Graphic designer earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Graphic designer salary by state

State Name Average Salary
Massachusetts $41,329
Oregon $44,518
Arizona $38,736
New Jersey $37,982
Tennessee $37,570
Washington $40,575
Colorado $37,325
Virginia $33,206
Georgia $36,956
Maryland $37,737
Minnesota $37,207
New York $36,893
North Carolina $36,415
Illinois $38,980
Wisconsin $36,269
Missouri $33,942
California $37,011
Florida $36,093
Pennsylvania $35,736
Nevada $27,040
Texas $34,867
Ohio $34,567
Indiana $32,901
Michigan $29,038
Connecticut $38,000
Utah $32,000
Idaho $27,040
Nebraska $30,000
Oklahoma $27,020

How much does a Graphic Designer earn?

Coming out of college, aspiring graphic designers usually have a bachelor's degree in graphic design, computer design or a closely related subject. These new graphic designers with less than three years of experience reported salaries ranging from $37,250 to $53,000 per year, according to a 2013 starting salary survey published by the Creative Group. Those with between three and five years of experience reported salaries ranging between $48,750 and $68,000, while graphic designers with over five years of experience earned between $61,000 and $83,250 per year.

Having access to the internet has meant that it’s more possible now than ever before to work anywhere in the world, but if you look at the figures it’s still very clear that graphic designers primarily working in major cities like New York and San Fransisco are earning more than designers working in the suburbs. The best-paying states, according to the BLS, were the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, California and Maryland in May 2014.

Having experience under your belt and also having done some work with big-name clients is a really good way to justify a higher rate than other designers. Likewise, if the company you are working for deals with high-end brands, then they will want excellent graphic designers. These companies attract and keep their designers by paying them extremely well. The top-paying industries for graphic designers were the Federal Executive Branch and aerospace products and parts manufacturing, according to the BLS.

According to September 2015 data from, the salary ranges corresponding to experience levels were as follows:

0-5 years - $24,652 - $52,205
5-10 years - $29,318 - $61,718
10-19 years - $30,609 - $71,995
20 years or more - $31,093 - $85,024

How do graphic designer salaries compare to similar careers?

Graphic designers earn about the same as related careers in California. On average, they make less than urban planners but more than craft artists.

Career Median Salary
Urban planner salary $47K
Camera operator salary $29K
Fashion designer salary $37K
Audio engineer salary $31K
Technical support specialist salary $40K
Graphic designer salary $37K
Search engine optimization specialist salary $40K
Florist salary $29K
Interior designer salary $36K
Craft artist salary $30K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)