Graphic Arts Technicians

(NOC 5223)

in All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Graphic arts technicians assist in conceptualizing a project, interpreting design specifications or sketches, preparing the page make-up, lay-out and lettering, and preparing production materials for press, electronic or multimedia publishing. They are employed by publishing, communications, advertising, marketing, printing and multimedia establishments, and by television and film production companies. They may also be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 735 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Graphic Arts Technicians most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work). Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 59% of Graphic Arts Technicians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $39,364. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$31,008

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$10.81

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Graphic arts technicians assist in conceptualizing a project, interpreting design specifications or sketches, preparing the page make-up, lay-out and lettering, and preparing production materials for press, electronic or multimedia publishing. They are employed by publishing, communications, advertising, marketing, printing and multimedia establishments, and by television and film production companies. They may also be self-employed.

Job duties

Graphic arts technicians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Review the graphic designer's instructions.
  • Produce or assist in developing and producing design concepts.
  • Capture elements such as titles, text, drawings, illustrations, graphics, lettering and colour harmonization, using a computer.
  • Produce computerized images and drawings.
  • Digitize images using peripherals and transform them using retouching systems, graphic palettes or specialized software.
  • Perform the layout, page make-up and placement using the conceptual mock-ups provided.
  • Produce proofs and camera-ready materials and prepare film and any other prepress materials.
  • Paint or ink individual cells of 2-D or 3-D animated drawings according to animator's specifications using an electronic palette.
  • Lay out, draw or paint letters, figures, logos and designs for windows, advertisements, billboards, vehicles, books and publications using specialized software or painting equipment.
  • Work in an interdisciplinary environment.

Sample job titles

  • airbrush artist
  • animation painter
  • cartoon background artist
  • graphics technician
  • lettering artist
  • multimedia graphic design technician
  • photograph retoucher
  • sign layout detailer
  • silkscreen technician
  • video game designer

Skills

To work in this field, a natural ability to draw and a good sense of creativity and imagination are beneficial. You should have an understanding of artistic principles and be able to visualize a finished piece of work from a sketch or brief description. Computer design and production skills are essential for the commercial jobs in this field. Self-discipline in meeting deadlines and a good business sense are also very important.

Job requirements

  • A college diploma in commercial or graphic arts, computer graphics or animated design is required.
  • Experience or training in multimedia design at a post-secondary, college or technical institution may be required.

Other considerations

Creative ability and artistic talent, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required. Progression to graphic designer positions is possible with experience or supplementary training.

By the numbers

Quick look

70

employed in 2016

82.4%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

42.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
57.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.8

median age

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

33.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

63.2%

Halifax

15.8%

Northern

10.5%

Annapolis Valley

10.5%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

35.7%

Information, Culture & Recreation

21.4%

Other Industries

14.3%

Other Professional Services

14.3%

Retail Trade

14.3%

Computer System Design Services

What is the age of Employment?

100.0%

45-54

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

52.9%

College certificate or diploma

$27,291 median annual income
29.4%

High school

$11,516 median annual income

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

Animation, interactive technology, video graphics and special effects

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to use computer applications and related visual and sound imaging techniques to manipulate images and information originating as film, video, still photographs, digital copy, soundtracks, and physical objects in order to communicate messages simulating real-world content. These programs include courses in specialized camerawork and equipment operation and maintenance, image capture, computer programming, dubbing, CAD applications, and applications to specific commercial, industrial, and entertainment needs.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Computer graphics

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the software, hardware, and mathematical tools used to represent, display, and manipulate topological two- and three-dimensional objects on a computer screen and that prepares individuals to function as computer graphics specialists. These programs include courses in graphics software and systems; digital multimedia; graphic design; graphics devices, processors, and standards; attributes and transformations; projections; surface identification and rendering; colour theory and application; and applicable geometry and algorithms.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Design and visual communications - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program in the applied visual arts that focuses on the general principles and techniques for effectively communicating ideas and information, and packaging products, in digital and other formats to business and consumer audiences, and that prepares individuals in any of the applied art media.

Institutions providing this program

NSCAD University

5163 Duke Street

Halifax, NS B3J 3J6

(902) 444-9600

Digital arts, general

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general, undifferentiated program that focuses on the use of computerized digital images as the primary medium of expression in the visual and performing arts, and that may prepare individuals for a wide variety of careers using new media, including graphic design, digital animation, motion graphics, 3D visualization, game and interactive media design, music and sound design, video production, web design, photography, and other fields.

Institutions providing this program

DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.

1577 Barrington Street

Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7

(902) 429-1847

Digital communication and media/multimedia

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the development, use, and regulation of new electronic communication technologies using computer applications and that prepares individuals to function as developers and managers of digital communications media. These programs include courses in the principles of computers and telecommunications technologies and processes; design and development of digital communications; marketing and distribution; digital communications regulation, law, and policy; the study of human interaction with, and use of, digital media; and emerging trends and issues.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Game and interactive media design

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the design, development, and programming of interactive media entertainment, including computer and video games, virtual environments, Internet applications, and other interactive media. These programs include courses in theory of games, turn-based games, real-time games, visual and interactive design, story development, animation, simulation, and programming.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Graphic design

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply artistic and computer techniques to the interpretation of technical and commercial concepts. These programs include courses in computer-assisted art and design, printmaking, concepts sketching, technical drawing, colour theory, imaging, studio technique, still and life modelling, communication skills and commercial art business operations.

Institutions providing this program

Centre for Distance Education

222 George Street, Suite C

Sydney, NS B1P 1J3

(866) 446-5898

DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.

1577 Barrington Street

Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7

(902) 429-1847

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Web page, digital/multimedia and information resources design

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply HTML, XML, Javascript, graphics applications, and other authoring tools to the design, editing, and publishing (launching) of documents, images, graphics, sound, and multimedia products on the World Wide Web. These programs include courses in Internet theory; web page standards and policies; elements of web page design; user interfaces; vector tools; special effects; interactive and multimedia components; search engines; navigation; morphing; e-commerce tools; and emerging web technologies.

Institutions providing this program

Academy of Learning - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Centre for Distance Education

222 George Street, Suite C

Sydney, NS B1P 1J3

(866) 446-5898

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada
PO Box 1533, Station M
Halifax, NS B3J 2V3

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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