Here are 15 of the highest paying graphic design jobs, along with their average salaries and primary job responsibilities: For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link by each job title below:
1. 3D Designer
National average salary: $53,386 per year
Primary duties: A 3D designer creates 3D renderings of images for presentations or to prepare for further planning. This can involve designing 3D images of products that can require a long time frame to produce a prototype, such as vehicles or building structures, to display at presentations or conventions. 3D designers also work on animations and photo-realistic 3D renderings for digital platforms like websites or video games.
National average salary: $57,355 per year
Primary duties: A video game designer creates the visual and interactive effects in a video game. This can include character design, level design and animating background elements like wildlife or foliage. Video game designers also contribute to a game’s storytelling, as they can collaborate with the writing team to create storylines that use each feature of a video game’s design, such as complex character movements or elaborate settings for gameplay.
National average salary: $68,357 per year
Primary duties: An industrial designer helps develop products like vehicles and appliances from their first stages of production. Industrial designers typically have a combined knowledge of art, graphic design, business and engineering, which they use to enhance each step of a product’s design process. An industrial designer can work on a product to improve its visual aspects and usability and appeal to its desired market.
National average salary: $80,397 per year
Primary duties: A design technologist works with both the design team and the development team for a website, application or other digital product. They use knowledge of graphic design paired with knowledge of coding to streamline the development of an application and coordinate functional elements with design elements. Design technologists focus on improving the user experience for a digital product so it can reach maximum efficiency and user satisfaction.
National average salary: $69,810 per year
Primary duties: A visual designer works on creative projects that involve visual art for individual clients or corporations. Visual designers meet with clients to plan design elements of a project and work from creative briefs that detail specific elements they need to include, like a company name or logo. Jobs for visual designers can involve information that’s specific to an industry or market, so having previous experience within the industry where you want to work as a visual designer can benefit you in your job search.
National average salary: $74,702 per year
Primary duties: A creative manager, or creative services manager, meets with clients to plan the design of a campaign for marketing or brand development. After deciding on a basic plan of action, creative managers direct a team of designers to meet production goals and stay within the desired budget. Creative managers typically work with marketing firms, advertising companies or other large, corporate organizations.
7. Art director
National average salary: $75,005 per year
Primary duties: An art director is the person in charge of the visual elements of media projects, like films, television shows and print and digital publications. Their job focuses on aspects of a project that users will see and interact with, like page layouts, embedded imagery and set designs. Some art directors create their own style guides for projects that they then distribute to teams of designers or artists in order to delegate responsibility.
Read more: Learn About Being an Art Director
National average salary: $82,009 per year
Primary duties: A concept artist is a designer who creates the first depiction for a visual design. Concept artists frequently work on video games and help to create in-depth characters and complex landscapes for gameplay. They might also create graphics for websites, applications or logos and can often find work with companies that produce digital products for use over the internet, like magazines or desktop games.
National average salary: $87,995 per year
Primary duties: A senior designer acts as a leader on a graphic design team. Senior designers might still perform some graphic design work, but their primary focus is keeping their design teams on track to reach their project goals. Because of their extensive knowledge of graphic design and experience working as a graphic designer, a senior designer can enhance the appearance of a project and maximize their design team’s productivity.
National average salary: $90,119 per year
Primary duties: An application developer designs and creates applications for computers and mobile devices. They often work on video games or websites to enhance the visual aspects of different applications through writing code. Because the job involves writing code, knowledge of computer programming languages can help an application developer succeed in the field.
11. Digital designer
National average salary: $92,389 per year
Primary duties: A digital designer specializes in creating animation and special effects. They also sometimes operate under the title of multimedia artist and animator. Most digital designers work on projects like films, television shows and video games, as they use computer software to endow illustrations with motion, transforming them into animations.
National average salary: $102,969 per year
Primary duties: A creative director oversees any creative or artistic project that a company undertakes. This can include marketing campaigns, brand development or product design. Many creative directors work at publications, like magazines or publishing companies, to focus on the visual aspects of published pieces, such as cover art, included illustrations and page layout.
National average salary: $109,479 per year
Primary duties: A front-end developer is a web developer who works on the aspects of an application that users interact with, such as images or displayed text. Because they work with the visual elements of web applications, front-end developers often also have experience in graphic design. This allows them to design the appearance of websites and applications considering details like typography, page layout and images or animations.
Read more: Learn About Being a Front End Developer
National average salary: $113,219 per year
Primary duties: A user experience (UX) director leads teams to design and create products that users find easy to access and use. Their primary focus is to give whatever product they’re working on abilities that result in a positive user experience. This can also involve interactive aspects of digital products, like the playable interface of mobile games or the option to click links on a website.
15. Product designer
National average salary: $119,921 per year
Primary duties: A product designer helps create the foundation for the user experience of a product. This can entail making sure that a product looks appealing enough for users to purchase and that it maintains the image throughout the user’s experience with the product. Product designers also consider the usability of products, such as the interactivity of applications on digital platforms.