Graphic Arts Technicians

NOC 5223


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.


  • 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

Other Titles

  • animation painter
  • graphics technician
  • multimedia graphic design technician
  • computer graphics technician
  • animated cartoon technician
  • animation camera operator
  • poster painter
  • photograph retoucher
  • visual effects artist

(Government of Canada National Occupation Classification)


  • Communication
  • Computer skills
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical thinking
  • Able to work independently
  • Time management

Education/Training Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • Most college programs in Ontario require an OSSD or Mature Student Status

Post-secondary diploma/degree

  • 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


  • Creative ability and artistic talent, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required

Potential Earnings in Durham Region

The average and median wages and salaries for individuals employed as graphic arts technicians are as follows. Place of Residence (POR) is defined as individuals who reside within the Durham Region. Place of Work (POW) is defined as individuals who are employed within the Durham Region.

Median Wages and Salaries (POR) Average Wages and Salaries (POR) Median Wages and Salaries (POW) Average Wages and Salaries (POW)
$41,336 $44,158 $41,252 $39,157

Employment Prospects

Industry (NAICS) Jobs in Durham Region (POW) Durham Region Residents Employed (POR)
5414 Specialized design services 20 25

(Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 2016 data in Durham Workforce Authority’s 2017 Sector Report)

Download PDF