Guide to Graphic Designer Salary 2019
Graphic designing is one of the rapidly growing professions that has penetrated its roots not only in the information technology and in sciences, but ensured its application in a massive list of industries.
However, the designers have lucrative jobs and highest salaries, but those are not meant for all. Various factors define the salary range of an individual or a group of people with a specific skill set. A common perception of a graphic designer is that they are confined to the animations and games industry, but, in fact, they have an expanded utilization of their skills.
In this post, I am sharing some of the prerequisites of becoming an in-demand graphic designing, the career prospects, and the salary you may expect to withdraw. Keeping reading for a quick review of the different aspects you may come across soon in your career.
Prerequisites for Becoming a Graphic Designer
Getting a certificate or higher national diploma may not be as necessary for a graphic designer as it is for a doctor, accountant, fitness trainer, or business consultant. It is the field that tests your aesthetics, subject matter understanding, and skills. However, you may learn the basics of graduation or online courses.
Graphic designing demands a sense of love, affection, and deep understanding of art. Designs, done for a website, mobile application, or social media marketing; appears on the front.
It represents the business or its idea to the people at large, so it has to include the aesthetics of appealing, intriguing, and captivating users. An artist may never find it difficult in crafting and sketching ideas on a paper or screen.
Analytical and Sharp Mind
A designer may require analyzing his or her production with the perception of the end user or a client. If an image, post, banner, or logo is not worthy of pursuing further if it does not seem to be the right fit at first glance. Their sharp mindedness can also help them easily understand the scope and requirements of the design they intend to create for a certain cause or purpose.
In addition to verbal and written communication, the designers are also evaluated on how they can convey a message through creative images, shapes, icons, and other designs. Graphic designing is more concerned with the visual context so that a user or potential buyer gets the message before reading the actual text.
Usage of expert design tools
This is something obvious that a designer will have to get expertise in the software, applications, and online tools that may aid him in producing exemplary designs. They must acquire hands-on experience using applications such as Photoshop, ProofHub, Canva, DesignBold, Illustrator, Marvel, Sketch 3, and Pixelmator.
Time and Project Management
Working on multiple projects is a norm for any graphic designer that may demand timekeeping and tracking the progress of each project. Like any other project in the IT industry, designs do have deadlines and has to be prepared in urgency as well. So professionals are required to be the project managers.
What are the Available Career Options for Graphic Designers?
There are endless opportunities for any graphic designer to explore. It all depends on their interest, knowledge, and skills. Following are some of the career prospects in considerations.
A web designer job is among the highest paid gigs because they have a significant role in planning and developing an entire website. The job may demand a designer to create graphics, pages, layout, and suggest and implement design changes for improving the user experience.
Specifically, there is a surge in eCommerce web design as more and more online stores are entering the web to have a fair share of profit and make their business a success. For the web stores, the web design and development proves to be foundation stones as it has to potential to erect their venture from scratch and skyrocket it in prominent search engines.
A creative director is not an entry-level job as it is a position to manage an entire team of creative minds such as photographers, artists, graphic designs, copywriters, and video editors. Creative directors usually oversee activities of the artwork produced for the billboard, magazines, television, and the web.
The job title of photo editor may seem to be quite a basic one, but has a significant demand these days with the increasing number of online stores and the need to refine product images. The product photographers may use a high-resolution camera to extract real-like images of the products, but a photo editor makes it worth publishing and presentable with his or her sharp editing skills.
Architecture & Engineering Drafter
Quite an interesting and fascinating job option for a designer lies in the architecture and construction industry. Planning a completely new home, office, building, or a multi-story commercial hub all may demand drafting for the start with a versatile approach.
Other countless job opportunities may include:
- Art Director
- Video & Film Editor
- Flash Designer
- UX designer
- Product Designer
- Gaming and Animation/Animator
How much a graphic designer should expect to earn?
The way a salary package of a professional depends on various factors, the remuneration of a graphic designer also relies on multiple factors such as experience, city or state, and industry-specific expertise.
