For people with the aptitude and talent for it, graphic design is certainly one of the most exciting, competitive and challenging careers around, especially in this age of computers and the Internet. It follows, then, that a graphic designer salary ranks among the best in the field.
On average, graphic designers get around $48,000+ from a range that runs from a low of $26,000+ to a high of $74,000+. Their biggest employers are the federal government, the movie industry and aerospace industry.
The graphic designer’s mainline is creating all types of designs (logos, artwork, graphics, etc.) for print publishing, for advertising, for support in movie and television production.
With the advent of the Internet, the market for their services gets much bigger and wider. Per BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the 2010-2020 employment rates for graphics designers are in step with the national average at 13%.
- Low $48,000
- Mid $60,000
- High $74,000
The highest graphic designer salary comes from the Federal government (around $75,000+), Amusement and Entertainment groups ($65,000+) and the computer and related industries ($64,000+).
From companies where most designers are employed, salaries are also competitive. At specialized design service companies, designers get around $50,000+ while the print publication companies (books newspapers, magazines) pay their designers around $42,000+. Advertising and other related industries pay $49,000+.
However, there are differences in the graphic designer salary scale according to their regions. In California, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut, the pay goes as high as $55,000+ and a low of $51,000+ compared to other states.
To get into the industry, a graphic designer must have a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (BFA) or in Graphic Design (BGA). Most schools have these college programs. The main courses in school include design principles, studio art, web site design, commercial graphics, and printing techniques among others.
Some few entry level positions in the industry are available for those without degrees. However, they must have a high level of Photoshop expertise and natural artistic talents.
One survey reported the industry has 81% practitioners with college degrees, 11% with associate degrees and 4% having taken college courses but without degrees. If you have the talent and the inclination, this career field is wide open.