How Much Money Can I Expect to Make as a Graphic Designer

How much can I expect to earn as a graphic designer

Can you earn a living through graphic design? This is a common question that you will ask yourself if you are looking forward to being a graphic designer.

Graphic designers use their talents and creative skills to do their job. You can either choose to be a freelancer or work in a company. Whichever option you choose, it is great to know the average income you can expect as a graphic designer.

You also want to know the type of skills you need and many other questions. Keep reading to understand more about graphic design and whether it is the right job for you.

Graphic Designer

What Exactly is Graphic Design?

Before we start to answer how much a graphic designer can earn, let’s understand what graphic design is briefly. Graphic design is used in almost any industry today. The packaging you see on food, logs, and billboards all involves graphic design.

Graphic design essentially involves visual solutions for various purposes. They might be intended to make people buy products, attend an event or watch TV shows.

The graphic design sector is large, so you need to specialize in something you are good at. It can be logo design, layout design, packaging design, and typography, among others.


What Tools Do I need as a Graphic Designer?

The types of tools you choose highly depend on whether you work for a company or a freelance designer. If you work as a freelance designer, then it is your responsibility to buy all the essential tools you need. For those who work in a firm, you might be provided with the tools you need.

If you want to start your graphic design career, it is great to have the right tools for the job. Initially, it can be an expensive business, and you can easily buy some tools online.

First, you need to get a computer. You can choose to work with a desktop or a laptop of a brand of your choice. Most graphic designers, they prefer the Apple brand and a desktop instead of using a laptop.

The next thing you need to do is to pay for an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. The prices can vary monthly based on the plan you choose. It is great to have access to all the tools because you might not know the type of job your client wants. If you are into print design, a ruler is also an essential item to have.

Make as a Graphic Designer

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Earn? 

You need to consider several factors before determining the amount of money a graphic designer can make. Things like education, experience, specialization, geography, and job settings all determine the income of a graphic designer.

According to research carried out by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the annual salary for a graphic designer is $50,370. Other occupations amount to $38,460 on average. From this, you can see that graphic designer make a respectable living.

On top of that, you should know that there are many advanced options in graphic design that you can work on to boost your earning potential. For instance, application developers, art directors, and animators earn more.

Which is the Highest Paying Industry?

All industries require the services of professional graphic designers. Therefore, you can be sure that there is too much work available. However, each industry has different wages. Some pay way more than others.

For instance, advertising companies and computer system design companies are crowded; hence, wages are low compared to others. Sectors like telecommunications companies, aerospace manufacturers, and scientific research services pay higher to their professional graphic designers.


Do Freelance Designers Make More than Employed Designers?

When it comes to graphic design, you can choose to work for a company or work as a freelance designer. While freelancing comes with many advantages, you must consider other aspects.

For instance, it is your responsibility to have the right tools to do the job. Therefore, you don’t expect your client to pay for them.

Working as a freelance graphic designer gives you more flexibility depending on the sector in which you specialize. You can also choose a job where the earnings are high.

Experience Required for Graphic Designers

Additionally, you have the choice to make your rates while staying competitive. If you choose to be employed, you will get a steady salary and many benefits as well.

Designers can make money in various ways. You can choose to work a few hours a week and then share your designs on different platforms. They include Fiver, Creative Market, and EnvantoMarket, among others. You have plenty of options, so you need to find the right industry and the style you prefer.

What Skills Do I Need to be a Graphic Designer 

If you want to be a graphic designer, assess your skills to improve your skills to match your client’s requirements. The following are some essential skills every graphic designer should possess. 

  • Illustration
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Art direction
  • Typesetting
  • Marketing materials
  • Social media
  • Project management
  • Digital design Packaging
  • Website design


When you have the right skills, graphic design can specialize in a different area. Some of the most common specialization areas include:

  • Application design Information architecture
  • Application design
  • Web design
  • User experience design
  • Animation and motion graphics, among others.

Good Graphic Designer

Qualities of a Good Graphic Designer

Apart from the above technical skills, it is great to have some qualities that define you as a graphic designer. Therefore, if you are seeking a graphic design job, ensure you have these essential qualities. 

  1. Creativity

Creativity goes hand in hand with a graphic designer. You need to come up with creative solutions to different problems. So, graphic designers need to be people who should think outside the box.

  1. Communication

You need to possess strong oral and written communication. This will help you do your work effectively while working with your client and other team members.

It is great to ask inquisitive questions to know the vision and the expectations of your client.

  1. Time Management

As a graphic designer, you might be faced with different jobs that have the same deadline. You need to possess effective time management skills to judge various projects and meet deadlines. This will help you build a successful career.

