There’s no place quite like the design industry. It’s where creativity and technology meet, and where innovation thrives. Design is absolutely everywhere—from the clothes we wear to the apps we use, from the cars we drive to the chairs we sit on. As a designer, you have the power to shape the world in which we live.
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Not only that: design-driven businesses significantly outperform their competitors, so skilled designers are increasingly sought after. Design itself is an extremely broad umbrella, and there are many different routes you can take.
Design is one of the most challenging, fast-moving, and visionary fields to work in—and it can be financially rewarding, too. Here are seven of the of the highest-paid fields within the design industry.
1. UX design
UX design tops the list as the most lucrative field, with an average yearly salary of $96,505.
UX designers are in high demand—87 percent of hiring managers consider recruiting more UX designers to be their number-one priority.
User experience (UX) designers are ultimately responsible for enhancing customer satisfaction, making them absolutely crucial to branding and business. They conduct extensive research into the customer’s needs and use these findings to make smart design decisions. Whether the product is an app, a website, or a tangible device, the UX designer makes sure that it’s as user-friendly as possible.
“The average salary of a UX designer is $96,505.”
A job in UX incorporates elements of interaction design, visual design, information architecture and user research—and therefore calls for a very diverse skill set. On a day-to-day basis, you may find yourself devising user personas, sketching wireframes, creating prototypes, or conducting usability testing. Essentially, UX encompasses anything that impacts how the user feels when they engage with a product. Discover how to become a UX designer here.
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2. Product design
Product designers also rank highly in the salary stakes, enjoying an average yearly income of $89,224.
Just about every object you encounter in daily life is the work of a product designer—from staplers and dining chairs to pens and electronics. Much like UX designers, product designers are concerned with both the aesthetics and functionality of a product, and there are many similarities in the way they work. Product designers also carry out extensive user research before sketching their ideas and blueprints using CAD software. Together with graphic designers and engineers, they then turn these sketches into prototypes, ready for testing.
When designing or redesigning an object, product designers will consider things like shape, ergonomics, size, color, and weight. They are also responsible for finding the most cost-efficient production methods, so an understanding of different materials is essential.
Image from Inside Design: Pocket
Product design is crucial to every industry, so there’s plenty of scope for variety. New entrants to the field usually need a degree in product design, industrial design, or engineering. Soft skills also play a major role, as communication and teamwork are key.
One of the most rewarding aspects of product design is the opportunity to innovate, which may be why it was recently voted the most appealing job for Generation Z. To find out more about this career path, read this day-in-the-life account from a product designer at Dyson.
3. UI design
UI designers rake in around $88,434 per year on average, putting them hot on the heels of their friends in UX. User interface design is, in fact, a crucial subset of UX—but it’s important to recognize that they are two separate roles.
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UI design focuses on the user’s visual experience, determining how they interact with the product interface. The job of a UI designer is to design all the screens through which a user moves, and to create all the visual touchpoints and interactions that facilitate this movement. Consider a dating app where you swipe left and right, or the act of scrolling down a website—some classic UI elements.
Related: 5 ways to upgrade your UI design portfolio
A role in UI design offers plenty of variety, with tasks ranging from creating animations, establishing style guides, choosing the right colors and typeface, prototyping and testing. UI designers might work on apps, websites, video games and software; anything with an interface! To land a job in this highly rewarding field, consider a mentored online course in UI design.
4. Video game design
Good news for gamers with a creative flair: Video game design is the fourth highest-paid field in the industry. The average yearly salary for video game designers is $86,510, and with it comes an extremely varied and interesting workload.
Video game designers are storytellers, programmers, and visual artists all rolled into one. They are responsible for drawing up video game concepts based on the target audience, and then bringing this concept to life. This may involve developing plots and characters, creating the user interface and inputting script to generate interactive gameplay elements.
Related: Secrets behind the success of Monument Valley
Becoming a video game designer generally requires a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering, as well as some programming knowledge. Creativity and problem-solving skills are also key. Read a day in the life of a video game designer to see if this is the job for you.
5. Multimedia art and animation
Multimedia artists and animators earn $63,800 per year on average. Aside from the financial reward, this is an extremely varied field with countless potential career paths.
Multimedia artists and animators are responsible for creating the cool visual effects you see on TV, in movies, and in video games. Depending on their exact specialization, they might work on developing storyboards, creating drawings and computer graphics, and designing 3D figures and characters.
