Entry Level Graphic Designer Salary: What to Expect in 2024

Wondering how much you can earn as an entry level graphic designer in 2024? This article breaks down the salaries you can expect, the factors that influence them, and how different locations and industries affect your pay. Read on to get a clear picture of what an entry-level graphic designer salary looks like and how you can maximize your earning potential.

  • Entry-level graphic designer salaries vary significantly by geographic location, with the United States offering $31,000 to $69,201 and countries like the UK, Australia, and Germany providing competitive but varied salaries.
  • Key factors influencing entry-level graphic designer salaries include geographical location, experience, and industry, with sectors like professional services and technology typically offering higher pay.
  • Enhancing skills in high-demand areas such as UX/UI design and proficiency in design software tools can significantly boost salary potential, along with a well-developed and diverse portfolio.

Understanding Entry Level Graphic Designer Salary

As the world of design continually evolves with technological advancements, graphic designers play a pivotal role in shaping visual content and brand identities. The demand for graphic designers can influence salary ranges, with higher demand potentially leading to higher wages.

Average Salary Range

In the United States, salaries range from $31,000 to $69,201, with an average of around $44,518 per year.

Factors Affecting Salary

Multiple variables impact the remuneration of junior graphic designers. Some of these factors include:

  • Geographical location: Salaries are typically higher in metropolitan areas compared to rural regions.
  • Experience: More experienced designers command higher pay.
  • Education level: Higher degrees often lead to better starting salaries.

The specific industry within which a graphic designer operates can also affect salary levels. For instance, designers in the professional and finance industries tend to earn higher wages compared to those in retail. Continuous learning and obtaining certifications in emerging fields can further enhance salary prospects.

Salary Growth Potential

As graphic designers gain more experience and develop specialized skills, their potential for salary growth increases. Entry-level designers start with lower compensation, which increases as they gain practical experience and build a strong portfolio. Consistent skill development and staying updated with industry trends can lead to substantial salary increases over time.

Your salary should reflect not only your current role but also your potential for growth and contribution to the company.

Geographic Variations in Pay

The geographical location significantly impacts the salaries of entry-level graphic designers. Metropolitan areas typically offer higher salaries due to higher demand and cost of living compared to rural areas.

United States

Cities such as San Francisco and New York City in the United States frequently provide higher remuneration for graphic designers, attributable to the high demand and substantial cost of living in these regions. For example, entry-level graphic designers in New York City generally earn an average of $45,000 annually, with potential increases as they gain experience.

California also offers competitive salaries, with entry-level graphic designers making around $48,000 per year. In Texas, the average salary for entry-level graphic designers is approximately $42,000 annually. These figures highlight the variations within the US based on location.


In Europe, entry-level graphic designers can expect varying salaries depending on the country. In the UK, the average salary for entry-level graphic designers ranges between £18,000 and £25,000 annually. Germany offers a higher starting salary, with entry-level graphic designers earning between €28,000 and €35,000 per year.

In Berlin, entry-level graphic designers typically start with a salary of €30,000, though this can vary based on the company and industry. The Netherlands offers competitive salaries as well, with entry-level graphic designers earning between €26,000 and €32,000 annually.


A broad range of salary levels for entry-level graphic designers is observable in the Asia-Pacific region, influenced by variables like living costs, economic conditions, and industry demand. In Australia, entry-level graphic designers can expect an average salary of approximately AUD 45,000 yearly.

In India, the average salary for entry-level graphic designers is significantly lower at around ₹350,000 annually. These figures underscore the importance of regional economic conditions and industry demand in determining salary levels.

Industry-Specific Salaries

The remuneration for junior graphic designers fluctuates noticeably across various sectors. The professional industry offers the highest average salary, with junior graphic designer salary around $57,386 annually. In the finance industry, the average salary is $52,377, while the retail industry offers the lowest average salary at $42,157.

Advertising and Marketing

In advertising and marketing firms, junior graphic designers typically earn competitive entry-level salaries, ranging between $31,000 and $62,000 per year. Specializing in areas like branding and digital marketing can lead to higher pay.

Technology and Software

Junior graphic designers working in technology companies often earn higher-than-average salaries compared to other sectors. These competitive salaries reflect the high demand for skilled designers in the tech industry.

Media and Entertainment

Junior graphic designer salary in the media and entertainment industry can vary widely based on project budgets and company scale. The diverse nature of roles and projects in this sector means that salary expectations can fluctuate significantly.

