Average Design Salary?


New Member
Hi Guys,

I'm trying to find out average salaries for in house and agency roles.

Basically I'm a designer with over 4 years experience (both in house and agency - currently working agency side) and I'm trying to get an idea of what I should be earning now.

I've got good experience working on some big brands and my current role includes being responsible for my own time management and that of freelancers/juniors etc.

I have a feeling i'm being taken for a ride at the minute by my employers and was wondering if anyone has any links to article that might outline this sort of info. I'm also just interested to hear everyone elses thoughts on this...

Hello, Asking the average wage of a designer is a bit like asking the average wage of a tradesman. There are so many variables that it'd be impossible to get an accurate figure.

Really, it boils down to whether you're happy with what you earn in relation to your abilities, experience and level of responsibility. If you're not then you need to be discussing your future with your employer. Do you have annual pay reviews? If not, then perhaps arrange a meeting with your boss and explain that you feel your level of ability and responsibility within the company has increased since your present salary was set and you were wondering if now would be a suitable time for a pay review. Perhaps ask if there are any other duties that you could take on within the company to help justify an increase in wage. If the answer is no thenyou need to decide if its time to move on.
Like Dave says, the number of variables is huge - in a job without regulated pay grades almost everything can be counted as a variable once you advance from minumum wage.

My question to you would be: what makes you feel like you're being taken for a ride? (and I'm assuming your employer would ask the same).

I agree with the above comments. How much you are earning simply comes down to how much money you are making your employer, skills do come into it as you'll obviously be earning them more if you are good at what you do but ultimately this is all it comes down to. Most juniors start on £18K, progress to middleweight on £21K-£24K and then a senior on £26-28K. If you have Developer, Art Director or other creative abilities you can ask a little more in a Creative Director role (add 1/3 - 1/2 on to these salaries for London)
In Liverpool starting salary for a decent design grad could come in around the 16k mark. If we were paying £30k I'd expect either amazing award winning designs or marketing and business development skills too.
Never having worked in an agency, I'm surprised at how little it pays. In my old (in-house) job, we were recruiting artwokers at £28k over three years ago.
Never having worked in an agency, I'm surprised at how little it pays. In my old (in-house) job, we were recruiting artwokers at £28k over three years ago.

Times have changed - even here only 50/60 miles from central London I doubt that you would get that much as a graphic designer - if you could find a job!