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.

$50,059 - $125,239
$50K
$78K
$130K
MEDIAN: $78,101
10%
50%
90%

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$14.47 - $40.38
$14
$22
$40
MEDIAN: $21.99
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
$50,059 - $125,239  
   
Bonus
$755 - $16,777  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $24,144  
Commission
$18,000  
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).
)
$48,708 - $129,195  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 599
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
$14.47 - $40.38  
   
Overtime
$19.87 - $108.72  
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
$755 - $16,777  
   
Commission
$18,000  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $24,144  
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).
)
$48,708 - $129,195  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 49

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Design Manager


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While not commonly seen, Design Managers who transition into a Design Engineering Manager position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Design Engineering Managers is $103K per year.

Design Manager Job Listings

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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

National Average: $79,616

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

Design Manager Reviews

Q: 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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Design Manager

Gender

Female
45 %
Male
55 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 93 votes.
039
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
13%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
22%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Design Manager Salaries



National Average
$80,000



Skills That Affect Design Manager Salaries

User Interface Design
up arrow 41%

Project Coordinating
up arrow 30%



Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%



National Average
$80,000

up arrow 1%


up arrow 9%


Adobe InDesign
up arrow 11%



Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 93 votes.

Gender

Female
45 %
Male
55 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
13%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 74%
vision benefits
Vision: 63%
dental benefits
None: 12%
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