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We’re not exaggerating when we say the results of the latest HOW graphic design salary survey make us want to jump up and down. To round out the 2014 survey numbers, we talked with hiring managers and industry insiders around the country. The best part of this year’s survey: There doesn’t seem to be much, if any, bad news to report.
As for in-house teams, “I think demand has been increasing over the past several years,” says Robin Colangelo, vice president of InSource and global director of creative services for White & Case, a global law firm. While there’s demand all around, there are definitely some skills employers have a harder time finding than others, and many of them, no surprise—relate to digital.
In the in-house world, Colangelo says it’s difficult to find designers to create great infographics. At VSA, Richards says it can be challenging to recruit associate creative directors who are still hands-on with the work but also great at engaging with clients. At Ziba in Portland, you might call everything from the gorgeous light-filled open office to regular on-site learning events a perk. All in all, it’s a pretty fantastic time to be a designer, and hey, it might not be a bad time to ask for a raise or negotiate a better starting salary, either.
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This entry was posted in creative work and tagged designer salary, graphic design salary on November 5, 2008 by Galina Sotnikov.
After taking Intro to Final Cut Pro X, you’ll have everything you need to get started working in video editing. The 2014 HOW Design Salary Survey shows creative paychecks getting fatter— and the design job market heating back up. Every two years HOW polls designers around the country to find out how much they make, if they received raises or bonuses, and what kinds of benefits their employers offer. Each one told us a similar story: Demand for talented designers is strong at both agencies and in-house departments. She noted that the 2013 In-House Creative Services Industry Report, which InSource helped create, showed an increase in the overall number of in-house teams. These ACDs are typically groomed to become creative directors or executive creative directors, who aren’t as likely to be hired from outside.
The results are not dissimilar from last year’s, although industrial designers seem to be doing better on the high end of things. Just one example: There’s an inspiration budget at Ziba for designers to spend on classes, travel, conferences or whatever they might need to help them grow professionally. It not only breaks down each title and experience level, but give you an adjustment metric based on your geography, to figure out what the salary range is in your area compared to the national average.


After some economically rough years, the sun is finally shining bright on designers: The national average salary for designers rose a full 8%—from $47,380 in 2012 to $51,206 in 2014.
We’re especially excited about the rosy results, because both our 2010 and 2012 surveys showed design salaries dropping slightly, and pointed to flat or downright sluggish hiring environments. In fact, the staffing company conducted its own 2014 salary survey and found that starting salaries across all creative and marketing jobs rose 3.3% in the past year. Luckily, we’re confident that’s an inconclusive figure due to the small number of survey respondents from that city. And in the span between 2012 and 2013, design hiring went up 40% as VSA built a consumer marketing division, increased its footprint in New York, and added strategy and analytics.
Colangelo estimates that the average in-house design salary has risen somewhere between 2% and 5% in the past year or so. They’re offering a whole range of perks: good salaries, educational opportunities, work-life balance, telecommuting and more.
In fact, Domeyer specifically named the city as one of the areas with the strongest demand for design talent—along with other major media centers on both coasts, and Chicago and Dallas in between. To boost your salary, Colangelo recommends turning your attention to strategy, where you’re actually proving the value you add to the company.
Some agencies, for instance, focus on creating a fun environment or providing extra perks like on-site food.



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