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.

Graphic Designer Salary Guide for 2008
  • Last Available Data from November 2010:
  • Job Title
  • US 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
  • Show Earlier Data
  • Data Source CBSalary.com



The above data was extracted from CBSalary.com, 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 CBSalary.com, 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 CBSalary.com, 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 Title
  • US 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
  • Return to Top
  • Data Source CBSalary.com

by Michelle Parker

Schools Offering Training Programs in Graphic Design

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Graphic & Web Design (BFA)
            • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
            • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
            • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
            • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            • Online Courses
            Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Bachelor of Science, Animation & VFX
            • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
            • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
            • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
            • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Video Game Design
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses

            Latest Graphic Design Articles & News

            Designers to submit artwork to wine label contest
            Graphic designers and artists are now able to enter the annual Artist Series Wine Label Design contest for The Capital Grille, and can submit their creations until October 7, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

            Graphic designers fighting against new design opportunity at Huffington Post
            The Huffington Post has recently issued a contest, asking graphic designers to create a new logo. However, the winning individual will not be paid for their design - they will only be recognized by name, rather than compensation, according to AdWeek.

            What It Takes to Be a Freelance Graphic Designer

            What Skills Will I Learn as a Graphic Designer?

            Putting Together a Graphic Design Portfolio

            Graphic Design for the Advertising Industry

            Scholarships for your education

            What is graphic design?

            What is design?

            Does Graphic Design Apply to Other Fields of Study?

            Getting Hired as a Graphic Designer

            Graphic Design Career Options

            Graphic Design Course Overview For Your Degree

            Graphic Design for the Publishing Industry

            Graphic Design Schools and Universities

            Graphic Design Schools in CA

            How Competitive is the Field of Graphic Design?

            How Long Does Graphic Design School Take?

            How To Get A Great Internship For Graphic Design

            Networking in the Field of Graphic Design

            Things to consider before choosing a Graphic Design School

            Thoughts on Graphic Design

            Trends in the Graphic Design Field

            What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

            What to Expect in Your First Year as a Graphic Designer

            Where Do Graphic Designers Work?

            Who Hires Graphic Designers?