July 29, 2009 | | Leave a comment Kids with a knack for the visual arts or graphic design used to settle for low salaries and irregular work. Not anymore. According to recent studies, salaries and opportunities for designers are skyrocketing. Companies need websites, logos, and brochures, estimated to increase demand for designers by 15 percent in the next 7 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And these designers will be well paid. “The myth of the starving artist is dead,” says Stephen Rawlins, a leading industry observer. “More and more companies are realizing that they need great designers to stand out in today’s economy. The kids who used to doodle on their notebooks instead of working on math in high school are going to rule the world.” Rising design salaries confirm this. According to Salary.com, the middle 50 percent of Web design jobs pay between $54,140 and $71,722. The lowest 10 percent make $46,989 or less while the top 10 percent earn $80,580 or more. The middle 50 percent of graphic design specialists make between $50,234 and $64,844. For more skilled designers, these salaries can quickly rise above $100,000. Thanks to flexible education options, anyone with the desire to become a designer can earn a degree in just a few years and move into full-time professional work. Three years ago, Jacob Bills was a construction worker earning extra money painting storefront windows in Tallahassee, Fl. “I knew I enjoyed being creative,” Bills says.”I decided to get a design degree to make a career out of it.” Today, Bills works as a web designer for a leading online magazine. “I get paid $70,000 a year to do work that is fun, challenging, and, best of all, creative,” he says. People who are interested in getting a design degree can learn more at Classes and Careers.com. After filling out a form and picking a school about which to learn more, they will be contacted by an education advisor to find the degree program that is best for them.