Graphic Design Specialists in the United States can expect wages of $44K per year on average. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Graphic Design Specialists is high. Women make up a slight majority of Graphic Design Specialists (57 percent) survey respondents. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$31,128 - $68,294
(Median)
$31K
$44K
$68K
MEDIAN: $43,690
10%
50%
90%

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$13.15 - $30.10
(Median)
$13
$18
$30
MEDIAN: $18.00
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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$31,128 - $68,294  
   
Bonus
$393.80 - $7,698  
Profit Sharing
$3,000  
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).
)
$30,214 - $68,324  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 234
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$13.15 - $30.10  
   
Overtime
$19.97 - $36.43  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$393.80 - $7,698  
   
Profit Sharing
$3,000  
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).
)
$30,214 - $68,324  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 102
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Job Description for Graphic Design Specialist

A graphic design specialist completes design projects for their company or clients, performing tasks such as handling web design, creating logos, creating promotional items, and completing other graphic design-related tasks. These individuals may work as freelancers or hold permanent positions that may be part time or full time. A graphic design specialist may need to develop design ideas or help realize designs envisioned by hiring companies. When a design draft does not meet client satisfaction, a graphic designer must determine why and modify designs accordingly. The graphic design specialist may work with a marketing team to exchange ideas and help their ideas be actualized. Additionally, they might directly receive customer feedback or statistics to determine if the designs are accomplishing the company's goals.

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Graphic Design Specialist Tasks

  • Design and develop product brand identity.
  • Direct marketing design projects, collaborating with multiple departments.
  • Create and assemble images and graphics to produce designs for websites, print media, product design, displays and productions.

Common Career Paths for Graphic Design Specialist


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Graphic Design Specialists do not often transition into Art Director roles. The role averages $56K per year. Typical career progression for a Graphic Design Specialist involves becoming a Senior Graphic Designer or a Graphic Design Manager, roles that pay $11K more and $9K more on average.

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Popular Skills for Graphic Design Specialist


Survey takers working as Graphic Design Specialists report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Desktop Publishing, Adobe After Effects, Macintosh, and HTML are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 13 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Flash. For most people, competency in Adobe Illustrator indicates knowledge of Adobe InDesign.

Pay by Experience Level for Graphic Design Specialist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Graphic Design Specialists, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $40K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $42K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $48K in this role. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $53K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,340

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

Surpassing the national average by 66 percent, Graphic Design Specialists in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Graphic Design Specialists will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+20 percent), Chicago (+14 percent), Indianapolis (+12 percent), and Dallas (+12 percent). Compared to the national average, Cincinnati Graphic Design Specialists have considerably lower salaries, 23 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 Phoenix and San Diego (4 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Graphic Design Specialist Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Graphic Design Specialist Salaries


Adobe After Effects
up arrow 9%


HTML
up arrow 4%

Adobe Acrobat
up arrow 3%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 1%

Design
0%

National Average
$42,000

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 1%

Dreamweaver
up arrow 1%

Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 2%

Graphic Design
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 2%

Illustration
up arrow 3%

Flash
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 60 votes.

Gender

Female
57 %
Male
43 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 82%
dental benefits
Dental: 71%
medical benefits
Vision: 62%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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