Experience and Portfolio
The experience and portfolio of a graphic designer play a major role in defining his or her salary range. The beginners or starters are surely paid the least, whereas it increases as soon as they get exposure and work for renowned brands and companies. According to average salary limits,
PayScale repots an average salary of a designer to be $43,251 per annum in the USA, in general, whereas the salary range differs in cities and states with prosperous economies. The salary range starts with as low as $31,069 and escalates to $61,473, whereas bonuses and commissions are awarded accordingly.
The PayScale further describes the starting salary of an entry level designer to be around $30,218, which increases to $34,015 and $35,549 for a mid-level and senior resource respectively.
City and State of work
The city or state where you live matters the most when it comes to salary limits. It is the economic differences that affect the salary of professionals like graphic designers and others. These are calculated in line with inflation and gross domestic product.
Designers may not base the selection of a city or state based on slight salary differences, because a city providing lucrative jobs does have an expensive lifestyle.
For example, if you search for an average salary of a graphic designer on Glassdoor, you will get a figure around $67,198 per year in San Francisco that is about 33% above the average national salary. On the other hand, the website reports as low as $46,209 a year salary for the same job in Houston, which is even below the national average.
I have searched for different cities and came up with a conclusion that their lies slightest differences between cities, whereas a huge salary gap if compared to towns or small cities.
To most of the creatives and artists, a slight difference in different positions and roles may not matter, as they are inclined to produce the best they can. The thing they really care about is meeting the expenses and saving enough in a retirement plan.
It is obvious that the salary in every profession increases with the passage of time, experience, and expertise. However, moving to a big metropolitan in pursuit of higher salaries may not always be a viable solution.
Conversely, the graphic designers shall work on their skills and refine it enough to master a specific trade that no one else in the niche possesses, and, that’s where you get a competitive edge in asking for a higher salary or a significant raise.
Please Avoid Making These Design Resume Mistakes
Hello job seekers! We’re back to talk about what it takes to get the dream design job you’re after. Last week, we discussed, “The Magic Element to Include in Best Graphic Design Cover Letter Ever.” If you missed the post, please go back and check it out.
Today, we’re moving on to part two of your submission to the graphic design studio of your dreams – the resume. Before we go on, quick note: We highly recommend applying to companies you’re interested in working for even if they’re not advertising any open positions. Some companies get so many applicants that they don’t advertise. Some companies may not be hiring, but if a strong candidate comes to them and says: “Hey – I ONLY want to work for YOU.” they may consider it. It can’t hurt right? Right.
Okay, let’s get into it! Here are a few mistakes we see quite often on design resumes, as told by our President, William Beachy:
Failing to design your resume and cover letter. Shockingly, this is frequently not done. Many designers use a basic Word resume template. A candidate once told me that their design professor specifically told them to use a plain-jane Word template. I’m not sure where this professor got their information from (maybe the year 1950), but I think that professor was wrong. Your resume, cover letter and web-portfolio need to be a perfectly matched set, and they should be as pretty as everything in your portfolio. As I said before, this is the FIRST IMPRESSION you’re giving your potential employer. Make it shine!
When designing your resume, don’t be afraid of getting creative! Bold type and infographics can be a plus – so long as they are handled well. A concept behind your application is also a plus. I had an applicant give me a resume that was a ‘Top Ten’ list. Specifically, it said: “Top ten reasons you should hire me.” Then she creatively worked all her education and experience into a list of ten items.
Rating your skill level on various software. I see this constantly. It says something like: Illustrator 90% | Photoshop 95% | Word 85%. What does that even mean? Is there a standardized test that I’m not aware of? It’s funniest when I see stats like this, but the applicant’s portfolio sucks. First of all, I’ve been using Illustrator for 20+ years and I’m only at maybe 85% proficient with it. So, how are you – a student who is just graduating at 90%. The simple fact is this means nothing. Don’t try to put a stat to how proficient you are in your software knowledge. The employer will know exactly how proficient you are based on the quality of the work in your portfolio. Instead a simple list of software you know how to use with no additional qualifiers is fine.
Adding extra fluff. Remove any and all work experience that is not art or design related. The fact that you taught kids martial arts is great, but I prefer my candidates come across like their entire life is focused on art and design. You can imagine my feelings when I see a resume that says: “McDonalds (cook), Progressive (insurance salesman), Lincoln Electric (assembly), Chipotle (cook), Freelance Designer.” It paints a picture of someone who has not been focused on design! This candidate would be better off if they left off ALL their previous experiences, and just said: Freelance Designer.
