Further education (FE) graphics design teachers will need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. A common route into the profession is to take an art foundation course at a college before doing the degree.
As an example, Pasquale Fasulo, head of the department for creative and digital at Bristol College, got his graphic design degree and then worked as a freelance designer for a couple of years. He then studied for a PGCE while freelancing.
The top 10 universities for studying graphic design and illustration, according to People of Print, are:
Candidates for FE graphic design teacher roles should make sure that their subject knowledge is up to date. Pasquale underlines the importance of gaining a broad understanding of graphic design and related subjects, in order to develop ideas.
He notes: “Being a graphic designer overlaps with some of the other technologies and gives me a strong sense of design that can influence all creative subjects.”
Graphic designers need soft skills, such as strong written and oral communication and creativity, as well as typography, branding and coding skills. Good attention to detail, thinking and reasoning skills, and “the ability to come up with new ways of doing things” are all key skills an FE graphic design teacher needs.
The digital and creative sector is a key area of growth identified by the government. With this growth will likely come increased labour market regulation. Therefore, it will be useful to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the sector.
The FE graphic design teacher role will involve engaging with external employers within the sector. Pasquale explains: “We use employer feedback and labour market intelligence to shape our vocational courses to meet the needs of local businesses.”
Moving away from being preoccupied with grades, employers are less concerned about this and more interested in “what skills applicants have learnt on their degree course and what their portfolio contains”, he says.
Junior graphic designer salaries start in the region of £15,000—£19,000. With experience this can rise to £27,000. Senior graphic designers or creative leads can earn between £35,000 and £55,000. Freelancers can earn between £200 and £400 per day.
A qualified FE teacher can usually expect to earn anything between £24,702 and £37,258, depending on experience.