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  • Salary of a Graphic Designer?

    Hey guys, I want to be a Graphic Designer but I want to know how much money they make. I want answers from people who are actually Graphic Designers. I want to know is this a job where you can support a family. or just yourself. Just post where your from(state) and how much you make, it would really help me out alot.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum DeAndre17.

    Unfortunately, we can't discuss pricing or salary specifics here on the forum. Hopefully people here can answer your other questions (can you support a family, or just yourself), in a way that will satisfy your curiosity.

    In the meantime, please check out this area of the forum for the rules about the forum, in addition to insider info on inside jokes and FAQ's, etc.

    Also, since this is a holiday season currently, don't be surprised if you don't get many replies in the next few days. Feel free to come back and bump the thread on the Monday after the holiday break for more responses.

    Enjoy your stay.
    "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!" - Ricky Ricardo

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    • #3
      I can't give you any specific numbers, both because of what urswile said and also because I'm not really a designer... yet... but check out http://www.payscale.com/

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      • #4
        You could go to Salaries.com too.
        Just remember that those are averages. A few people making a lot more can make up for a lot of people making less.
        When starting out, you will probably get paid below the average for your area.

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        • #5
          I'll chime in here...you can support a family but I wouldn't say that you'll be able to afford extravagant things. I've been a designer for 19 + years now. I'm married, we've got no kids. My wife and I enjoy life, but while our friends all live in 150-200,000 houses we live in one much less expensive. We have nice things but not over-the-top stuff. My wife only makes about 1/2 of what I make (she does nails), so maybe that'll help you to evaluate your decision.

          I started out low in salary because I wanted a job. To this day, I seriously love what I do so it makes it worth it to me...I truly am happy to go to work everyday. I also freelance which is a nice bonus when the work is good, so consider that in your plans too.

          So...if you enjoy graphic design then go for it. But if you're choosing it to make fat cash, then you better think again.

          Hopefully this bit of info helps you out some. Good luck in your decision!
          tmooregraphics
          Horsepower For Your Business!
          Follow me on Facebook and Twitter

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          • #6
            It depends on how good you are and where you work. Yes you can make more than enough to support a family as a graphic designer. It isn't a very highly paid job though compared to many other careers, so it isn't something to go into to make lots of money.

            Again it goes back to how good you are and how you progress in your career. A creative director of a big design agency can earn a lot but obviously only few people make it to that sort of position, the majority will earn an okay salary.
            When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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            • #7
              To make the money you have to be a real designer.
              Not someone who makes pretty pictures in Photoshop but someone who knows all the ins and outs of the segment of GD they intend to go into. While there are general rules and theories for all Graphic Design, if you sub-specialize and are able to make a name for yourself as an expert in that specialty, it can be a little better than trying to freelance as a jack of all trades (in my slightly skewed opinion, of course). I'm in a weird segment of the industry.

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              • #8
                I'm only 23, and I work as a graphic designer for a Sign/vehicle wrap place.

                I'm just starting out -id say(2 1/2 years). I live outside the area of Houston TX, and I can support myself and my wifes spending habit (she doesn't work). She's 19, so she likes to buy dumb things. With savings and proper budgeting, I've been able to buy things like a new computer, big TV, pay car note, etc.

                This isn't counting my freelancing. But I will say, I make more in 1 web design job (html, css, flash, javascript, ajax) than I do in like two weeks doing graphic design. -jus sayin

                I wouldn't chose a job by the salary though. Not to long ago, I was offered an IT job making almost double as much as I make now. I turned it down because I knew I would miss designing. (Also I feel this career could lead somewhere, while that one is boring and lifeless)
                "I used to wonder what friendship could be, Until you all shared its magic with me." - Jesus Christ

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                • #9
                  AIGA has a nice search tool for salaries: http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/salary-survey

                  I have found it to be pretty close to reality for my area.
                  Show me something interesting. I won't steal it, just learn from it and draw my own conclusions.

                  <~Anna~>

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                  • #10
                    I think it's really two questions -- salary and supporting a family with it. The first is easy, it's just a number. The second depends on a zillion other factors including family size and your interpretation of 'support'.

                    Incidentally, it's why I left a big city to work in a small town for a salary that was about 2/3 of what I was making there.

                    Of course, the houses in the burbs were selling at about the third of the price of the ones in Megapolis.

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                    • #11
                      Here is my plan for making 'big bucks'.

                      Step 1. Work for the government, or a large government contractor. (This is the step I am at.). The pay is good, and depending on what department you're with, the job security can be great.

                      Step 2. Spend a few years in one location, and transfer. This is the only way you'll make substantially more money, other than the rare case of getting a promotion from your current department. The pay can be huge if you're lucky enough to land a nice transfer.

                      It's a whole different world than a design shop or studio, so do your research before attempting it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheBluePanda View Post
                        Here is my plan for making 'big bucks'.

                        Step 1. Work for the government, or a large government contractor. (This is the step I am at.). The pay is good, and depending on what department you're with, the job security can be great.

                        Step 2. Spend a few years in one location, and transfer. This is the only way you'll make substantially more money, other than the rare case of getting a promotion from your current department. The pay can be huge if you're lucky enough to land a nice transfer.

                        It's a whole different world than a design shop or studio, so do your research before attempting it.
                        Panda, for the benefit of myself (and others who may be fascinated by what you just described): how did you come upon this lucrative career path?
                        Show me something interesting. I won't steal it, just learn from it and draw my own conclusions.

                        <~Anna~>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Who wouldn't be fascinated by such a lucrative account.
                          Working for The Man though, you usually have to earn every penny of it...I believe that's what the last sentence implies.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
                            Who wouldn't be fascinated by such a lucrative account.
                            Working for The Man though, you usually have to earn every penny of it...I believe that's what the last sentence implies.
                            LMAO @ "working for the man"

                            PD are you suggesting that there are jobs out there where you wouldn't have to earn every penny of whatever wage you're offered? and if so, could you direct me to those jobs?

                            Because, quite frankly, I'm really sick of *earning* my pennies..!
                            Show me something interesting. I won't steal it, just learn from it and draw my own conclusions.

                            <~Anna~>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I believe it's called the "Nepotism Position"
                              *sings* "I am slowly going crazy 1.2.3.4.5.6. switch. Slowly crazy am I going 6.5.4.3.2.1. switch"

                              Comment

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