to pursue; you should receive training in fields such as:

  • Design computing
  • Art of communication
  • Web design
  • Creative advertising and production
  • Design thinking
  • Digital prototyping
  • Advertising media
  • Digital video production.

Examples of institutions offering these degrees include:

You can also get started with a bachelor’s degree in fine art, animation or computer science.

Before embarking on a job hunt, it is important to create a digital portfolio of some of your college projects. This will enable employers to assess your skills and determine whether you have the ability to excel.

5. Important Qualities

To be an accomplished multimedia designer, you need:

  • Artistic and creative skills
  • Visual awareness
  • Innovative approach to design projects
  • A high level of accuracy
  • Strong computer skills
  • Strong drawing skills
  • Good time management skills
  • Good timework skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good project management skills
  • The ability to stay abreast of fast-changing industry trends
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good client management skills

6. Career Advancement

After getting hired, keep on demonstrating your artistic talent on the job.

You should also engage in the following professional development activities:

  • Pursue a graduate certificate in multimedia design or digital media production to expand your professional knowledge.
  • Join a professional association, such as the Society for News Design – You will gain access to the annual workshop and earn the chance to network with other designers.
  • Pursue a graduate degree in new media management.

7. Job Opportunities

The employers of multimedia artists include:

  • Schools
  • Advertising agencies
  • Television stations
  • Film production companies
  • Video/computer/mobile game publishers

With vast experience and advanced credential in multimedia/new media management, you can advanced to be a multimedia design manager.

If you choose to be a freelance designer, you can advance to establish and run a successful multimedia design studio.

See Also: Learn How to Become a Video Game Designer...

Finally, the Bureau of Labor Statics projects a slower than average (5 percent) job growth for art and design workers. This is mainly because employers are cheaply hiring designers who work abroad. Nonetheless, the increasing demand for visual effects for television, movies and film will create more employment opportunities for local designers.

Now you know how you can turn your love for art and technology into a career in multimedia design. Good luck!