header thumbnail image

Graphic Design: Salary & Progression

February 9, 2016 - fifteen

So you’re considering a career in graphic design and would like to find out more on the job progression and the salary that goes along with it. We’ve put together the following information which covers graphic design as a career, it’s salary and the potential for progression. We’ve also included some tips along the way to help you achieve the status you’re aiming for.

  • On average, a graphic designer will work 37 hours a week. There is generally some flexibility in regards to start/finish times, and extra hours should be expected when deadlines are due.
  • The working environment is mostly studio, office or home-based, generally working as part of a team. Travel may be required to meet clients.
  • Work is available in most major cities with a focus on London, South East, Manchester and Leeds. There is a demand for British designers internationally but industry experience is necessary.
  • A few health benefits are on offer and pay bonuses are definitely a possibility.
  • High job satisfaction comes from working as a graphic designer due to the creative nature of work.

Career Progression

Common Career Paths

Fifteen-ContMarketing-PathandProgression-chart

Salaries

Junior Graphic Designer

Average Salary: £17,000
Salary Range: £13,000 – £23,000
Male: 44%
Female: 56%
Expected Experience: 0 – 4 years
Best Location for Pay: London (12% higher)
Poorest Location for Pay: Leicester (20% lower)
Desired Skills: graphic design, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign

Mid-Weight Graphic Designer

Average Salary: £21,000
Salary Range: £15,000 – £32,000
Male: 55%
Female: 45%
Expected Experience: 1 – 9 years
Best Location for Pay: London (18% higher)
Poorest Location for Pay: Norwich (13% lower)
Desired Skills: graphic design, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, HTML, photography, marketing communications

Senior Graphic Designer

Average Salary: £29,000
Salary Range: £21,000 – £42,000
Male: 62%
Female: 38%
Expected Experience: 5 – 19 years
Best Location for Pay: London (15% higher)
Poorest Location for Pay: Belfast (11% lower)
Desired Skills: graphic design, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, HTML, photography, marketing communications, branding

Graphic Design Manager

Average Salary: £30,000
Salary Range: £20,000 – £42,000
Male: 63%
Female: 37%
Expected Experience: 5 – 19 years
Best Location for Pay: London (18% higher)
Desired Skills: graphic design, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, HTML, photography, marketing communications, branding

Art Director

Average Salary: £35,000
Salary Range: £21,000 – £54,000
Male: 57%
Female: 43%
Expected Experience: 1 – 19 years
Best Location for Pay: London (7% higher)
Desired Skills: graphic design, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, HTML, photography, marketing communications, branding, desktop publishing

Creative Director

Average Salary: £49,000
Salary Range: £29,000 – £94,000
Male: 83%
Female: 17%
Expected Experience: 10 – 19 years
Best Location for Pay: London (22% higher)
Desired Skills: graphic design, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, HTML, photography, marketing communications, branding, desktop publishing, art direction, user interface design, people management, project management

GraphicDesignSalaryandProgression-Skills

Fancy Freelance?

Freelance work can get you around £200 – £400 a day if you are experienced.

Tip 1: Do you research into other Freelancers’ prices.

Tip 2: Try charging hourly. This allows for flexibility in changing the scope of a project, and prevents you from underselling your services.

Tip 3: Try 3-tier packages. This prevents itemisation of your services.

If seeking freelance work, find the price and system that works for you.

Salary Progression Advice

  • Experience in the industry will lead to higher salaries and better job progression, so keep on learning.
  • If seeking to do freelance work, try gaining experience in an in-house or agency team first to build up a respected portfolio.
  • London has the highest average salaries, but work is available in most large cities so search out the location and salary that works best for you.
  • Ensure knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, graphic design, web design, photography, branding, art direction, people management, project management and HTML to rise up the ranks.

Based on Infographic written by Richard Kish

Back to Blog

Want To Find Out More About The Graphic Design Industry?

Get In Touch With One Of Our Designers!

Contact Fifteen
Footer Call to Action
Sending