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

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            Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
            • Students take ongoing portfolio courses that allow them to build and refine their design portfolio
            • Courses teach skills such as advertising, branding, visual messaging, and concept design
            • Curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement
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            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.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Graphic Arts (AAS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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            Graphic Design (AS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            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.

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