Design Manager Salary
Design Managers who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up roughly three-fifths of Design Managers. Pay fluctuates from $49K to $129K per year, but expected earnings average $78K annually. Total cash compensation to Design Managers approaches anywhere from $49K on the lower end to $129K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $17K from bonuses and upwards of $24K from profit sharing. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Design Managers making up 55 percent of survey respondents. Work is enjoyable for Design Managers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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
- Provide expertise on graphics, structures, and human factors to identify consumer needs and behaviors and develop a cohesive brand.
- Lead and develop project team, and determine strategies to improvement productivity or overall team processes.
- Develop hypotheses for brand improvement or growth and isolate key areas for brand opportunities.
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Popular Skills for Design Manager
Design Managers report using a large range of skills 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 41 percent, 30 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Adobe Illustrator, Graphic Design, and Web Design. Those proficient in Design are, more often than not, also skilled in 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. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $57K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $74K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $86K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $92K.
Pay Difference by Location
San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Design Managers, 37 percent above the national average. Design Managers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Minneapolis (+22 percent), Seattle (+21 percent), Dallas (+20 percent), and Atlanta (+13 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 11 percent south of the national average, can be found in Boston. Employers pay around 7 percent less in Phoenix and 6 percent less in Denver, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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