Design and User Experience Research Jobs

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Are you curious about how your humanities background applies to careers in graphic design or user experience research? 

Click on any of the topics in the menu below to learn more about typical responsibilities, necessary skills, general salary information, and other resources.

(Not interested in Design? Check out the Career Resources page to browse other interesting job titles and info!)


Why would this field appeal to someone with a humanities / liberal arts degree?

Our goal is to connect humanities graduates with jobs that are interesting, can draw on their skills in some way, and provide a stable (and even thriving) income. Jobs in graphic design and even user experience research are available across a variety of organizations, which means that you have a high likelihood of finding a job at an organization whose mission or product aligns with your interests. Read through the materials below to learn about related jobs from all levels (entry level through senior), responsibilities, necessary skills, and salary expectations.

What jobs are available that draw on design skills?

If you have experience with creating or editing images or are interested with how users interact with a visual interface, you may want to consider this career path. In the sections below, we will consider the following selection of jobs (see Responsibilities and Skills for more information):

  • Graphic Designer
  • User Experience Researcher
  • Marketing and Design (coordinator, manager, director)


What does this work involve?

Responsibilities will vary depending on the position, organization, location, and other factors. Here is a selection:

Graphic Designer

  • Responsible for design and production on print and/or multimedia publications.
  • Propose and create designs to meet the brand’s needs.
  • Work in conjunction with a product team to meet the product schedule.
  • On digital design projects, ensure that they meet established web specifications.
  • Keep current on image trends, photography, and illustrators.

User Experience Researcher

  • Work closely with development and design teams.
  • Work closely with product teams to learn what users do with and expect from operations, processes, or products.
  • Act as an advocate for the user.
  • Collaborate with users to create human-centered designs.
  • Interacting with clients to learn more about their design needs.
  • Use UX research methods and tools for rapid experimentation, prototyping, usability testing, journey mapping, etc.

Marketing and Design (coordinator, manager, director)

  • User creative platforms to create materials for every day purposes (ex. Social media posts, image for web content, open house flyers, etc).
  • Work with vendors or community partners to provide logos, marketing materials, brand messaging, and similar items.
  • Strategize and work with partners to recommend, implement, and asses a digital advertising campaign.
  • Proof and design print marketing.
  • Brand management
  • Presentation design
  • Assist with monthly marketing reports
  • Work with internal teams and external vendors to maintain stock, coordinate print deadlines, etc.
Necessary skills

While the requisite skills will vary based on the organization, job scope, and type of events, here is a representative list:

Graphic Designer

  • BA in graphic design or related fields/equivalent experience.
  • Able to create and manipulate images in design or imaging software.
  • Have basic knowledge of the technical aspects of digital platforms (ex. Web, mobile, social media)
  • Good conceptual graphic design (be prepared to show a portfolio)
  • Strong communication skills
  • Able to manage multiple projects
  • Fluent in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Xd, After Effects)

User Experience Researcher

  • Strong communication skills along with the ability to advocate for both the user and the client.
  • Ability to create UI wireframes, workflows, and prototypes.
  • Able to translate usability research into concrete solutions.
  • Be able to educate team members (from junior UX to C-suite) on the value of usability research
  • Degree in Social Science, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Journalism, Human-Computer Interaction, or a related field.

Marketing and Design (coordinator, manager, director)

  • Familiarity with print and/or digital layout standards
  • Strategic thinking and creative problem solving.
  • Understanding of design software, file types, and formats.
  • Marketing and design support experience
  • Experience supporting production and design work, including layouts, print collateral and digital content
  • Experience with Salesforce or other CRMs, HTML or other marketing/design software will be helpful
  • Knowledge and experience with WordPress, social media management tools, Constant Contact as well as ability to learn new technology quickly.
Salary information

Salaries will vary widely depending on the position, size of the organization, the region, and other factors. The national average is provided below from for each of the example job titles mentioned on this page:

Graphic Designer

National average: $50,227 (range of $33,000 to $76,000)

User Experience Researcher

National average: $128,682 (range of $79,000 to $210,000)

Marketing and Design Coordinator

National average: $59,900 (range of $35,000 to $103,000)

Marketing and Design Manager

National average: $112,878 (range of $67,000 to $192,000)

Marketing and Design Director

National average: $139,473 (range of $86,000 to $226,000)