Now obviously, if this topic is brought up in an interview… do not lie! Tell them all about the other previous work experiences you’ve had and what you learned from them and how those will apply to your new position. And if they ask why those were left off your resume, just say: “I didn’t think those jobs were applicable to this position.”
With this approach… they think of you as a DESIGNER FIRST… who has some other life experiences… as compared to a resume that makes you look like an EVERYTHING ELSE FIRST… oh… and with a little design experience too.
See the difference in that?
Ok, now that we’ve covered our mistakes to avoid on design resumes, promise us you’ll do your best to do so.
Stay tuned, as next week we’ll be back with our favorite rules about creating the best design portfolio ever.
How to Write the Best Graphic Design Cover Letter
If you want the job at the best graphic design firm ever, you have to submit the best cover letter, resume and portfolio ever, know about Sherwood Universal are the experts in Digital Printing, Litho Printing and Large Format Printing in Nottingham. Through continual investment in both our printing equipment and our people, our customer can benefit from both state of the art equipment and a team of highly experienced printing specialists. (We’ll leave the bits about being a worthy designer to another post.)
And with no shortage of resources on what makes a great cover letter, resume and portfolio out there, this should be a somewhat simple feat. But here at Go Media, we are disappointed to see the same mistakes made over and over again. It often seems like applicants choose to apply for more jobs – the quantity – over quality (in other words, doing a thorough job of applying to fewer companies). In this three part series, we talk about the elements in cover letters, resumes and portfolios that really make our jaws drop.
To start, we’d like to address cover letters. Above all, there is one element that most good applicants touch upon, but often do not take the time to cover with enough depth and passion. This aspect makes all the difference between a cover letter worth passing by, and one worth paying attention to.
What is this magic element?
A SECTION THAT SERIOUSLY PLAYS TO OUR EGO.
Sounds simple, right? Far from it.
It takes time and a ton of time, which is why we rarely see it. Please read on!
In the cover letter, it’s critical that you communicate to the potential employer: “You are the only company I am applying for, I’ve been following your company for years.” You want to play into the ego of the company. In order to communicate this you need a plausible story. Most importantly, you need more FACTS about the company you’re applying to. So, this means research! Referencing a few portfolio items is a fine start, but anyone can do that in 10 seconds.
If you REALLY want to wow the potential employer, spend several days (even weeks if necessary) reading anything you can get your hands on about them. This may sound like a huge investment, but consider this – you’re about to commit to working there for YEARS. Isn’t a week of research worth getting into the right company?
If they wrote a book – read it. If they have a blog, read every article you can on the history of the company. About page? Read it. Then, write a concise ‘How I got to know your company’ story… If you can find any gem in your research to reference you can say things like: “I read in your book that you used to lay on the floor drawing with crayons all day as a kid. That’s exactly how I spent my childhood.”
Basically, you need to make sure they know you KNOW them… you did your research. You desperately want to work for them and them only. Sprinkling in a few obscure facts will help communicate this.
As an employer it’s VERY clear to us who’s done their research and who is just throwing out a generic cover letter. Pandering to our ego works. We want to think that the people I’m hiring are HUGE Go Media fans! Of course! We love hearing their stories about how they discovered our company and have been following us for years. When they reference specific tutorials we wrote 8 years ago, we think: “Wow. This is going to be a loyal employee!”
Similarly, continue to blow us out of the water if you’re able to illustrate actionable ways in which you’ve shown your love for the company. Have you volunteered for our design conference, benefit shows, or attended every single one of our open houses? Let us know!
Also, Answer the why
Next, explain WHY you want to work for the company you’re applying to. The reason should be specific. Something like: “Your firm has a background in illustration and I can see that you appreciate art. This is unique compared to the other firms I’ve considered applying to. I love the balance of artistry with design – it’s something I’ve always done. It’s important to me that I’m working in an environment that has that appreciation for the artistic side of design.” Again, you are not only giving the reason why, but you’re reinforcing that you have a deep knowledge of the company you’re applying to. This ties everything together eloquently while making us feel warm and fuzzy.
