You’ve been dreaming of starting your own freelance graphic design business for years. In fact, you believe you were born for this career. You have the perfect name picked out, passion for the job, and a solid business plan. But there’s one question that’s been nagging at you: how long does it take to learn freelance graphic design?
On average, it takes six months to five years to learn freelance graphic design at a profession level. However, this duration is determined by several factors including, how you decide to learn, your skill level, and time dedicated to learning the craft, among other things.
Consider using a graphic design tool that offers pre-made templates to customize. This will instantly increase your abilities, while still giving you full commercial usage rights to copyright, trademark, and sell the designs you create. We recommend using Placeit.net for this, because they have the most pre-made templates, and give you full commercial usage rights.
Ultimately, how long you take to learn freelance graphic design is up to you. So, if you’re interested in diving into freelance graphic design and not sure how to go about it, this article is for you. We explore the factors that affect how long you take to learn freelance graphic design and share tips to help shorten the learning curve and get you started on your new career.
Factors That Impact How Long You Take to Learn Freelance Graphic Design
You may think you’re destined to be a freelance graphic designer based on your natural talent and skills. And with such attributes in the bag, it shouldn’t take you too long to pick up the trade and be on your merry way to a successful freelance career, right?
While natural talent and skill are crucial, other factors come into play. You must learn the ins and outs of the business, develop a client base and hone your craft. Depending on how much you want to invest in your freelance career, it could take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to become proficient.
Here are some factors that will impact how long it takes you to learn freelance graphic design:
Your Preferred Way of Learning
One of the best things about graphic design is that there are many ways to learn it. You can take classes at a local college, watch online tutorials or read books on the subject. The important thing is to find a learning method that works for you and stick with it.
Below are the three most popular ways people choose to learn graphic design and how long each method takes.
Most graphic designers learn their trade through a university or college program. These programs usually last three to four years and offer a well-rounded education in graphic design.
If you choose this route, be prepared to spend a significant amount of time and money on your education. However, you will also benefit from working with experienced professionals who can teach you the ropes.
A growing number of people are choosing to teach themselves graphic design because there are many great online courses and tutorials available that can help them get started.
While self-taught designers may not have the same level of formal training, they often have more hands-on experience and knowledge than those who learn through universities or colleges.
However, there’s one significant disadvantage to self-taught graphic design: you may not have the same level of support and feedback as those who receive formal training. Not to mention, because there’s no timeframe or set curriculum for teaching yourself graphic design, it’s difficult to estimate how long it will take you to become proficient.
“Bootcamp” Style Courses
Some designers decide to go the route of bootcamp-style courses. Bootcamps are typically short, intense courses (usually lasting around three months) designed to teach students the basics of a particular trade or skill in a very condensed amount of time.
The advantage of these courses is that you can become relatively proficient in a short amount of time. The disadvantage is that they can be expensive, and because the classes are often taught by working professionals, they may not be accessible to everyone.
Your Current Skill Level
Another factor that may impact how long it takes you to learn freelance graphic design is your current skill level. If you are starting from scratch, it will likely take you longer than someone who already has some basic design skills, especially if you decide to teach yourself.
On the other hand, if you are already familiar with some basic design concepts and software, it will likely take less time to become proficient in freelance graphic design.
Also, consider using a graphic design tool that offers pre-made templates to customize. This will instantly increase your abilities, while still giving you full commercial usage rights to copyright, trademark, and sell the designs you create. We recommend using Placeit.net for this, because they have the most pre-made templates, and give you full commercial usage rights.
Amount of Time You Dedicate to the Process
It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about freelance graphic design or how talented you are; you won’t see results if you don’t dedicate enough time to the process.
How much time you dedicate to learning freelance graphic design will depend on your chosen learning method. If you are teaching yourself, you will need to set aside a significant amount of time each week to review tutorials, watch videos, and practice your new skills.
If you are taking a course or working with a tutor, the amount of time you need to dedicate will be less but require regular attendance and involvement.
No matter how you choose to learn, ensure you set aside enough time to practice and produce work. Becoming a skilled freelance graphic designer can take many months or even years. But, if you’re patient and put in the hard work, you will be rewarded with a successful and fulfilling career.
Education is not the only thing you’ll need to get through on your path to becoming a freelance graphic designer. To confidently say you’re a freelance graphic designer, you’ll need to have a healthy portfolio. This means finding clients and getting work.
The best way to find clients is through personal networking and referrals. Attend industry events and meet-ups, join relevant online communities, and get connected with other professionals in your field.
Once you’ve started building relationships, don’t be afraid to approach potential clients and ask for work. You can even offer to do a free project for them as a way of proving your skills.
Keep in mind; it may take some time before you land your first big client or project. So be patient and don’t give up – success will come if you keep working hard and stay focused on your goals.
Ultimately, how long it takes to learn freelance graphic design is up to you. You can take anywhere between six months and five years, depending on your preferred learning method, how much time you put into learning the craft, and your current skill level.
However, the most crucial step is starting. So what are you waiting for? Start learning today and see where it takes you!