The most common route into multimedia art is a degree in 3D animation or computer graphics—but there are no hard-and-fast requirements. Above all, you need to feel at home using computer animation software, conducting project research, and presenting your ideas to key stakeholders.
If you do go down the multimedia route, you could find yourself working in TV, film, advertising, PR, or the video game industry. With a projected employment growth rate of eight percent through to 2026, this is both an interesting and steady career path.
6. Web design
Often described as the graphic designers of the digital world, web designers pocket an average $59,633 per year. They are responsible for planning, designing, and building websites, calling on a mixture of both technical and creative skills.
For a web designer, the art lies in understanding the client’s vision and turning it into a visually compelling, fully functional website. This covers a vast range of tasks, from planning the site architecture to choosing colors, layout, typography, and graphics. The web designer may also oversee the written copy and set up the domain name.
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To excel in this field, you need a highly diverse skill set. One day you might be working on visual design, and the next you may be tweaking code and running tests. An understanding of content management systems, basic programming languages, visual design principles, and SEO will all come in handy.
While it’s possible to study web design, this isn’t the only way in. Employers are largely focused on practical experience and an impressive portfolio, and many web designers come from a fine art, graphic design, or software engineering background.
7. Exhibit design
Perhaps one of the lesser known professions on the list, but a well-paid one nonetheless: A career in exhibit design could see you earning an average yearly salary of $57,600. Exhibit designers are the creative geniuses behind the displays and fixtures you see at museums, galleries, conferences, and trade shows. For those who like to combine computer-based design work with off-screen application, this role provides the best of both.
The designer takes ownership of the exhibit from start to finish. After working with the client to establish a vision, they will sketch out ideas and create computer-generated models. These are then turned into prototypes which are reiterated until the final design is approved. Exhibit designers may also be involved in constructing the display onsite.
Exhibit designers have many skills. Not only are they experts in layout and design; they are also able to work within very specific spatial limitations. To become an exhibit designer, it helps to study a design-related degree such as 3D or interior design. Outstanding communication skills, solid drawing ability, and knowledge of computer-based design programs are also essential.
If you’re curious about a career in design, start by learning the fundamentals of user experience. Once you truly understand the relationship between product and user, the design industry is your oyster.
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Lead Designer is the highest-paid type of graphic designer with an average salary of $110,001 and an average hourly rate of $52.89. The second highest-paying type of graphic designer is interactive designer, with an average salary of $97,929.What designers earn the most? ›
- 3D Designer. National average salary: $53,386 per year. ...
- Video game designer. National average salary: $57,355 per year. ...
- Industrial designer. National average salary: $68,357 per year. ...
- Design technologist. ...
- Visual designer. ...
- Creative manager. ...
- Art director. ...
- Concept artist.
Lead Designer is the highest-paid type of graphic designer with an average salary of $110,001 and an average hourly rate of $52.89. The second highest-paying type of graphic designer is interactive designer, with an average salary of $97,929.How much do the best designers make? ›
|Percentile||Annual Salary||Monthly Salary|
They're always on top of their game, they balance their lives, and they “own” their careers. More importantly, they are the type of designers that have depth to them. They are built on more than just having great design chops and striving to have great designs that inspire.How do designers make money? ›
Most fashion designers make a living by either working as employees for larger entities in the fashion industry or by starting their own fashion businesses. Here, we'll touch on both types of career paths—and the education, networking, and business smarts required to pursue them successfully.Can I be a millionaire by graphic design? ›
To answer this question, we should evaluate in a generous view and as a graphic designer, you can definitely gain a million dollars. Many do. But it's challenging. Yes, you can.Is design a good career path? ›
Is a career in graphic design worth it? A graphic design career can be fulfilling if you're passionate about art, being creative, and working with technology and communication. You can explore more about what graphic design entails and the various degree and certificate offerings on Coursera.What benefits do graphic designers get? ›
- Ability to be creative. ...
- Different types of job opportunities. ...
- Stable work hours. ...
- Potential to work remotely. ...
- Sense of accomplishment. ...
- Income and benefits. ...
- Mostly behind a computer. ...
- Limited promotion opportunities.
Many graphic designers don't think making six figures on your own is possible. Most graphic designers don't make that, and salaries are quite less than that, so why should they think that it's possible? Well, it is. But you have to get yourself into the right mindset.
