Senior Graphic Designer Salary
Senior Graphic Designers who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up just below three-fifths of Senior Graphic Designers. Pay fluctuates from $41K to $85K per year, but expected earnings average $58K per year. Total cash compensation to Senior Graphic Designers varies from $41K to $85K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $8K each. Geographic location and years of experience 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. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 58 percent. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Senior Graphic Designer
Teams that create drawings, backgrounds, lettering, or other original graphics for commercial purposes work in graphic design. A senior graphic designer is often the leader of such teams, and he or she may have one or more junior graphic designers and other support personnel working with him or her. The senior graphic designer typically will be the member of the team who receives the various jobs to be performed and works out the parameters, requirements, and scope of the design. While the designer will normally perform much of this work, he or she will also delegate graphic work to other junior graphic designers on the team, typically suggesting edits to work and giving final approval before their work is submitted.Read More...
In order to have a career as a senior graphic designer, a person typically must have extensive experience working in that field at junior or freelance levels. Most people interested in this job will seek out some kind of training after high school, especially education that involves the fundamentals of computer-aided drawing. Some of these designers attend art school or have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in design or a related field. Senior graphic designers typically work regular business hours of the week, although projects approaching deadline can cause them to work extended hours.
Senior Graphic Designer Tasks
- May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects but is often created by computer technology.
- May lead team of lower level graphic designers.
- Design or create artwork to meet specific marketing or promotional needs.
Common Career Paths for Senior Graphic Designer
Senior Graphic Designers who advance into the role of an Associate Director of Creative Services are fairly uncommon. Associate Directors of Creative Services on average earn $91K per year. Going from Senior Graphic Designer to Art Director is the transition that occurs most often in this field, and the average paycheck for Art Directors is $56K. Many others choose to work as Creative Directors, where pay is typically $83K.
Senior Graphic Designer Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Senior Graphic Designer
Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Illustration, Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Dreamweaver, Adobe PDF, and HTML. Those familiar with Adobe Illustrator also tend to know Adobe InDesign.
Pay by Experience Level for Senior Graphic Designer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Senior Graphic Designers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $51K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $59K. Senior Graphic Designers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $61K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $62K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Senior Graphic Designers, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 44 percent above the national average. Senior Graphic Designers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+21 percent), Boston (+17 percent), Seattle (+16 percent), and Los Angeles (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is Denver, which sits 11 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include San Diego (5 percent lower) and Houston (4 percent lower).