Graphic designer earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Graphic designer salary by state

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

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 South Carolina. On average, they make less than audio engineers but more than precious metal workers.

Career Median Salary
Audio engineer salary $47K
Camera operator salary $30K
Interior designer salary $43K
IT support specialist salary $45K
Computer repair technician salary $45K
Graphic designer salary $39K
Film and video editor salary $37K
Potter salary $39K
Glass blower salary $39K
Precious metal worker salary $38K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)