Many people who would like to choose art as a career worry that they won’t make good money. If you aspire to become a graphic designer, you’ve probably asked yourself what you stand to earn financially. So, how much do graphic designers make?
You might want to know the annual wage for graphic designers who work in design agencies. Alternatively, you might want a more independent graphic design career, in which case you may be wondering how much freelance graphic designers make. Whatever the case, this article will reveal how much you can make by becoming a graphic designer.
Graphic Designer Salary: An Overview of How Much Graphic Designers Make
- Average Salary: $53,380
- 10th Percentile Salary: $31,720
- 90th Percentile Salary: $93,440
The average annual wage of a professional graphic designer is $53,380, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Unless you are among the lowest-earning graphic designers, you stand to earn a reasonable amount of money as a graphic designer. It is definitely possible to earn a comfortable living as a graphic designer.
Obviously, anyone would want to be in the 90th percentile of salary earners. These graphic designers earn $93,440. You can increase your earning power by looking into graphic design schools, where you can learn the graphic design processes you need to know to succeed in the industry.
How Much Do Graphic Designers Make Per Hour?
According to the US BLS, the average graphic designer works at an hourly rate of $25.66 per hour. This is far above what employers are required to pay their employees in the United States. The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour, according to the US Department of Labor.
Keep in mind that $25.66 per hour is not how much all graphic designers make. You may earn more or less depending on a number of factors. However, you can use this figure to set a reasonable expectation for your earning potential as a graphic designer.
Do Graphic Designers Make Good Money?
Yes, the money graphic designers make is above the national average, which stands at $41,950 according to the US BLS. To many Americans, $53,380 per year is a respectable salary, although your goals may differ. There are many creative types who would be happy to make this average annual salary as graphic designers.
How Much Do Graphic Designers Make? A Salary Breakdown by Location, Experience, and Skills
Now that we have established the annual and hourly wages that graphic designers make in general, let’s look more closely at a few factors that affect graphic design salaries. After this deep dive, you should have a well-rounded idea of how to maximize your earnings as a graphic designer.
Graphic Designer Salaries by Location
In this section, we examine how much graphic designers make in different states according to ZipRecruiter. Depending on the state you work in, you could earn a higher or lower income. The table below contains the median salary and the 25th and 75th percentile figures for the five highest-paying states.
|Location||25th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||75th Percentile Salary|
Graphic Designer Salaries by Level of Experience
The data from PayScale in the table below shows how experience affects graphic design salaries. A senior designer earns more than an entry-level graphic designer or a mid-level designer. This makes sense because more experienced designers are more knowledgeable. You can expect your graphic design career to follow a similar salary progression.
|Experience Level||10th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||90th Percentile Salary|
Graphic Designer Salaries by Skill
The table below shows how much you can earn by acquiring certain skills that are useful in graphic design. As you can see, UX/UI design skills and knowing how to use Adobe Creative Suite are especially important. The skills listed in the table will help you harness your knowledge of various design elements and build a great professional portfolio.
|Skill||10th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||90th Percentile Salary|
How Much Do Freelance Graphic Designers Make?
The average hourly rate for a freelance designer is $29.88, according to Payscale. As an added bonus, freelancers get to set their own graphic design rates and have more control over their design process. Not everyone is cut out for freelance work, but you can reach more potential clients as a freelance designer by taking online design courses and improving your portfolio.
Graphic Designer Job Outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, jobs for graphic designers are expected to increase by three percent over the next decade. Although this is not much growth, it is still a positive outlook. It means that the graphic design field is projected to grow at an average rate, and there will continue to be jobs available.
There are several reasons for this increase in jobs. Design firms will let people go and older designers will retire, leaving graphic design positions open for new talent. Overall, graphic design is still a popular career path.
Is Graphic Design a Good Career?
Graphic design is a great career to have, especially if you are artistically inclined. Of course, you should not get involved in a career unless you are interested in it. But if you have drawing skills, artistic training, and the ability to develop an effective design, graphic design might be for you.
It is ideal to be happy with your career, and though people’s experiences differ, graphic designers usually enjoy their jobs. If financial compensation is your priority, know that the field of graphic design offers good pay and several avenues to maximize your earnings through getting additional education, acquiring new skills, and gaining experience.
How Much Do Graphic Designers Make? FAQ
There are ways to become a graphic designer. You could choose to enroll in a degree program to learn how to use graphic design software and create a computerized design. You can also enroll in an online course or bootcamp program. Getting a job is not an exact science, but graphic design is a very accessible career.
Since you can work online as a graphic designer, you can get work from pretty much anywhere. If you want to work for a design company, you should know that there are certain places in the United States where graphic designers tend to make more money. These places include Washington, Maryland, and Nebraska.
Several skills are good for a graphic designer to have, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Having these skills strengthens your graphic design portfolio, which will help you get jobs as a freelance designer or a company employee. You should also develop analytical skills, public relations skills, communication skills, and knowledge of design trends.
There are several types of graphic design positions. These include creative director, art director, and chief designer. You could also be assigned to graphic design projects as part of a design team. There are numerous possibilities, but it will all depend on where you work.
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