Designer Pay and Other Mysteries

This year’s edition of’s “The State of Graphic Design” is particularly relevant given the abysmal state of the economy.

The report also dishes on what 40-plus professionals (each with at least five years of experience in the field) are getting paid and a lot of other intriguing things we seldom have the nerve to ask our friends in the business.

Here are some highlights from the survey (and kudos to for putting it all, appropriately enough, in the form of an easy-to-read infographic):

  • 29%: Percentage who were self-employed in 2010
  • California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois: States, from highest to lowest, that employ the greatest number of graphic designers
  • Bachelor’s degree: The minimum degree required for an average entry-level position in 2010
  • $48,000: What the average designer earned in 2011 (That’s $23.41/hour for you liberal arts majors)
  • $77,000: What the top 10% of graphic designers earned in 2011 (or $37.20/hour).

For more from the 2012 “State of Graphic Design” survey, click here.


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