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  • Graphic Designer Salary – How Much Do Graphic Designers Earn?

    graphic-designer-salaryGraphic design is an exciting career option for creative people with the flair for visual media. As with any profession, the earnings of a graphic designer will depend on their experience and particular talents—as well as the hiring organization. A designer employed by a small web design company will not make the same salary as an art director for a large ad agency, for example.

    Entry Level Designers

    According to the AIGA/Acquent Survey of Design Salaries in 2010, the average salary of a graphic designer in an entry-level position was $37,500. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the average salary for entry-level graphic designers in 2010 was over $42,000 per year. Whichever number you believe is more accurate, this is a competitive salary for any entry-level professional.

    Creative Directors

    According to, the median salary for creative directors in the United States was slightly over $100,000 per year. Many creative directors started out as graphic designers and worked their way up within an organization. Keep in mind, however, that creative directors have a wide range of responsibilities and are expected to understand management and marketing concepts as well.


    Freelance graphic designers can charge anywhere from $20 an hour to hundreds of dollars an hour depending on the project and their level of skill. Freelance designers usually have working relationships with multiple agencies and design firms and must always be mindful of marketing their services. Once a freelance graphic designer stops marketing to new clients, then that designer will typically need to find a full-time position with a firm to pay the bills.

    How to Increase Your Value

    Graphic designers can increase their earning potential by staying abreast of new industry developments and technology. Recent changes in web design, for example, have left an opening in the marketplace for designers who understand how to build web pages for mobile devices. Since these designers are so scarce, they can charge a premium for their services.

    There are a number of online courses for graphic designers in design software and production. Once you become more talented with new software, you can then expect your employer to value your talents at a higher rate. This is partly because you can produce more media using even more tools.


    If you are a self-taught designer and looking for career advancement opportunities, then you may want to consider obtaining a bachelor’s degree. This is because many companies require their managers and art directors to have a four-year degree before they are promoted. Luckily, most universities have online classes available for working professionals. Simply contact the design departments of your local universities to find out more about their certification programs and degree paths.

    Generally speaking, graphic designers enjoy a higher wage and more autonomy then most entry-level positions. Every industry relies on visual media of some sort to help make sales and communicate their ideas and if you are a creative professional who enjoys art and design, then a graphic design position may be exactly what you’re looking for.

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