The average salary of a traditional Graphic Designer with 1 to 3 years of experience is $48,250, up from $40,239 only a few years back. But don’t fret, there are plenty of ways to increase the value of your current skills. Learn more about the DESIGNATION full-stack design bootcamp.
Digital Design and Web Development Salaries in 2017
The graphic design industry is undergoing a major transformation. Whereas TV, print and outdoor advertising used to be the primary outlets for a design career, digital is the name of the game these days. As the web and mobile mediums become increasingly ubiquitous, career opportunities in graphic design are skewing more and more in this direction, and with salaries to match.
Many times we get the question “What’s the average salary for a graphic designer?” or “What is a good starting salary for an entry-level graphic designer?” and of course, the honest answer is that the salary of a graphic designer varies.
The reasons for the salary variance are:
- In-house vs. ‘agency’ side
- Experience levels
- Ability and tools used/understood
- Communication skills
- And of course, salary or hourly rate negotiations
Take a look at this chart of average salaries for digital designers in 2017:
|Interaction Designer (5+ years)||$88,250||$124,500|
|Interaction Designer (1 to 5 years)||$60,750||$90,750|
|Web Designer (5+)||$83,250||$111,800|
|Web Designer (1-5)||$70,500||$86,500|
|User Experience (UX) Director||$110,500||$178,000|
|User Experience (UX) Designer (5+)||$92,750||$138,000|
|User Experience (UX) Designer (3-5)||$75,750||$103,000|
|User Experience (UX) Designer (1-3)||$52,000||$79,500|
|User Experience (UX) Specialist||$90,500||$135,500|
|User Interface (UI) Developer||$87,500||$132,000|
|Email Marketing Designer||$57,250||$78,750|
|Front-End Web Developer (3+ years)||$80,000||$119,500|
|Front-End Web Developer (1 to 3 years)||$56,500||$80,500|
Traditional Creative and Graphic Design Salaries in 2017
Now compare those numbers with the average salaries of traditional designers. According to the AIGA, graphic design is the “act or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.”
Take a look at this chart of average salaries for graphic designers and more creative professionals:
|Graphic Designer (1 to 3 years)||$39,750||$56,750|
|Graphic Designer (3 to 5 years)||$53,250||$72,250|
|Graphic Designer (5+ years)||$93,000||$97,500|
|Illustrator (1 to 3 years)||$42,750||$59,500|
|Illustrator (3+ years)||$58,750||$83,000|
|Art Director (3 to 5 years)||$65,500||$87,250|
|Art Director (5+ years)||$81,000||$107,500|
|Creative Director (5 to 8 years)||$99,500||$143,500|
|Creative Director (8+ years)||$116,250||$186,750|
Salary data via a 2017 study conducted by The Creative Group (PDF).
Digital Design, Hybrid Roles and Online Strategy Is Where It’s At for 2017+
As you can see, the salaries of designers that are focused on digital experiences tend to be higher than those in the Graphic Design world. According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a Graphic Designer in 2017 with 1 to 3 years of experience is just $48,250, whereas for “Digital Designers,” “User Interface Designers,” and “User Experience Designers“, it’s $76,000, No small difference – almost $30,000 or an extra $2500 a month! Note: The data does not consider individuals who maintain multiple areas of discipline, and we’re using approximations with publicly available data.
For example: a designer than can do Traditional Print Design and UI Design could potentially fill two roles for an organization’s creative needs. These individuals will typically see a higher level of compensation. A multi-disciplinary designer is highly sought after by creative teams and will often see even higher salary levels.
Looking to the future, digital design and web design have a stronger 10-year job outlook than traditional graphic and print design. According to a Robert Half Group survey, over 40% of advertising and marketing executives said it was difficult to find experienced, creative talent.
In addition, the same research performed by Robert Half Group strongly shows that hybrid professionals are in demand – these are the people who can handle a variety of roles (UX/UI, graphic design with some coding background, etc).
The graphic design discipline is an extremely valuable skill and it can be transferred to many different industries. While the quantity of the non-digital work is shrinking, the foundational design concepts remain applicable across a variety of media. There are are multiple of ways to transition from graphic to digital design. Full-time Design Programs like ours at DESIGNATION are a great way to make the switch in just 12 short weeks. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about graphic design salaries at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about becoming a UX/UI designer can do for your career.