While you’re at it, here are things to avoid doing in your cover letter:
- Not addressing anyone specifically. Never write “Dear Hiring manager” or “To whom it may concern”. Do your research! Figure out who’s hiring and write to them specifically!
- Sending before having trusted friends and family proofread it again and again. Watch your spelling! Attention to details is critical. One error here can knock you out of the game completely.
- Using your email as the cover letter itself. Design a cover letter that you save along with your resume and attach. It’s ok if what you write in your email is exactly the same as the attached pdf. The point is – I want to see you apply the same branding from your resume onto a cover letter page, and then again on the website. If you don’t attach a designed cover letter you’re losing that opportunity.
- Praising your own design skills, i.e. “I’m a VERY talented designer.” This simply comes across as arrogant. Whether you are talented or not will show up in your portfolio. Saying you’re good ONLY WORKS AGAINST YOU. If you want to praise yourself in any way – it should be: “I work hard, I’m eager to learn and I have a positive attitude.” These are things that cannot be seen in a portfolio. And these ARE traits that a potential employer is looking for – not arrogance or overconfidence.
- Giving your potential employer work. Saying things like: “To download my resume go here…” is very bad. Make hiring you as simple as possible. I recommend attaching a finished designed cover letter (which may contain the same text that you included in the e-mail), your resume and a pdf of your portfolio and or a link to an online portfolio.
- Saying you want this job as a jumping off point for completely different. The last thing we want to hear is that you’re applying to be a Junior Designer, only to turn into a Project Manager in another 6 months. We will support your hopes and dreams, but we are looking to fill the position of a Junior Designer now. If you’re actually looking for a Project Management position, please look elsewhere.
Okay, now that we’ve covered our number one must follow rule and these important don’ts, promise us you’ll dedicate the time your cover letter (and future employer) deserves.
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Stay tuned, when next week we’ll be back with our favorite rules about creating the best design resume ever >
Please Avoid Making these Mistakes We Often See on Design Resumes
Student’s Guide to the ‘Zine:
a Quick Guide by Your Friends at Go Media
Welcome to the Go Media’s Zine!
Are you a passionate creative, student, designer, entrepreneur?
You’re in the right place.
Inside you’ll find the tools you’ll need to successfully do what you love. We’ll share real-world practical advice, solid business techniques, step-by-step tutorials, as well as educational podcasts and webinars to take you to the next level.
Go Media, the premier website development company in Cleveland, will give all of our secrets away and cultivate an open environment for the sharing of insights and inspiration.
When you’re ready, we would also love for you to be a part of our community. Please comment on posts, become an active member of our social media community and/or email to find out ways you can contribute your own designs or tutorials to the GoMediaZine.
With hundreds of posts in our archives sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Our Start Here page is a great place to get started. This page holds 7 quick guides to becoming the creative you’ve always dreamed you’d be. You’ve landed on one of these lists so let’s get started, shall we?
A Student’s Guide to the GoMediaZine:
1. An Open Letter to Student Designers
2. Surviving Design School
3. Preparing for your Design Career: 5 Important Lessons
4. How to Land the Design Job of your Dreams
5. 10 Mistakes Designers Make When Applying for Jobs
6. How to Ace Your Next Creative Job Interview – What We’re Dying to Know About You
7. 8 Detrimental Design Habits to Break Today
8. An Open Letter to Design Students: Learn to Code
9. Learn to Code: Tips for Designers
10. 8 Secrets to Battling Burnout and Tools to Help Kickstart Your Day
11. How to Charge for Your Graphic Design Work (& Get What You Deserve)
12. Bright Ideas from the Intern
13. Tips on Landing an Internship
14. Where Can I Learn Graphic Design? – A Newbie’s Guide
15. Kicking A** in Kickoff Meetings
16. Don’t Quit Your Day Job- Advice for Young Creatives on Making Ends Meet
17. Here’s What You Need to Know About Creating an Outstanding Online Portfolio
18. Please Avoid Making These Mistakes We Often See on Design Resumes
19. The Magic Element to Include in the Best Graphic Design Cover Letter Ever
20. How to Have the Best Graphic Design Portfolio on the Block: 3 Tips
21. How to Get Hired to Do the Design Work You Want to Do
22. 14 Web-Based Jobs You Might Be Interested In