How Much Do Graphic Designers Make? – Small Business Trends

Are you good at conveying ideas through visuals? If yes, then graphic design can be an excellent option to earn money. But before you take the plunge, wouldn’t you be interested in knowing how much do graphic designers make?
Today, we will explore graphic design as a way of earning a livelihood. In addition to understanding how much money graphic designers earn, you will know the types of graphic design job opportunities, the ways to maximize your earnings, and much more. All aspiring graphic designers will find this post useful.
Let’s dive in:



What is a Graphic Designer?

What is a graphic designer and why is graphic design important? In simple words, a graphic designer is a professional who designs visual concepts to convey information. From designing posters to logos to websites, graphic designers create a variety of visual concepts to communicate information.
Here are some important qualities that can make someone an excellent graphic designer:

  • Verbal communication
  • Drawing and sketching skills
  • Research
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical skills

These days, companies use various kinds of design software. Therefore, designers are also expected to have essential software skills to get a job in a good design company.



Types of Graphic Design Jobs

There are different types of graphic design job openings. So you can pick one according to your creativity.
Following are the key job types in the graphic design industry:

  • Photo editor
  • Logo designer
  • Web designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Advertising designer
  • User-interface (UI) designer
  • User experience (UX) designer

You can see that graphic design services are diverse. So, in addition to the above-mentioned job titles for designers, you can also find graphic design job openings for product packaging designers, publication designers, apparel graphic designers, and many more.

How Much do Graphic Designers Earn Per Hour?

If you’re thinking about being a self-employed designer, you would like to know whether you can make a respectable living or not. The good news is you can. According to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage of graphic designers is $28.06.



The average base hourly pay for freelance graphic designers, as per Payscale data, is $29.92.
If you want to secure a strong position as a freelancer, you should work on multiple projects to build a powerful professional portfolio and keep on finding new projects.

How Much do Graphic Designers Make Per Year

If you want to know the average salary for a graphic designer, the answer is $ 58,370 (mean annual wage).
However, job seekers may notice variations in graphic designer salaries on different sources. For example, Indeed data states an average base salary of $51,588 per year. According to Payscale data, the average base salary of a graphic designer is $47,085/ year.



Art directors, who often begin their careers as designers, earn way more than these mentioned salaries.

How to Get Started with Graphic Design

Now that you know common questions about graphic design as a career option, such as how much graphic designers make, types of graphic design jobs, and prowess required to become a great designer. It is time to get started.
Here are some pointers to help you:

  • Get professional education (degree or certificate in design)
  • Master design software programs
  • Build a website to create an online presence
  • Be active on LinkedIn and job search websites
  • Build a network to get references

Also, sharing your portfolio website on Behance, Dribble, and other sites in the related field can increase your chances of getting hired.



Different industries have different requirements. So, it’s a good idea to ask experience people in your chosen industry for additional information that can help you get started fast.

10 Ways to Make Money as a Graphic Designer

Working for a company is just one way to earn money as a designer. Here are ten ways you can explore to make money with your creative expertise:

1. Freelance Work for Clients

Hiring an in-house designer is a costly affair. So, many businesses choose to hire freelancers to get design work done. As a result, you can earn good money doing freelance work for clients. Upwork and Fiverr are good platforms to hunt for freelance gigs.

2. GIFs or Animations

The trend of using GIFs in increasing customer engagement is growing fast. With more and more companies including GIFs in their marketing materials, there are ample opportunities for you to sell GIFs and earn money.



3. Sell Canva Templates

Canva is used by many people as the learning curve is minimal. So creating and selling Canva templates can be a good way to earn money.

4. Social Media Graphics

Social media has become a must for businesses of all sizes. And it goes without saying that eye-catchy visuals increase engagement on social media. Not all companies hire graphic designers, presenting you with tons of opportunities to sell social media graphic packages and earn money.

5. Printable Wall Art

People love to personalize the walls of their homes. Posters and wall stickers are among popular wall art items. You can sell readymade printable wall art or customizable packages online and make money.

6. Design Fonts

Do you love designing beautiful fonts? Why not make money out of it. Platforms like Etsy, Creative Market, or Creative Fabrica can help you sell your fonts and earn money.



7. eBook Covers

Many small businesses publish eBooks to educate their audiences. And Kindle Direct Publishing has opened doors to self-publishing authors. So, selling eBook cover design can help you earn a decent income. You can sell both pre-made eBook covers and packages for custom eBook covers.

8. Ready-to-Print Party Decorations

In the time of Instagram, people spend a great deal of money on decoration for their kids’ birthday parties. You can easily sell printable party decoration files and supplement your income.

9. Branding Packages

Businesses use a variety of visual elements in their sales and marketing materials to build a distinguished identity. Logos, business cards, brochures, packaging materials, are just a few to mention. So selling branding packages can be great for designers to earn money.

10. Run Workshops

Do you love sharing your knowledge? If yes, then running personal or online design workshops can be an excellent way for you to earn money. However, you have to build a strong portfolio first. Only then, it will be easier for you to persuade people to join your workshops.



How to Maximize Your Graphic Design Earnings

Whether you’re planning to start a graphic design business or begin your career in a graphic design company, you would defiantly want to earn more money.
Here are a few ways to maximize your graphic design earnings:

  • Pick a profitable niche and stick to it
  • Join graphic design programs to sharpen your skills
  • Build a portfolio site to showcase your work
  • Make your own product (ebook, course, t-shirt design, etc.) to sell
  • Create a powerful web presence
  • Be active on LinkedIn to get noticed by a good paying company

If you’re freelancing, you should never rely on one site for freelance work. Instead, you should create your profile on multiple websites to get more clients for your freelance services.

Which graphic design job pays the highest graphic designer salary?

A product design job pays the highest graphic designer salary. Indeed reports that a product designer, whose job is to create the foundation for the user experience of a product, gets a national average salary of $119,921 per year.



Which US states have the highest graphic design salaries?

Illinois has the highest graphic design salaries when you adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state. According to the Zippia data, graphic artists receive a $60,137 adjusted average yearly salary in Illinois. But if you consider actual wages employers pay, New York tops the list where employers pay a $64,840 average yearly salary.

Final Thoughts,

Now you understand how much money you can expect to earn working as a graphic designer. As every business invests in graphic design, you will have ample opportunities to earn provided that you keep yourself updated. You can explore these graphic design tools to maximize your success.
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