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How Much Do Designers Make?

According to PayScale, the national average for graphic designers in the United State is $40,473 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on your location, experience, and area of specialization.

For example, if you were able to get a graphic design position for the federal government, you could make a salary of $75,570 per year, or $36.33 per hour.

How Freelancers Set Their Rates

For freelance graphic designers, however,it isn’t guaranteed that you will make an annual salary of $40,000. In fact, most designers have to set their own prices. While there isn’t an exact figure on how much you should clients for your work, here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind when establishing your prices.

  • Set your prices at whatever you believe your skills and talent are worth. If you believe that you deserve $75 per hour, and have the experience and skills to back that figure up, then that’s a great starting point. Keep in mind though, that if you set your prices too low in order to attract a potential client, you may come across as an amateur. And, if you set prices too high, clients may look elsewhere for a more affordable option.
  • Create a menu of your services when working on projects that are easier to complete. Look at this menu from UPrinting, for example. There’s a flat charged for designs – $25 for business cards, posters are $100.
  • Create a budget that illustrates how much money you need to earn per month, or per year, to pay all of your expenses. Compare that budget with a desired budget so that you can set prices accordingly. Motiv has a handy calculator that can help you figure out this number.
  • See how much competitors are charging on sites Coroflot’s Design Salary Guide, Upwork or Elance.
  • If unsure on how much to charge for an entire project, use your hourly rate to determine a figure. For example, if you charge $75 per hour and you believe it will take you 5 hours to complete the project, then multiple 75 by 5.
  • Keep track of the time you spent on projects by using time tracking tools, like Due.

Finally, it’s industry norm for designers to offer discounts to recurring clients, friends or family, or anyone who have supported you from the beginning.

It’s an effective way in keeping the relationship between you and your loyal clients strong. And, when it’s time to raise your rates, they shouldn’t have a problem with paying you a little more because you’re proven you’re worth it.

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