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.
Questions to ask yourself when hiring a freelancer
There are a lot of great freelance designers out there. Whether it is web designer, graphic designer, user experience designer or mobile interface designer. Each has different skill set, expertise and knowledge to offer so you can not hire a graphic designer to do user experience design for you.
With the demand of designers, you need to know exactly what you are looking for to find the best candidate for you. You can’t just invite applicants to interview for the position because you might just end up wasting your time or the time of the applicant.
In that sense, you should have a guided list to know beforehand you decide to look for a freelance designer.
Here are our questions to ask yourself when hiring a freelancer:
What do you need?
This is a very straightforward question. You can answer it yourself but there are still some areas you need to look into to qualify what you need. For example, you need someone with related experience working on the project you will assign to the freelance designer.
This is very important to identify before you invite to interview your applicants for the position to know the following:
- What interview questions you will prepare
- How much salary range you will offer
- Work expectations from the freelance designer
Once you have identified this qualification, you will be able to separate the experienced or inexperienced freelance designers to apply for the position.
How much can you give?
Some freelance designers often charge higher than the others. You need to specify the range of compensation you are willing to offer for the position before you hire someone. If you fail to do this, your offer might end up being rejected by the designer you desired to hire for the position.
Unfortunately, the whole application process will be put into waste before you know it. This is a matter of prediction versus expectation. You can’t hire someone with excellent work experience and offer a small rate of compensation because they already know how much their worth.
If you are going to hire experienced freelance designers, you should meet their standard rates before you attempt to contact them. Some freelance designers provide a list of price for the service they offer so this can give you an idea of how much you should be budgeting to hire a freelancer.
How long is your timeframe?
This separates the inexperienced and experienced candidates. If you have a deadline for the project you are working on. You should expect to hire the one with excellent designing experience because the possibilities of making revisions on the output of your designers.
While revisions are inevitable, the is a high difference between work of experienced with inexperienced freelance designers.
One given difference is experienced designers have completed several projects already and they already know what they are doing such as the can easily follow a given instructions with good design humor.
Compare to inexperienced designers, you can expect to get the work done but there is a possibility that you might need to do some quick fix on the output which does not qualify with the time sensitivity of the project.
Do you have time to train?
Another important ask yourself is do you have time to train? If you are hiring a freelance designer to help you do the job, probably you don’t have the time. However, if you have a very limited budget, you can offer the job to an inexperienced candidate and offer to train as added benefit.
This may not be very ideal but if you are looking to save for other expenses, this might be a good tactic to help you find the person you will train with low compensation rate. But you can also save time training by giving document such as Adobe CC cheat sheets.
Do you have time to explain?
This is for both experienced and inexperienced candidates. You will have to do this otherwise. If you hire someone with an excellent experience related for the job, you might just give a documented guidelines to follow throughout the project timeframe.
For example, you can use project management platforms such as Basecamp or Trello to assign the tasks divided into pieces. By doing this approach, you can minimize the time explaining to your freelance designer of what output you are expecting to see because of the work schedule outline on the platforms.
There is a difference between hiring a fulltime employee or hiring a freelancer. But one thing is for sure. You can’t afford to hire the wrong person for the job. No matter what position or status of employment there is to it, you should be know from the beginning who to interview, how much to give and expectations from the people you’ll hire.