Graphic Designer Salary – How Much Should You be Earning?

There are various books published yearly, some very well known, that attempt to offer the professional graphic designer a comprehensive guide as to how much money they should be making. While I encourage you to read up on your industry and these books are a great option, I’d like to focus my attention on website that does just that: I’m talking about the website for AIGA, otherwise known as “Aquent Survey of Design Salaries.”

Graphic Designer Salary

We know the power of surveys. If they weren’t useful, you wouldn’t have every single successful company out there running them in order to try and gather as much information about their market as they can. Well, when intelligent designers are brought together, and surveyed, you get comprehensive data about a graphic designer’s salary that is not only relevant to current times, but also extremely useful.

In an industry where there are so many irresponsible designers giving it all away for pennies, the only way to get reliable and true information about creative salaries is if enough professional designers are surveyed. A quick test of AIGA’s salary calculator, using minimal selections to keep the numbers low, returned national averages of thousands of participants. Comparing the results with other compensation reports I have studied proved to me the numbers ring true. At the time of this writing they have reports for 2009 an 2010. The 2010 reports do a pretty good job of showing how the industry is doing better than the previous year due to the economic recession that’s starting to turn around now. In other words, 2010 was better than 2009. Looking forward to a better 2011!

See for yourself at – The more participants in the survey, the more accurate the statistics. I recommend you join and participate today.

By Danny Cruz

Danny Cruz is a resourceful creative designer, publisher and lover of the ocean and water sports. He's also a musician and overall cool guy. Follow @sixstringsensei.