Graphic designer earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Graphic designer salary by state

State Name Average Salary
New York $64,840
District of Columbia $67,890
Massachusetts $60,530
Illinois $56,890
Alaska $56,300
Rhode Island $58,720
Georgia $54,260
California $56,810
Virginia $55,560
Washington $58,450
Pennsylvania $53,050
New Jersey $55,100
Maryland $55,230
Texas $50,700
North Carolina $49,700
Oregon $53,900
Colorado $50,950
Nevada $49,330
Florida $48,780
Connecticut $48,490
Minnesota $49,590
Hawaii $47,703
New Hampshire $48,130
Delaware $46,410
Missouri $47,740
Ohio $46,740
Vermont $46,830
Tennessee $46,500
Utah $45,580
Nebraska $45,090
Wisconsin $46,190
Michigan $44,480
Kansas $42,481
Idaho $39,131
Maine $42,260
South Carolina $39,380
Louisiana $41,510
West Virginia $36,940
Arizona $41,192
New Mexico $40,090
Mississippi $36,680
Montana $38,770
Kentucky $38,717
Iowa $38,560
North Dakota $38,710
Oklahoma $38,280
Wyoming $36,260
Alabama $34,763
Indiana $34,024
South Dakota $35,120
Arkansas $34,012
Guam $27,590
Puerto Rico $23,450

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 Idaho. On average, they make less than film directors but more than jewelers.

Career Median Salary
Film director salary $47K
Technical support specialist salary $46K
Drafter salary $47K
Film and video editor salary $43K
Audio and video equipment technician salary $39K
Graphic designer salary $39K
Broadcast and sound engineering technician salary $41K
Gem worker salary $40K
Precious metal worker salary $40K
Jeweler salary $40K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)