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
These days, most full-time graphic designers make money from freelance on the side. But the simple truth is that you'll almost certainly make more money as a graphic designer if you go freelance full-time. Doing the 9-5 limits the time you have to freelance to evenings and weekends.What is the highest paid design engineer? ›
What is the highest salary for a Design Engineer in India? Highest salary that a Design Engineer can earn is ₹7.2 Lakhs per year (₹60.0k per month).What design is most demand? ›
Topping the list of in-demand creative skills was graphic design. Good design is “so important for businesses who want to have a consistent and cohesive product and connect with their customers,” says Margaret Lilani, vice president of talent solutions at Upwork.Where do graphic designers make the most money? ›
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures indicates graphic designers who work in advertising, public relations, and related services earn a slightly higher median annual salary ($55,800) than those in other common industries.How do I get a successful design career? ›
You are really good at creating designs but if no one sees or knows it, you are nothing. Try to show your work in every possible way. Create social media accounts and post your works regularly. Enter the competitions often and make an online and offline portfolio.What are the 5 qualities of a good designer? ›
- Creativity. Creativity is often a designer's most vital asset. ...
- Empathy. ...
- Analytical skills. ...
- Technical skills. ...
- Understanding human behavior. ...
16. Fashion designer. If you've got a good eye and an artistic personality, then becoming a fashion designer could bring in some serious money. With the likes of Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren making the list of Forbes Billionaires in 2022, it's definitely a possibility.How do designers work? ›
Producing a host of ideas, selecting the best ones and selling them to the other members of the team and to clients. Encouraging others to share their ideas and nurturing creativity. Communicating productively with management and clients to keep them up-to-date with project milestones.Do set designers make a lot of money? ›
Set designer salaries typically range between $35,000 and $94,000 a year. The average hourly rate for set designers is $27.87 per hour.
- Become a rideshare driver. ...
- 2. Make deliveries. ...
- Pet sit. ...
- Sell clothes and accessories online. ...
- Sell unused gift cards. ...
- Take surveys. ...
- Trade in old electronics. ...
- Host a yard sale.
Yes, you can make $100,000 per year as a graphic designer.
While possible, it is unlikely to earn over $100k as a graphic designer because even higher-paid positions do not typically earn more than $68,000 per year. The average annual salary for a graphic designer is $48,792.
Some of the most common daily functions and responsibilities of a graphic designer include: Meets with clients or team members to discuss project goals. Communicate with team members and collaborate on creative ideas. Develop content such as graphics, web pages, logos, advertisements, or brochures.Is graphic design a side hustle? ›
Graphic design offers a lot of benefits as a side hustle. From the low starting costs to the ability to work with multiple clients, there are many reasons why graphic design can be an excellent choice for extra income.Is design job stressful? ›
“Graphic design is no more stressful than any other field,” says graphic designer Ryan Mungia. “A lot of the stress depends on what kind of job you have and who you are doing it for.” That said, there are a few common sources of stress for graphic designers: Keeping up with deadlines.Is design a hard skill? ›
Design can be a challenging profession to master as it involves a multitude of skills, both soft and technical. In design, technical skills or hard skills as they are also known, are most often talked about.Is it hard to get a job in design? ›
Is it hard to get a graphic design job? Yes, especially if you're a complete beginner. The competition can be very harsh, so you should never stop learning, practicing, and improving yourself.Is graphic design high paying? ›
Employees as Graphic Designer earn an average of ₹16.2lakhs, mostly ranging from ₹10.7lakhs per year to ₹50.0lakhs per year based on 222 profiles. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹29.5lakhs per year.How much do graphic designers make per month? ›
How much does a Graphic Designer make? As of May 19, 2023, the average monthly pay for a Graphic Designer in the United States is $4,637 a month.Is it hard to be a graphic designer? ›
Is Graphic Design Hard to Learn? Learning graphic design is not hard, but it does require creative thinking, an aptitude towards art and design, and time and dedication. Graphic design requires learning the necessary tools, as well as understanding and applying the principles and theories of design.
