Design Manager Salary

With close to three-fifths of Design Managers in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $47K to $128K per year and averages out to $76K annually. Total incomes of Design Managers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $16K from bonuses and close to $11K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $47K and $128K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Men working as Design Managers who took the survey just slightly outnumber women at 57 percent. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Design Managers. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$49,054 - $120,042
(Median)
$49K
$76K
$120K
MEDIAN: $75,597
10%
50%
90%

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$13.70 - $41.79
(Median)
$14
$22
$42
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,054 - $120,042  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,676  
Profit Sharing
$496.65 - $11,404  
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).
)
$46,753 - $128,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 701
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26$52$78
Hourly Rate
$13.70 - $41.79  
   
Overtime
$24.18 - $76.03  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,676  
   
Profit Sharing
$496.65 - $11,404  
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).
)
$46,753 - $128,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 46
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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.

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Popular Skills for Design Manager


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. 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 53 percent, 34 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Those listing Web Design as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Graphic Design and Adobe Photoshop also typically command lower compensation. Most people familiar with Design also know 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. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $58K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $73K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $86K in this role. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $93K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Design Managers, 59 percent above the national average. Design Managers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+32 percent), San Francisco (+29 percent), Miami (+8 percent), and New York (+5 percent). Design Managers in Denver report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 28 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Austin (6 percent lower) and Milwaukee (5 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
$77,000



Skills That Affect Design Manager Salaries

User Interface Design
up arrow 53%

Project Coordinating
up arrow 34%


Design
0%

National Average
$77,000

Project Management
up arrow 1%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 3%

up arrow 6%


Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 11%

Web Design
up arrow 21%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 141 votes.

Gender

Female
43 %
Male
57 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
14%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 75%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 10%
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