How Much Do Graphic Designers Make?

Written by Matic Broz - Updated on January 16, 2022

This article has been updated to reflect the latest data.

The following data is from 2020. It will help you make better decisions in 2022 regarding your graphic design career.

How Much Do Graphic Designers Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for graphic designers in 2020 was $53,380. Accordingly, graphic designers earn an average of $25.66 per hour. The highest 10% earned more than $93,440 per year, while the lowest 10% earned $31,720 per year.

The highest-paid graphic designers work in advertising and public relations, earning $55,800 a year. They are followed closely by specialised design services at $54,840 per year, newspaper publishing at $45,170 per year and printing activities at $41,490 per year.

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Where do graphic designers earn the most money?

Graphic designers in the District of Columbia earn the most on average, with an average annual salary of $83,070, or $39.94 per hour.

The highest paying states for graphic designers are the District of Columbia, Washington, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia.

RankStateHourly wageAnnual wage
1District of Columbia$39.94$83,070
4New York$32.82$68,260
7New Jersey$31.58$65,680

The District of Columbia ranks first with an average salary of over $83,000 per year for graphic designers, well above the average salary of $58,370 per year. The gap with number two, Washington, is $6,000. Geographically, salaries for graphic designers are highest on the east and west coasts of the US.

Which graphic design job pays the most?

According to the latest data, the highest-paying graphic design job is that of an art director, with an average salary of $97,270 per year, or $46.76 per hour. This job requires at least a bachelor’s degree and entails an overview of other graphic designers.

RankJob TitleHourly WageAnnual Wage
1Art director$46.76$97,270
2Special effects artist and animator$37.36$77,700
3Web developer and digital designer$37.11$77,200
4Industrial designer$34.44$71,640
6Desktop publisher$22.87$47,560

How Much do freelance graphic designers make?

Freelance graphic designers earn an average of between US$15 and US$35 per hour on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Professionals earn much more, up to $150 per hour.

Do graphic designers make good money?

Graphic designers earn 27% more ($53,380/year) than the median annual wage ($41,950/year). An experienced graphic designer can earn much more if they get proper training and learn the basics.

Why are graphic designers paid so little?

The truth is that graphic designers in the US are paid above average. However, many graphic designers are actually underpaid, for which there are several reasons.

First, many designers are neither talented nor qualified for their work, which is reflected in their salaries. Second, some companies do not realise how valuable graphic designers are to the success of their products and therefore do not pay them enough.


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Important skills to increase your pay

Many beginner designers don’t realise that investing in their skills is even more important than investing in the right tools. But if you do both, you hit the jackpot!

1. Artistic talent

Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are visually interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They develop rough illustrations of design concepts, either through inspired hand sketches or through the use of computer programmes.

2. Creativity

As a graphic designer, you are a visual artist working with illustrations, photography, or video. Your job is to put complex information into an easily digestible format. One of the best ways for other people to know you are there for them is to appear friendly. So focus on practising your computer skills as often as possible.

3. Computer skills.

Computer literacy is crucial, as much of a graphic designer’s work consists of using software.

4. Communication skills

Graphic designers need to be excellent listeners to interpret visual design briefings from clients and customers. When these briefings contain conflicting information or unclear instructions, designers must learn to prioritise which information is most important for their designs—something that requires tact and patience.

5. Time-management skills

Graphic designers usually work on several projects at the same time. Often, deadlines vary from project to project and may differ from project to project.

6. Analytical skills

Graphic designers need to know how to look at their work from the consumer’s point of view to ensure that designs can convey a message appropriately and clearly.


How much do graphic designers earn in the UK?

The starting salary for a graphic designer in the UK is between £15,000 and £19,000. The average salary for a graphic designer in the UK is around £45,000. Creative directors and managers earn £60,000 per year.

Which GCSE do you need for graphic design?

According to National Careers, you need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a Level 3 course. You will also need 1 or 2 A Levels, a Level 3 Diploma or relevant experience for a Level 4 or 5 course.

Can you earn $100,000 as a graphic designer?

Yes. Although fewer than 10% of graphic designers earn more than $100,000 per year, it is possible with the right skills and determination.

How much do graphic designers earn in Florida?

In Florida, a graphic designer earns $51,610 a year, or $24.81 an hour, which is slightly below the US average. The 10th percentile wage is just over $30.00 per year.

How much do graphic designers earn in New York?

New York is one of the best-paying states for graphic designers. They earn $68,260 per year, or $32.82 per hour. The 90th percentile salary is over $106.00 per year.

How much do graphic designers earn in California?

Since California is a West Coast state, the salary is well above average at $66,600 per year, or $32.02 per hour. The 10th percentile earns $34,330/year, while the 90th percentile earns $104,000/year.

How much do graphic designers make in the Philippines?

The average salary for a graphic designer is ₱244,163 per year in the Philippines. According to Payscale, the graphic design field is growing faster than average. If you want to get into business, the first step is to get the right education. The graphic design programme in the Philippines is called Associate in Science in Design. The course covers the basics of art, design, and typography. It will take a while before you can earn money, but it is a good career move if you are interested in a rewarding and well-paying career in the long run.

How much does a graphic designer earn in Pakistan?

The average annual salary of a graphic designer in Pakistan is Rs 360,730 and the highest possible annual salary is Rs 1,162,210. Most state that the salary at the lower end of the scale is Rs 315,327. Therefore, the range for a graphic designer’s salary in Pakistan is between Rs 315,327 and Rs 1,162,210.

How much does a graphic designer earn in Canada?

The average salary for a graphic designer in Canada is $47,806 per year, or $21.73 per hour. The best paying graphic design jobs in Canada are digital designer ($57,555/yr), graphic designer ($56,370/yr), and visual designer ($53,241/yr). The highest paying cities for graphic designers in Canada are Vancouver ($28.60/hr), Edmonton ($23.48/hr), and Calgary ($21.87/hr).

How much does a graphic designer earn in Australia?

The average salary for a graphic designer is AU$55,178 per year, with the highest-paid graphic designers earning over AU$110,000 per year. Depending on the industry and location, a graphic designer can earn up to AU$30,000 per year.


In this brief article on graphic designer salaries, you learned that a graphic designer in the US earns an average of $53,000 per year.

To increase your earnings, you should study, gain relevant experience, and improve your skills.

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