WHAT DOES A TYPICAL GRAPHIC DESIGN SALARY LOOK LIKE?


As a graphic design school, one question we hear often is, “What’s a typical graphic design salary?” Students are concerned that they’re undervaluing themselves and their work, or that they’re limiting themselves by living or working somewhere other than where the money is.

As much as we’d love to be able to give a solid answer, we can only say that the salary of a graphic designer varies. Find out more about some graphic design salary basics in today’s graphic design industry post!


WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SAY WHAT A TYPICAL GRAPHIC DESIGN SALARY WILL BE?

There are several reasons why the salary of a graphic designer varies so widely that we can’t give a concrete answer. A graphic design salary will depend largely on:

• Where you’re located
• Whether you are working as a freelancer, for a company, or with an agency or studio
• Your experience level
• Your knowledge of industry tools and systems
• Your communication skills
• Your field of expertise

LOCATION

A rookie graphic designer living in a rural community isn’t going to have the same opportunities as a creative director living in a larger city. While the emergence of the online design community has helped level the playing field, location is still a determining factor in how much you’ll be able to make.

WHERE YOU WORK

Who you’re working for / with also has an impact on you earning potential—if you’re employed ‘in-house’ and work for a single company, you’re going to be limited to the salary or hourly wage they will give you. Working as part of an agency or studio give you a little more flexibility in how much you can charge. If you’re working for yourself as a freelancer, you have more freedom to negotiate for a better rate.

EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE

Someone who is fresh out of their program at a graphic design school isn’t likely to have the same experience level as someone who has been working in the design industry for several years. Your experience level will show through in your graphic design portfolio as well as on your resume.

Your grasp of the programs, tools, and other standard essentials can make a big difference in your salary—will your new employer have to train you to complete a project? If you’re working freelance, will you have to pay yourself  (make less money) to learn any new skills you need to finish a job? Clients will be looking for someone who can jump in and get started right away!

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

How well you communicate will have a huge impact on your salary. Not only will your tone and word choice affect how people perceive you, your negotiation skills will also be put to the test. Clients are looking for graphic designers who work well under pressure, and who work well alone or as part of a team. You need to be able to clearly voice your questions and concerns and be able to negotiate fairly on your own behalf.

Looking to the future, the salary of a graphic designer in the US is on the rise. Graphic design is a very competitive industry, and skills gained as a designer can carry over into a variety of other professions as well.


INCREASE YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGN SALARY BY ATTENDING AN ACCREDITED GRAPHIC DESIGN SCHOOL!

F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Graphic Design and Web Development Program will give you the tools to become a graphic designer in just 11 months. From a faculty made up of experienced design industry professionals to a broad spectrum of courses and a dedicated Career Development department, we give students access to everything they need to succeed in the design industry, both in class and on the job.

If you’d like to know more about our Graphic Design and Web Development school, please give us a call or send us an email! Our admissions team are standing by to answer any questions you might have.