3 High-Paying Graphic Design Jobs that Could Be Yours

High Paying Graphic Design Jobs

If you’re considering pursuing your dream of working in the graphic design field, it’s normal to have some questions or concerns. Being in the workforce has taught you to always have a plan, which is why you want to do a little research before making the career change you might be contemplating.

One of your biggest concerns is likely whether or not a typical graphic design salary can support your family. It’s great to chase your dreams, but now that you’ve got bigger responsibilities, it’s important to consider how any career change may impact your financial status.

Take comfort in knowing high-paying graphic design jobs do exist, and they could be yours with the right planning and preparation. We used real-time job analysis software to analyze thousands of graphic design job postings from the past year to find out how each measures up in terms of job duties, education needed and required skills.1

3 Impressive graphic design salaries

There are many stereotypes about graphic designers that might lead you to believe they don’t make much money. It’s true that some in this creative career may choose to wear a wrinkled T-shirt paired with worn jeans and sneakers, but this doesn’t necessarily reflect their earnings.

Below you’ll find three unique graphic design careers that offer sizeable salaries. Check out the earning potential for each position, get a taste of the responsibilities of each job and learn what it takes to land these high-paying graphic design jobs.

1. Multimedia artist and animator: $63,970/year2

Multimedia artists and animators create animation and special effects for movies, television, video games and other forms of media. They breathe life into ideas by writing code and using computer software. These workers often have the option of being self-employed, or they may work for an agency or television or film studio.

Job postings within the last year: 10,4171

Education: Our analysis indicated that 86 percent of employers require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree or higher. A good portfolio of work and strong technical skills are also valued. Some employers provide on-the-job training for workers who need to learn a specific software and computer applications. Luckily, with the proper knowledge and skills you can enter this field relatively quickly.

Technical skills needed:

Transferrable skills needed:

Adobe Creative Suite



Communication skills

User interface (UI) design

Team work/collaboration

Takeaway: If you’re a creative individual who is also software savvy, you are a great candidate for a multimedia artist or animation position!

2. Web developer: $64,970/year2

Web developers create and design websites using scripting and programming languages such as Java, C++ or PHP. They are responsible for maintaining and tracking several aspects of a website, such as its performance, capacity, speed and traffic. These professionals decide which applications and designs best fit specific websites depending on the client’s needs.

Job postings within the last year: 231,0701

Education: Our analysis showed that 95 percent of job postings required candidates to have at least an associate degree. Programming and design knowledge are equally important in this position. Most web developers have either a web design degree or a web programming degree. A love of learning is essential since new technologies and programming languages are continuously emerging.

Technical skills needed:

Transferrable skills needed:


Team work/collaboration


Problem solving



Takeaway: If you consider yourself analytical and are equipped with strong technical skills, you are a perfect fit for a position in web development!

3. Art director: $89,760/year2

Art directors work for magazines, newspapers or various agencies to manage the overall aesthetic direction of a project. They generally supervise teams of design professionals to ensure budgets are kept, deadlines are met and the artistic vision of the client is achieved. Art directors are also responsible for reviewing and approving all creative materials before they are presented to a client.

Job postings within the last year: 7,5081

Education: Our analysis revealed that 93 percent of job postings required candidates to have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The most common option is a degree in graphic design. In a prestigious leadership position like this, some employers also call for a Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA) or a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA). Most individuals work five or more years as graphic designers, illustrators or copy editors before climbing the corporate ladder to the role of art director.

Technical skills needed:

Transferrable skills needed:

Adobe Creative Suite

Creative problem solving


Communication skills

Project management


Takeaway: If you are passionate about design but also have outstanding leadership and project management skills, you may be perfectly suited to be an art director!

Don’t wait to start your high-earning creative career

You’ll notice that these three careers are very different. This just goes to show that there are high-paying graphic design jobs for designers of all kinds. Now you can use this information to decide which graphic design career is best aligned with your skills, interests and career aspirations.

It’s time to take the next step and explore the graphic design degree options that can help you acquire the knowledge and skills to launch your career. The sooner you decide, the sooner you could start earning one of these impressive graphic design salaries!

1BurningGlass.com (analysis of graphic design job postings, Jul. 01, 2015 – Jun. 30, 2016.)

2Median annual salaries, education and training came from the U.S. Department of Labor. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in December 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2016.



This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Jennifer is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about learning and higher education and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

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