Essential Skills and Tools for Higher Pay

For graphic designers aiming for higher remuneration, gaining proficiency in essential skills and tools is vital. Proficiency in design software, UX/UI design skills, and a strong portfolio are key elements that can enhance a designer’s career prospects and salary potential.

Design Software Proficiency

For career progression in graphic design, gaining proficiency in design software such as Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, and Figma is fundamental. Photoshop is essential for creating detailed illustrations and eye-catching visual effects, while Sketch offers functionalities that streamline the design process.

Figma’s collaborative features allow multiple designers to work on a project simultaneously, enhancing productivity and creativity.

UX/UI Design Skills

Specialization in UX/UI design can significantly boost a graphic designer’s earning potential. Understanding user behavior through UX research and applying user-centered design principles can lead to more intuitive and engaging interfaces.

Graphic designers with strong UX/UI skills are highly sought after in the industry for their ability to effectively use graphic elements.

Portfolio Development

A well-organized portfolio showcasing a variety of projects can significantly enhance a junior designer’s job prospects, attracting better job offers. Including case studies can effectively demonstrate problem-solving skills and design thinking processes, making candidates more attractive to employers.

Benefits and Perks Beyond Salary

In addition to salary, entry-level graphic designers typically enjoy a variety of benefits and perks, including:

  • Comprehensive health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement savings plans
  • Flexible working hours

These are common offerings in the industry, with many experts predicting even more growth and the emergence of an icon by 2024.

Professional development opportunities are frequently available for designers seeking to advance their skills.

Health and Wellness

Graphic designers commonly have access to comprehensive health insurance plans, including medical, dental, and vision coverage. Wellness programs, such as gym memberships or wellness stipends, are also often provided to junior graphic designers.

Professional Development

Employers often provide graphic designers with access to the following professional development opportunities:

  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Online courses
  • Certification programs in various design modalities, including design tools and methodologies.

Remote Work Options

Remote work has become a popular perk for graphic designers, offering:

  • Flexibility and improved work-life balance
  • Higher productivity and creativity
  • Increased job satisfaction due to the elimination of commuting
  • The ability to create a personalized work environment

Real-Life Examples and Case Studies

Real-life case studies provide practical insights into salary expectations for entry-level graphic designers across different locations. These examples provide insights into how geographic location and data analysis play a crucial role in understanding salary trends.

Case Study: Junior Designer in New York

For a junior designer in New York, the initial salary ranges from $45,000 to $55,000 per year. Candidates with a relevant degree and internship experience tend to attract higher starting salaries within this range. As designers gain 2-3 years of experience, they can expect their salaries to increase to around $65,000 to $75,000 annually.

This growth highlights the importance of early career development and accruing practical experience. The competitive market in New York City drives up salaries, making it a lucrative location for aspiring graphic designers. However, the high cost of living must also be considered when evaluating these figures.

Case Study: Entry Level Designer in Berlin

In Berlin, entry-level designers can anticipate salaries ranging between €28,000 and €35,000 annually. Several factors, including educational background, specific skill sets, and company size, influence these salaries. Many entry-level designers start in generalist roles but gradually specialize in areas like UX/UI design or branding, which often leads to salary increases as they gain niche skills and more experience.

Berlin’s vibrant design scene and lower cost of living compared to other major European cities make it an attractive location for budding graphic designers. Specializing in high-demand areas and building a robust portfolio can significantly enhance salary prospects and career growth.

Negotiating Your First Salary

Understanding your value and skillfully negotiating your initial salary can result in equitable compensation and increased job satisfaction. Understanding your value and the contributions you can make to the company are essential steps in this process.

Research and Preparation

To comprehend your market value, it’s vital to research industry standards for entry-level positions. Gathering salary data from employment websites and industry reports can help set realistic expectations. Additionally, understanding the specific needs and goals of the employer can aid in tailoring your negotiation strategy effectively.

Networking with other professionals can provide valuable insights into current salary trends and negotiation tactics.

Communication Tips

Successful salary negotiations hinge on confidence, professionalism, and open communication. Be confident but respectful when discussing compensation, focusing on the value you can provide to the company. Maintaining professionalism and confidence throughout the negotiation is vital for effective communication.

Additionally, being open to discussions about alternative compensation options can help achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.

Handling Counteroffers

Evaluating counteroffers requires considering long-term career aspirations and growth potential. A counteroffer occurs when your current employer presents a new proposal to match or exceed the offer you’ve received from another company. While accepting a counteroffer can lead to an immediate salary increase and additional benefits, it’s essential to weigh the potential drawbacks, such as lingering doubts about loyalty and future job security.

Confirm that remaining with your current employer is in line with your long-term career objectives.