How Much Money Do Designers Make?

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Designers:
How much do they make?

In this post I’ll answer the question How Much Money Do Designers Make from entry level to those that have been in the industry a while. Please continue reading below for the full post.

$42,000+ (on average in the U.S. for entry-level designer positions)

Getting the most basic part of the question out of the way first, according to Indeed.com the average entry-level web designer rate per hour is $22.62, which over the course of a year averages out to a salary of $42,934.

Yes, there are tech roles that pay more, but if you’re someone with a background in traditional print or graphic design, a jump to web design can be a pretty seamless transition. And—unlike those traditional jobs than can be hit or miss as media continues to go more and more digital— web design jobs are plentiful, with Indeed.com listing over 15,000 positions as of this writing.

$53,877+ (on average in U.S. for senior positions with 3+ years of web design experience)

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Once you have three or more years of experience in the field and can qualify for senior level positions, Indeed’s average salary moves up to $53,877 (and peaks as high as $118,809 for senior designers who add UX design skills and experience to their resume).

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Average Rates Vary Based on Geography

Finally, Web design salaries also vary based on your geographical area (or the geography of the company you’re applying for, if you’re working remotely).

Here’s a breakdown of how the average entry-level salary varies between East and West Coast (New York and Los Angeles) and between high cost of living city and low cost of living city (we’ve used New York and Yuma as our examples).

Another factor that brings variability to design salaries is the fact that design work isn’t always a single commitment to one company paying a fixed wage.

New York: $62,237

Yuma: $41,452

Oakland: $66,240

Chicago: $60,230

Yes, it’s possible to get a job as a designer working for one company, but—like all creative jobs— design can be a freelance career, where the amount of income you bring in will depend on the number of clients you land and the amount of work you’re interested in and willing to do.