  1. Research

Learning never stops for graphic designers since there are so many evolving trends. So, if you want your creative designs to meet your client’s requirements, you need to research different strategies.

  1. Analytical

A good graphic designer should be able to view a service or a product analytically. By doing this way, you will be able to tell how your audience will see your work.

Education and Experience Required for Graphic Designers

When employers are looking for a graphic designer, there are several factors that they consider. First, they have to check your level of education as well as your experience. Let’s check these requirements in detail.

  • Education Level

While you can be a self-taught graphic designer, it is great if you have some formal education. According to the BSL reports, a graphic designer should have a Bachelor’s degree in design and other related fields.

In most graphic design job postings, they will require formal education since employers are looking for it.

  • Internship

As a graphic designer, you should also have internship experience. Employers want to see you have conducted yourself well in a professional setting. Additionally, an internship program gives you a good platform to work in real-life work and build your portfolio.

An internship also gives you good networking opportunities. You can get connections and recommendations to help you get a job.

  • Work Experience

Work experience on relevant projects is great since it helps you develop your skills when working. Working on many graphic design projects will help you build your graphic design portfolio.

Try as much as possible to handle different types of graphic design jobs to build your portfolio. If you are versatile enough, then you might get small employers with more work but limited resources to hire a larger team of graphic designers.

Different Ways to Earn as A Graphic Designer

There are so many you can make money as a graphic designer in whichever niche you love. The following are some ways you can earn money as a graphic designer.

  1. Creating and Selling Templates          Highest Paying Industry

This can be a good way to earn passive income as a graphic designer. You can make different types of templates for posters, ebooks, invitations, and much more. After that, you can sell these templates.

After creating your templates and having a template shop, you can make more money doing less as you market your products.

  1. Selling Stickers

With the popularity of TikTok rising, making small stickers is also increasing in popularity. You can make different stickers on Canva or Photoshop and sell them. You can sell your stickers in various places like Society6, Etsy, and RedBubble.

  1. Design Consultant

You can also become a graphic design consultant and make money. You only need to spend some hours giving graphic design ideas and opinions for their businesses. You can set your hourly rate for consultation jobs.

  1. Making Fonts

This is another way in which graphic designers can earn money passively. If you are interested in typography, you can make different fonts you can sell on various websites.

  1. Branding Packages

This is another high-ticket job you can earn as a graphic designer. If you create customized branding packages, then you can sell them and make money. These include color themes, logos, patterns, and fonts, among others.

  1. Selling Printables

Creating and selling printables is another way you can make passive income as a graphic designer. You can make different printables for travelers, students, or anything and sell them in places like Etsy.

Printables are digital products, so you need to create a PDF version once your customers buy it.

  1. Freelancers and Clients

You can choose to work as a freelance graphic designer since there are many opportunities online. Alternatively, you can work with clients if you need different types of jobs to work on.

  1. Social Media Graphics

This is another way you can use your graphic design skills to earn money. People need quality templates for their social media templates. You can create and sell them.


Earn as A Graphic Designer

Where Can I Find Graphic Design Jobs?

Now that you know the different types of jobs for graphic designers, where do you find these jobs? The good thing with graphic design is that you can get many jobs online. I have listed a list of online resources where it is easier to find graphic design jobs. 

  • Upwork

You can create your Upwork profile, set the rates you want, and connect with different clients globally. You can be sure that you will be paid through Upwork because they have a good protection policy. 

  • Fiverr

This is another platform similar to Upwork. However, a freelancer needs to come up with pre-made packages for their services at a set price.

You can come up with different graphic design packages on Fiverr and make money.

  • LinkedIn

You can also get your freelance jobs on this social media platform. Additionally, this platform helps you connect with different business owners who might need your services in the future.

  • Facebook Groups

You can also find many graphic design jobs posted on different Facebook groups. However, it is good to do your research well and ensure you get a legit job posting before considering doing the job.

  • Flexjobs

This is a good website with over 1000 graphic design jobs in different industries. You can select what you have doing and are well-specialized in.

Final Words

How much can I expect to make as a graphic designer? I believe at this point you have the right information. I hope you have the right answers to most of your questions, but there are still more things that you need to learn.

Graphic designers utilize their creativity, expertise, and design software to provide the needed outcomes on client projects. If you are passionate about creating art and can communicate your ideas well, graphic design is right.

Your work might vary in various industries where you can choose to be self-directed or employed. The amount of money you make as a graphic designer yearly will depend on whether you work for a firm or are self-employed.


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