A seven-figure job refers to the number of digits listed in your salary. This includes people who earn anywhere from $1 million to just under $10 million per year. Many people may consider this salary range to be well above average.Is 7 figures considered rich? ›
7-Figures fall between $1,000,000 – $9,999,999 and when people use this term, they are usually referring to the income or net worth someone has obtained. When you reach 7-figures, you'll typically have reached millionaire status., unless you're in massive debt.Is $100,000 a six-figure salary? ›
How Much Are Six Figures? A six-figure income is usually considered to be $100,000 or more per year. It can also refer to a net worth between 100K and $999K/year. Know what six-figure income means to your industry.How much do Gucci designers get paid? ›
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
How much does a Fashion Designer make at Louis Vuitton in the United States? The estimated average pay for Fashion Designer at this company in the United States is $17.46 per hour, which is 13% below the national average.How much do Louis Vuitton designers make a year? ›
Average Louis Vuitton Fashion Designer yearly pay in the United States is approximately $64,241, which is 26% above the national average. Salary information comes from 1 data point collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on ....What qualifies you as a designer? ›
Graphic designers should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio. Graphic designers usually need a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should have a portfolio that demonstrates their creativity and originality.Am I too old to be a designer? ›
The only factor that should determine if you're “too old” is the number of productive years ahead of you. If you know nothing about design, you need to invest some time to learn design, and you then need to be employed in a position where you contribute value to the organization you're working for.Can you work from home as a designer? ›
Remote graphic designers do the same job as regular graphic designers; they create visual concepts to communicate a message that informs, inspires, or captivates customers. But instead of working in the office, remote graphic designers work from home or a different location of their choice that has a wi-fi connection.What engineers make 300K a year? ›
- Software Engineer - Trust & Safety. ...
- Sr Data Engineer - $120k-$300k (Python, ML Pipelines) ...
- Project Executive - (Cold Storage/Food Processing/Industrial) ...
- Lead Frontend Engineer. ...
- AI Research Engineer. ...
- VP of Engineering. ...
- Founding Software Engineer. ...
- Senior Software Engineer - Product.
- Environmental Engineer. ...
- Biomedical Engineer. ...
- Systems Engineer. ...
- Electrical Engineer. ...
- Chemical Engineer. ...
- Big Data Engineer. ...
- Nuclear Engineer. ...
- Aerospace Engineer.
Yes, engineers can make $300K. However, the only engineers who earn that much money have worked their way up the corporate ladder. In many companies, for instance, the only way to reach a salary of $300K is by becoming a vice president (VP) or a senior vice president (SVP).What is the biggest problem in design? ›
Finding the right clients. According to Build's Michael C. Place, "The biggest challenge designers face is the problem of finding good clients who actually value good design for itself – clients who don't perceive design as just another expense, but a worthwhile investment."Which is best design in the world? ›
China takes the first place among 106 represented countries in the 2019-2020 World Design Rankings, with 67 Platinum Design Awards won globally. The WDR have announced their updated World Design Rankings for 2019-2020, with China being ranked in first place.Why choose a career in design industry? ›
Design degrees allow you to discover everything related to creativity and innovation, from expressing ideas to providing answers to the needs or challenges of society, as well as transmitting messages through an image that can be projected through each of our designs or graphic pieces.Which degree is best for graphic design? ›
A bachelor's degree in graphic design is the most common educational foundation for entry-level graphic designers. Through this degree, students develop skills in design layout, photo editing, and narrative imaging.What is the highest income of graphic designer? ›
Highest salary that a Graphic Designer can earn is ₹6.4 Lakhs per year (₹53.3k per month).Does graphic design have a future? ›
Graphic design is a great career for people who are creative thinkers and enjoy art, technology, and communication. There are design needs across every industry, so Graphic Designers have many opportunities to take on a range of new and exciting projects.Can designers be millionaires? ›
Yes, you can.Is designer a stressful job? ›
“Graphic design is no more stressful than any other field,” says graphic designer Ryan Mungia. “A lot of the stress depends on what kind of job you have and who you are doing it for.” That said, there are a few common sources of stress for graphic designers: Keeping up with deadlines.
However, with the right skills, portfolio, and adaptability, graphic design can offer a stable and fulfilling career path for those passionate about creativity and visual communication. Being a graphic designer can be a stable occupation.Why do billionaires love art? ›
One key motivation for billionaire art collectors is the belief that art can be a store of value and a hedge against inflation. In times of economic uncertainty, many wealthy individuals turn to tangible assets like art as a way to protect their wealth.What career are most billionaires? ›
In broader terms, the finance and investment profession has the most millionaires. It also has the most billionaires, with 371.Can anyone be a designer? ›
Anyone with the right tools and skills can become a designer. There are many different mediums (e. g., graphic design, interior design) in which a designer can work. It's a myth to think that a designer must have a good eye for beauty or a particular artistic ability such as drawing or painting.Can you make good money as a designer? ›
How Much Money Do Graphic Designers Make? The average graphic designer salary is around $45,000 per year, but that's if they work full-time hours. This equates to about $22 per hour, but this can quite obviously change depending on a designer's skill level, specializations, education, and more.