The Complete Graphic Design Salary Breakdown For Graphic Designers

Visuals have a long-lasting effect on the minds of the viewers. Studies have shown that, visual images stay in the subconscious brain of humans for a very long time, surpassing any sort of textual information. With the shift into an online era and most of the businesses being online today, it is essential to have your visual game on point for attracting more customers.

There is a high demand for graphic designers because almost everything today is online. To make your business look presentable, outstanding visual effects and graphics are necessary.

Just like the variations in different graphic designs, their designers also come with different levels of experience and expertise. Their salary packages are basically based on experience, but in some cases, other factors are involved as well.

Graphic designs and visuals affect the brand identity of a company. It helps with the overall growth and development of the brand. These visuals include the logo, websites, business cards, etc. And to make these elements, graphic designers are required. Determining the salary of a graphic designer is not an easy task by any means, one must consider the skill, experience, locality, and many other factors while breaking down the salary of a graphic designer. Before uncovering any more on these factors, let us discuss what the actual role of a graphic designer is:

Graphic designers are professionals who create visual effects with the help of computer software. These visual effects include logo designs, website designs, business cards, brochures, etc. Their main goal is to make the overall identity of a brand, simple to perceive. Graphic designers have to research and create ideas about designs to make things elegant and unique. Now as we know what graphic designers basically do, let us talk about the different categories of these designers.

-UI Designer

This genre of designing is related to user experience. A user interfaces graphic designer creates designs for apps, consoles, websites, etc.

-Editorial Designer

Designs and layouts for newspapers, books and magazines come under this genre.

-Packaging Designer

As the name suggests, these professionals make designs that are used on packages.

Motion Designer

These designers make animation based graphic designs that are used in websites, music videos, informatory videos, etc.

Environmental Designer

Designs that are seen in museums, conference halls, etc. are made by environmental designers.

Just like the variation in types of designing work here, the salaries of these designers vary a lot as well. A UI Designer earns a lot more than an editorial designer. Not just because of the skill gap, but the demand and availability as well. Now, these designers also come in different experience levels as well. The experience levels of these designers are universal regardless of the fields they are employed in.

-Entry-Level Graphic Designer

All the newcomers and fresh starters can be categorized here. Anyone who has completed a design course and is a beginner in the field, can be considered in this category. These designers have little to no experience in the field and they are looking for small jobs to gain that work experience for climbing the ranks. The field also includes new interns and people who have graphic designing as a side job or hobby. Some enthusiasts can be really good at designing, however, they are not considered for jobs because of the lack of work experience. The designers at this level are given simple and small designing tasks, which are well suited for their skill level.

-Junior Graphic Designer

Entry level designers who get a hang of the field and have worked some jobs are classified as being junior level designers. These designers are more focused on the field than the casual ones in entry-level. Designing for them is not a second job, they are learning how the industry works and are looking to establish themselves in the field. In other words, junior designers are basically entry-level designers who get hired for small jobs according to their skillset, and therefore, are paid accordingly. However, there is not much difference between an entry-level designer and a junior designer just like their salaries.

-Senior Graphic Designers

This is where things get serious. As the name suggests, these designers are well established in the field. They have potentially made a fruitful career in the field. These professionals have gained years and years of experience in the industry. Their work and research are on point when it comes to designing. They are the go-to-guys when you want to take your design to the next level. Thinking on the fly, brainstorming ideas, bringing thoughts to life, etc. are some things these designers do on a daily basis. Elegance and versatility are their forte and making jaw-dropping visuals is their job. Because of their experience and dependability, these individuals are hired by the bigger companies for bigger projects. They are also known to train newcomers in the field. Hence, these individuals are the highest-paid designers in the company. Most of the freelance designers out there are senior graphic designers because their skill and experience allow them to work without any tie-ups from agencies.

Now comes the actual question, how many graphic designers make?

As we have discussed the different levels of designers according to their skill and experience level, we can safely estimate their salaries.

-Salary of an Entry-Level Designer (average)

As we all know, these designers are just starting out in the field, naturally, they are paid the least out of all other levels. These artists are estimated to make around $31,000 per annum which comes out to around $2,600 monthly.

Although this is not a dream salary for any designer, it is well justified for the work they do base on their skills. –Salary of a Junior Designer (average)
The salary of a  junior designer is very hard to estimate as a junior designer could be a newcomer with some skills in the bag or a designer who is just on the verge of becoming a senior designer with a few years of work experience. Hence, variations in salaries are rather common here. However, it is safe to estimate that a junior designer earns about $45,500 annually and $3,800 monthly on average. This is a much more respectable salary when compared with entry-level designers. Junior level designers are sometimes involved in bigger projects as well for gaining work experience. So, that factor should also be considered while determining the salary of junior designers.

Salary of a Senior Designer (average)

Senior designers are at their peak when it comes to designer positions in a company. And naturally, they are the highest-paid design professionals. Their profiles are backed up with years and years of experience, research, skills, etc. Along with being the best in the business, they are also involved in managerial tasks in some cases. The majority of the senior designers earn about $60,000 per annum which translates to about $5,000 a month. This is a rather good number if we consider the salaries of graphic designers around the globe. In most cases, the salary of a top-notch designer depends on the company they are employed in. If the organization is well established, the designers will earn more than the average. The designers for Coca-Coca earn a lot more when compared to equally skilled designers in less established brands.

These salaries also vary depending upon the geographical locations of the designers. Here are the salaries of graphic designers in three major geographic locations.

-New York City

Here, designers are divided into four parts depending upon their skill levels. i.e. Entry level, junior level, senior level, and design director. These positions earn an estimated of $38,000, $53,000, $72,000, and $121,430 respectively. New York is one of the most popular cities in the world hence, the hike in salaries.

-United Kingdom

In the UK, there is no entry-level when it comes to designing. Designing jobs in the UK starts from junior level then senior level and finally the design director. These design professionals earn an approximate of £24,908 (junior), £40,000 (senior) and £53,149 (design director). Design professionals in the UK earn relatively lower than their counterparts in New York, but it is still well above the world average.


A junior designer in Australia earns about A$43,000. Whereas the senior designer and design director earn about A$83,000 and A$142,918. The earnings of design professionals in Australia are slightly lower than that in New York but still way above the world average.

A more reliable way of determining the salary of a graphic designer is by using salary calculators. This service is very easy to use, just entering a keyword in the calculator box can present you with the salary information of graphic designers.

We have now discussed the major factors which affect the total salary calculation of a professional graphic designer. Hence, it is essential to consider all of them while determining the final cut. The experience, geographical location, skills required for the task, etc. everything should be considered.

However, if you are looking for a free lance designer online, Designer is the ideal platform for you. With services like logo design contests, you can even select between the vast choices of designers available on the website. And if you want a long-term designer for your company, these logo design contests are an ideal testing ground for it. Moreover, there is no risk in organizing these logo design contests as Designfier has a 100% cashback policy where you get a return for your cash without any cuts if you don’t like any of the submitted results.

In conclusion, graphic designers are essential if you want to make your brand stand out from the competition. They can buff up your brand identity by revamping the main theme of the company for good. Hence, their pay should be negotiable based on their work experience, skill, and overall contribution to the project.

Henny Darwin is a content strategist and moderator at Designfier, one of the leading graphic design marketplaces.