You graduate, you find work, you start at the bottom.

You graduate, you find work, and you start at the bottom. Okay, what exactly is the bottom? What are the tasks of a entry level IDer? Also, whats the average starting hourly wage?

My title is ‘Graduate Designer’ but I’ve done the work of a ‘Designer’ and a ‘Senior Designer’ (all within six months of graduating) and I’m paid as a ‘Designer’.

Make sense?

Me too.

A Junior Designer task might include the following: making lots of prototype models, creating lots of blue foam dust, putting together presentations, doing market research, taking part in brainstorming sessions, doing concept work, a bit of CAD…etc

In my experience, being a Jr Designer (or whatever it is called where you are) is where the real education happens. You realize that all those years of school where just a foundation that will be massively built on during your first 2 years as a professional. I had many “why didn’t they teach us that in school” moments, but the simple fact is that many things can not be learnt in an academic environment, you have to learn on the job.

The first few years have wiped the smirks off many a cocky graduates face. If you are fortunate, you will work for someone who will push you so hard that you think about leaving design, but come out of it understanding what it is we really do.

There will most likely be lots of “monkey” level tasks… Model Monkey, CAD Monkey, Sketch Monkey, Render Monkey, Presentation Monkey and so on. This seems cruel, but in actuality you will be learning how to do these things so they become second nature, so someday, when you are a senior, it won’t be about the task, but about the idea, and when you are a director, and you tell someone to “sketch this idea up” or give me 4 variations by the end of the day" and so on, you will know exactly what it takes.

I will agree with YO. I am still without a design job but I split my time between working at a blu ray authoring company with a very small design company and I feel like such a retarded dumb ass most days but I stick around as an unpaid intern because I am still learning stuff and it challenges me on a lot of levels. I was semi cocky coming in but now I realize that my education was just a starting place.

As far as what designers make? I would not think of it in terms of hourly wages(which is awesome…i will explain) but in terms of salary. Hourly is great because, well, you can fuck off and tell the company to fuck off if you don’t like it, if you are salary, there is none of that, only working and making sure the work gets done on time is the focus. Be careful of the contractor gigs…I am in this boat and I’m losing my hair over it…i.e. no insurance, the whole tax thing, etc