Graphic Designer Salary & Career Outlook

Graphic designers can be found in a range of fields, from advertising to motion pictures. They create logos, packaging, signs, multimedia and more. Getting the proper training can boost your earning potential as a graphic designer.

Graphic Designer Salary

The median annual graphic designer salary in 2015 was $46,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Take a look at annual mean salaries in 2015 for graphic designers in high-paying industries:

  • Federal executive branch: $78,200
  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing: $74,110
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing: $66,440
  • Wireless telecommunications carriers: $64,610
  • Scientific research and development services: $63,680

Those working in specialized design services earned high wages in a popular position, with 26,890 graphic designers earning mean annual wages of $55,290. In comparison, only 1,570 graphic designers worked in the federal executive branch.

Top-paying states for the occupation in 2015, according to the BLS, included the District of Columbia ($74,840), New York ($62,580), California ($59,420), Maryland ($58,910) and Massachusetts ($56,520).

    The following were the top-paying metropolitan areas for graphic designers in 2015:

    • San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA: $76,980
    • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $75,780
    • Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH: $73,870
    • Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD: $67,530
    • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $66,530

    The cost of living varies throughout the country, so job seekers should also keep that in mind when looking at salary potential.

    Explore Graphic Designer Education Online

    Looking for program courses that blend flexibility and focused career education? Consider graphic designer degree programs online. Distance learning gives you the freedom to log on from anywhere in the world to complete your education. Students may maintain a full-time or part-time job, keep up with family commitments, and even travel while pursuing a degree. It's one way to secure the education you need on your own schedule.

    Graphic Designer Career Outlook

    Careers for graphic designers are expected to see fairly flat growth rate in the coming years. The BLS projects 6,580 new job openings annually to be available between 2014 and 2024, a 1.4 percent growth rate. Explore your education options and boost your potential for securing a career in this creative industry.


    1. Graphic Designers, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm
    2. Long Term Projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm