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graphic design salary - Learning and Motivation - ux designer nanodegree program

Graphic Designer Salary – What You Can Expect to Make

Graphic design is one of the most desired careers for creatives. They get to do what they love daily — working with visual design in the digital world.  In fact, the market size of the Global Graphic Designers industry is expected to increase 5.1% in 2021.  Since this market is growing it’s a great time to become a graphic designer, but how much can you expect to make in this role? Our Graphic Design Salary guide will help you get started.

One career path many graphic designers pursue is UX Design. User experience (UX) designers are similar to graphic designers but the latter creates an experience through design while the former creates imagery. UX designers both influence, and are influenced by, the attitudes and behaviors of consumers. 

UX designers typically earn a higher annual salary than graphic designers. According to PayScale data, graphic designers earn an average salary of $46,369, and UX designers earn an average salary of $74,665.

Graphic Designer Salary —  Location Matters

According to Indeed in 2021, here are the top six Graphic Designer salaries by city across the United States:

  • Chicago — In Chicago, the average junior graphic designer salary is $58,981, the average mid-level graphic designer salary is $61,856, and the average senior graphic designer salary is $83,858.
  • San Diego — In San Diego, the average junior graphic designer salary is $53,021, the average mid-level graphic designer salary is $55,605, and the average senior graphic designer salary is $75,383.
  • Portland, Ore. — In Portland, the average junior graphic designer salary is $52,509, the average mid-level graphic designer salary is $55,063, and the average senior graphic designer salary is $74,656.
  • Atlanta In Atlanta, the average junior graphic designer salary is $50,712, the average mid-level graphic designer salary is $53,183, and the average senior graphic designer salary is $72,100.
  • New York — In New York, the average junior graphic designer salary is $47,600, the average mid-level graphic designer salary is $49,920, and the average senior graphic designer salary is $67,676.
  • Dallas In Dallas, the average junior graphic designer salary is $44,972, the average mid-level graphic designer salary is $47,164, and the average senior graphic designer salary is $63,940.


Graphic Designer Salary: Career Paths

There are many career paths to take in Graphic Design depending upon your field.  According to Indeed, the highest-paid careers for graphic designer are:

  1. Web Designers are responsible for the design of a website or web pages.
  2. Multimedia Designers are the creative minds behind informational content. 
  3. Art Directors work with art and design staff to create designs for organizations.
  4. Senior Designers oversee all creative solutions for marketing or a product needs.
  5. UI Designers are responsible for the visual styling of an app or website.
  6. UX Designers create products that provide meaningful experiences to users.
  7. Creative Directors make high-level decisions, and oversee the creation of assets.

Getting Started in Graphic Design

Training and pursuing a path in graphic design is an investment that can pay off in the future with many opportunities to use these skills in many careers.  

Enroll in our UX Design Nanodegree and learn skills such as foundational design, website design and UX/UI concepts while creating a portfolio to show off to employers.

Start Learning

Monique Roberts
Monique Roberts
Monique is part of the Digital Marketing team at Udacity. She enjoys baking, traveling, photography and everything dark chocolate.