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.

$49,818 - $123,340
(Median)
$50K
$78K
$120K
MEDIAN: $78,016
10%
50%
90%

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$14.52 - $40.10
(Median)
$15
$22
$40
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,818 - $123,340  
   
Bonus
$974 - $16,864  
Profit Sharing
$148.99 - $22,148  
Commission
$14,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$47,960 - $127,687  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 607
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$14.52 - $40.10  
   
Overtime
$20.00 - $108.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$974 - $16,864  
   
Commission
$14,000  
Profit Sharing
$148.99 - $22,148  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$47,960 - $127,687  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 52
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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.

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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.

Common Career Paths for Design Manager


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Many Design Managers move into a Design Engineering Manager role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $102K per year.

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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

National Average: $79,348

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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).

Design Manager Reviews

What is it like working as a Design Manager?

Design Manager in Los Angeles:
"The perks of being Design Manager."
Pros: I work with people who use imagination, and bring ideas to life, they are passionate of there work and highly enjoy what they do. We work on various projects, and each encompasses different sciences. Their is always something new to learn.
Cons: My job also requires me to pull these same people from the clouds they live on, and force them to face the real world, where cost, schedule and deadlines arte critical. That sometime we need to sacrifice the perfect for the will have to do. And explain that in the end we are a company who's bottom line is to make money.

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Experience Affects Design Manager Salaries



National Average
$79,000



Skills That Affect Design Manager Salaries

User Interface Design
up arrow 47%

Project Coordinating
up arrow 30%


Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 1%

Project Management
0%

National Average
$79,000

Design
up arrow 1%

autodesk autocad
up arrow 3%

up arrow 9%



Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 14%


Adobe InDesign
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 98 votes.

Gender

Female
44 %
Male
56 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
12%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
medical benefits
Vision: 63%
dental benefits
None: 11%
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