Designer Pay & Other Mysteries 2.0

What can we say? When it comes to how design professionals are paid these days, we’re intensely curious.

A couple weeks back, SmartPress.com released the results of a small survey on the subject. Now the annual AIGA/Aquent “Survey of Design Salaries 2012” gives us a much more comprehensive peek into all those pay envelopes.

More than 8,000 design professionals were polled this year, covering more than 40 positions in the design and marketing worlds. Below are some highlights:

  • 54% of design professionals are female
  • 50% of creative/design directors earn more than $100,000
  • 50% of art directors earn more than $70,000/year
  • 75% of print designers earn less than $53,500/year
  • 75% of production managers earn less than $80,000
  • 66% work with a staffing agency
  • 59% receive employer-provided health insurance
  • 40s: The age when design professionals earn the most.

While you could literally spend a couple of days looking up the salaries of various combinations polled (e.g., art director working for a design studio with 10-99 employees), one statistic jumped out at us right away: Those designers working in print AND the Web earned only about $2,000 more than their print-only counterparts.

Maybe it’s not such a digital world after all.

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