Design Manager Salary
Design Managers in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with nearly three in five bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $78K per year on average but can range from $48K to $128K per year. Total cash earnings of Design Managers range from $48K on the low end to $128K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $17K and $22K, respectively. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Male Design Managers are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 56 percent of the field. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Work is enjoyable for Design Managers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Design Manager
Design managers can work in a variety of fields. They could, for example, work for a web design company or an interior decorator. They could also work directly with real estate developers, builders and sales teams to design and implement packages for new business developments as well as older business renovations. Regardless of the industry, design managers generally work with buyers during the selection process. They organize, maintain and make changes to designs as needed. They also meet with vendors to maximize revenue opportunities and often lead teams of other designers to ensure that a given project runs smoothly. Because of the interpersonal nature of their job position, design managers must have great written and verbal communication skills. In overseeing design teams, they are often responsible for the hiring (and firing) process, training and any performance evaluations that need to be handled.Read More...
Design managers also often need to create reports and presentations. They must have a solid knowledge of designs programs and standards within their industries. For example, design managers within the architecture industry usually must possess some knowledge of electrical and mechanical engineering, and usually must have a working knowledge and proficiency in such software as AutoCAD. Design managers are usually required to possess at least a bachelor's degree (if not a master's degree) in a related field. Some companies will accept substantial work experience in place of a specialized degree. Design managers will normally work usual weekday business hours, but if a project is behind, they may be required to work nights, weekends and/or holidays.
Design Manager Tasks
- Develop hypotheses for brand improvement or growth and isolate key areas for brand opportunities.
- Lead and develop project team, and determine strategies to improvement productivity or overall team processes.
- Provide expertise on graphics, structures, and human factors to identify consumer needs and behaviors and develop a cohesive brand.
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Popular Skills for Design Manager
Design Managers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, facility with User Interface Design, Project Coordinating, and Engineering Design are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 47 percent, 30 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Those listing Adobe InDesign as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Graphic Design and Adobe Illustrator also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Design indicates knowledge of People Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Design Manager
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $58K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $74K. For Design Managers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $86K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $92K.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 36 percent, Design Managers in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Design Managers will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+23 percent), Dallas (+22 percent), Seattle (+18 percent), and Atlanta (+10 percent). Compared to the national average, Orlando Design Managers have considerably lower salaries, 30 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Austin (13 percent lower) and Denver (12 percent lower).