Here’s how much Graphic Designers really make

graphic designers salary

Graphic designers use their creativity, design expertise, and design software to bring their clients’ project ideas to life and communicate the intended message. Found in various industries, their tasks can range from creating a layout for a book’s pages to creating brochures for an advertiser. Being a graphic designer can be enticing if you can clearly communicate your ideas to clients, like creating art, and are willing to learn typical design applications. Since most of the work is independent and self-employment is an option, this career can be a good fit if you’re self-motivated. Your yearly salary and schedule will depend on whether you’re self-employed or work for an advertiser, a design firm,  or an employer.

Job Description

Graphic designers work with other design professionals or clients to plan and create layouts, images, typography, or web pages, that meet a project’s requirements, whether it’s a brochure, book cover,  website, or logo. They often use design applications such as Adobe Creative Cloud to design page layouts, edit images, create illustrations, select fonts, and colors to use, and present data in a visually appealing way. They use their analytical skills, creativity, and eye for design to ensure the project communicates the client’s intended message. Since the designer and client must have the same goal for the design, excellent communication skills are vital to have.

Education Requirements

A graphic design bachelor’s degree course that covers topics such as illustration, web design, design theory, computer design software, and digital media production is a common requirement for entry-level positions. These programs may need you to show previous work portfolio for enrolling, so it’s typical for prospective graphic designers to have taken high school art programs and worked on private projects. During your art training, you can expect to make graphic design projects for your professional portfolio, which employers will use to assess your talents. Your undergraduate program may need you to do a design internship or seek one on your own.

As of 2019, the median graphic design salary is $52,110. Graphic designers in the bottom half get lesser pay, while those in the upper half get more excellent pay. Those in the bottom ten percent make under $30,810 a year, and the top ten percent make over $89,210. The federal government pays them the most, $79,150 on average. Advertising firms and design services firms spend $54,320 and 54,150 on average, respectively.


Common industries that employ graphic designers include design services firms, publishers, computer systems design companies, advertising agencies, and printing shops. Almost 1 in 5 graphic designers is self-employed and regularly seeks new projects to work on. Independent work is typical, although projects may require you to work on a team. Much of the action occurs in a studio, though self-employed graphic designers may work from their private office and travel to meet with clients. Your work schedule varies based on any deadlines you have to meet and your position; you may work more regular hours at a studio, while your hours may be flexible if you’re self-employed.

How Much Do Graphic Designers Make

Careers in the U. S:

Experienced graphic designers usually have higher annual incomes and can seek promotion opportunities to become chief designers or art directors. As of March 2018, what graphic designers earn based on experience looks like below(1):

  • Entry-level: $29,859 – $55,639
  • Mid-career: $33,205 – $63,350
  • Experienced: $35,589 – $69,599
  • Late-career: $35,379 – $73,509

Careers in Europe: An entry-level graphic designer (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of 35.152 €. On the other hand, a senior level graphic designer (9+ years of experience) earns an average salary of 60.077 €. The average graphic designer salary in Germany is 48.805 € or an equivalent hourly rate of 23 €.

[ Read: Is there Career Growth Potential in the Graphic Design Field? ]

Careers in Asia:

An early career Graphic Designer with 1-5 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹288,762. A mid-career Graphic Designer with 5-10 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹384,887. An experienced Graphic Designer with 10-20 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹467,481. In their late-career (20-plus years), employees make an average total compensation of ₹600,000.

Job Growth Trend

With around 11,100 new graphic designer jobs expected to be added between 2016 and 2026, growth for this career is projected at 4 percent, which is slower than the 7-percent average increase across all professions over that decade. Those employed in computer systems design will have more excellent prospects than graphic designers who work for publishers. This is due to an exponential growth in online publishing, and technologically savvy, and artistically talented candidates will have an advantage in the competitive job market.

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