Graphic Designer Salary and Career Outlook

The median graphic designer salary in the United States is $40,666 while in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand the salary is in the $40,000s in their currency. Graphic designers in the United Kingdom will earn E21,486 ($23,438) while the salary in India is Rs 239,712 and in South Africa it is R118,423.

Can any creative person become a graphic designer and work anywhere in the globe? Are their skills valued the same regardless of country? Learn how location, experience, and industry impact the salary. The job outlook for these professionals is also summarized.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make per Year by Country?

Graphic Designer Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $15.00 C$18.00 ($13.46) E10.00 ($10.91) AU$24.00 ($18.35) NZ$21.00 ($15.02) Rs 350 ($5.23) R152.00 ($10.94)
Annual Pay $40,666 C$41,017 ($30,663) E21,486 ($23,438) AU$49,050 ($37,496) NZ$46,427 ($33,202) Rs 239,812 ($23,812) R118,423 ($8,520)

Graphic Designer Salary Influencing Factors

Graphic designers across the world are responsible for many of the captivating messages that are seen in print and digital form. Their salaries are impacted heavily by location, somewhat by experience, and less so by skills. Payscale has provided a snapshot of the overall graphic designer salary and major factors that impact pay.

1. Location

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in the US?

Graphic designers in the United States make between $10.79 and $28.58 an hour. They can earn tips up to $12.88 an hour and overtime between $15.27 to $35.87 dollars. Their annual base salary is $29,687 to $59,211 dollars. These professionals receive a bonus up to $3,982, profit sharing between $251 and $5,159 and commission between $481 and $7,213. Their total annual salary ranges from $26,284 to $60,014 dollars.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in Canada?

The graphic design hourly wage in Canada is C$13.19 to C$30.49 dollars. For overtime hours worked these individuals can expect to earn C$14.19 to C$44.96. Annually, their salary is C$30,849 to C$55,289. A yearly bonus of up to C$3,127, commission of C$850 and profit share of C$101 to C$3,020 is expected. The total salary is C$29,853 to C$57,459.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in the UK?

The expected salary for a graphic designer (graphic designer salary) in the United Kingdom is between E15,656 to E29,700. Profit sharing for the year can be anywhere from E146.77 to E4,066. Fortunate graphic designers can earn a bonus up to E2,311 and a commission of E500. The hourly rate that equates to that salary range is E6.60 to E20.38. Total take home pay of E15,447 to E31,896 is possible.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in Australia?

The graphic designer salary in Australia ranges between AU$37,442 and AU$65,150 dollars. These professionals can get a bonus of up to AU$3,516 and profit sharing of AU$1,179. Their salary broken down to an hourly rate is AU$18.53 to AU$40.42. Those ranges are for the 10th to 90th percentile of graphic designers. An overtime wage of up to AU$52.08 is earned. The total income for these professionals is AU$37,894 to AU$69,418 dollars.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in New Zealand?

Graphic designers in New Zealand make NZ$15.48 for the 10th percentile and NZ$35.00 for the 90th percentile of earners. Their typical overtime rate is NZ$44.70. Not all graphic designers earn a bonus or get a share of the profits but a bonus of NZ$3,775 and profit share of NZ$1,250 may be seen. The per annum salary for these professionals is NZ$35,292 to NZ$64,079 dollars.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in India?

People who are graphic designers in India will make between Rs. 77.28 and Rs 1,762 an hour. If they work overtime their hourly rate is Rs 28.91 to Rs 1,039. The annual salary is Rs 116,553 to Rs 497,655. The bonus is small at up to Rs 51,094 while profit sharing can be more significant as it ranges from Rs 14.99 to R 202,767. The sum of all of these factors equals a total pay of Rs 117,213 to Rs 528,748.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in South Africa?

Graphic designers in South Africa will earn an hourly rate of R32.43 to R353.47 and an overtime rate up to R322.15. This is the only country where graphic designers can receive a tip. Their tips equal an hourly rate of R31.25. The bonus is up to R15,084, the commission is R27,000 and profit sharing is anywhere from R61,482 to R281,698. Annually, graphic designers in South Africa make anywhere from R61,482 to R281,698.

2. Experience

While all entry-level graphic designers earned a similar amount below the median of their respective country, there were significant differences in pay raises based on experience. The United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom all experience increases up to 23% for late career graphic designers. Graphic designers in India reach the peak of their salary when they have gained 10-20 years of experience as their income increases by 60%. Late career graphic designers in India only make 23% more than the median. In South Africa there is a consistent trajectory upwards where these professionals with more than 20 years of experience earn 141% more than the median.

3. Industry

Regardless of industry, there are skills of graphic designers that are valued more certain countries than others. Adobe after effects is valued in the United States and Canada. Other skills valued in the United States are web design and project management. Australian graphic designers will receive higher pay if they are knowledgeable in video editing, user interface design, and Adobe Acrobat. In addition to Adobe after effect, Adobe-in-design is valued in Canada. In the United Kingdom and India, graphic designers who are also knowledgeable in web design and CSS are valued. New Zealand and India reward skills in illustration while graphic designers in United Kingdom, are not rewarded for knowing Dreamweaver.

Schedule & Working Hours

Graphic designer careers are project-based job regardless of country. The nature of the job drives working hours more than the specific country the graphic designer is working from. In addition, graphic designers could be located in one country but work for a company or client in another country. Graphic designers often work extra hours, especially when a project or multiple projects are due. While some graphic designers receive overtime for these extra hours, this is industry specific.

Bonuses & Benefits

A large perk of the job of graphic designers is that they have flexibility in where they work and some creative authority over the work they produce. Freelance graphic designers will typically not receive benefits through their clients where graphic designers who work for companies will be more likely to earn benefits like life insurance and paid vacation. The table below shows the percentage of graphic designers in each country who get medical benefits.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 68 66 17 4 11 39 23
Dental 52 60 6 1 2 2 2
Vision 39 42 15 1 4 3 2

Career Outlook

Overall, in the United States there will be no change in employment for graphic designers. What will change is the industry they work in and what artifacts they produce. Print media are expected to decrease by 35% while computer systems graphic designers are expected to increase their employment by 21%. Regardless of country, quality graphic designers will be in-demand.
There are areas in each country that pay higher than average. These can be seen in the bulleted list below.

  • US: San Francisco, New York, Washington, Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles Australia: Hobart
  • Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver
  • New Zealand: Christchurch, wellington
  • United Kingdom: London and Nottingham
  • India: Gurgoan (49%) Bangalore, New Dehli
  • South Africa: Johannesburg, Pretoria. Areas in South Africa with negative growth are Bloemfontein, Randburg, Centurion, Port Elisabeth, Somerset West


A graphic designer career is a rewarding profession for artistic individuals. In the digital age, computer skills are also very valued for graphic designers. These professionals get to work on many interesting projects, but with these projects come long hours and work that does not end at the end of the working day.

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