Graphic Designer Salary Survey Guide

Finding accurate salary data for graphic designers is not always easy. The roles within the profession are varied, and a graphic designer’s earnings depend upon their educational qualifications, experience and location. Also larger companies will typically pay more than smaller companies.

Last Available Data from November 2010:

Job TitleUS National Average Salary
Graphic Designer$60,578
Graphic Supervisor$57,677
Desk Top Publishing Graphic Designer$60,578
Graphic Designer Artist$60,578
Graphic Designer Production$60,578
Computer Graphic Designer$34,596
Graphic Specialist/Photosetter$38,987
Data Source

Show Earlier Data

The above data was extracted from, an online salary survey guide. The average graphic designer salary figure is $56,341 in the U.S. On the higher end, some designers can earn as much as $81,417, while others at the lower end of the scale some earn as little as $48,141. To negotiate your salary, consider this data alongside the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for your location.

This data has been compiled for those who are involved in graphic design production, and does not take into account the salary data for such management positions as Art or Design Director. Salaries for these roles average between $70,000 and $100,000 nationally.

Job Expectations for Graphic Designers

Earning potential is one of the many things students consider before choosing a career path. Another concern is to find a job after graduation, as some fields are saturated with qualified professionals. Graphic design is no exception, so it is important for students to know job expectations and current salary range.

Graphic designers are responsible for a multitude of tasks on a daily basis, while only few are specialized in particular areas. Many graphic design jobs can be found in the fields of entertainment, media, and printing since they are responsible for creating much of the visual designs and displays throughout the United States. Every time a person sees a graphic, logo, or other visual image, there’s a good chance it was designed by someone in this field. Not many people realize this unless they’re investigating the array of opportunities available through graphic design.

There are schools and programs across the country to prepare students to enter the profession, but these are only valuable if a student can work in graphic design after graduation. According to, in 2006 it was estimated that there would be a 10% jump in the number of graphic designers needed between then and 2016. This means that more than 25,000 additional jobs will be created for graphic designers, which should make it possible for anyone with the right skills and experience to find a job after graduation.

Within certain areas of graphic design the demand for skilled individuals will be greater. Graphic designers with experience in designing for technology will be most in demand, as interactive media grows in popularity, and cell phones, computers, and video games become even more universal. Although some additional jobs may be created in print media, it will be harder for students to find a job in this specialty as opposed to interactive media.

Salaries for Graphic Designers

Salary is also something that a student should consider when first looking into graphic design. In 2007 the median average salary for a graphic designer was approximately $40,000, although it could range from $25,000 to $75,000 depending upon a person’s skills, experience in the field, and where they were employed.

Graphic designers generally work for them or are part of a partnership in a design firm. According to, generally, most people in this position could earn over $100,000 in one year. However students just beginning their career in graphic design should not expect a similar starting salary, since it takes years to achieve this level of success.

While job expectations and salaries are important considerations for students choosing a career, these should not be the sole determining factors. Students should pursue something they enjoy and are passionate about. Graphic design is the choice for many, as it allows freedom, creativity and the opportunity to be unique.

Earlier Data from March 2010:

Job TitleUS National Average Salary
Graphic Designer$56,341
Graphic Supervisor$53,643
Desk Top Publishing Graphic Designer$56,341
Graphic Designer Artist$41,107
Graphic Designer Production$56,341
Computer Graphic Designer$32,177
Graphic Specialist/Photosetter$36,513
by Michelle Parker

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