Design Manager Salary

Nearly three-fifths of Design Managers in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $47K to $128K per year, and the average comes out to $76K per year. Total cash compensation for Design Managers runs from $47K to $128K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $16K and profit sharing that can reach almost $13K. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Men make up a slight majority of Design Managers (56 percent) who responded to the survey. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$49,290 - $121,021
(Median)
$49K
$76K
$120K
MEDIAN: $76,026
10%
50%
90%

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$14.15 - $41.18
(Median)
$14
$22
$41
MEDIAN: $22.00
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
$49,290 - $121,021  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $16,300  
Profit Sharing
$307.67 - $12,822  
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).
)
$46,939 - $128,344  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 822
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$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$14.15 - $41.18  
   
Overtime
$24.43 - $88.77  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $16,300  
   
Commission
$18,000  
Profit Sharing
$307.67 - $12,822  
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).
)
$46,939 - $128,344  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 62
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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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Design Managers might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Design Engineering Manager, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $102K per year.

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Popular Skills for Design Manager


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. 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 54 percent, 34 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Web Design, Adobe Photoshop, and Graphic Design. Most people who know 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. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $57K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $74K. Design Managers see a median salary of $86K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Design Managers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $93K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $77,252

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

For those looking to make money, Design Managers in San Jose enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 57 percent above the national average. Design Managers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+35 percent), Seattle (+28 percent), Atlanta (+6 percent), and Los Angeles (+5 percent). Compared to the national average, Denver Design Managers have considerably lower salaries, 25 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Below-median salaries also turn up in Austin and Columbus (3 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively).

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 54%

Project Coordinating
up arrow 34%


Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 1%

National Average
$77,000

Design
up arrow 2%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 5%

up arrow 6%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 150 votes.

Gender

Female
44 %
Male
56 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
14%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

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