The median salary for graphic designers was 45K in 2015 according to the U.S Department of Labor, where-as the median salary for web designers was around 75K .
Money alone is not a good enough reason to make a life decisions like this – but let’s look at why individuals who pursue graphic design alone make less.
Generally delineations of lower pay and higher pay delineate these things:
- Higher paid positions (like web design over graphic design) mean it’s needed more – you have to compete with other employers to higher these people, but you still need them, so you have to pay them more.
- The higher median salary also indicates that people are finding the time it takes to do web design must overall be higher – or the work is more specialized in that either people don’t want to do it, or for whatever reason supply is less than demand.
Supply being less than demand is an interesting tidbit – it means the NEED is greater
So when someone decides to do graphic design instead of adding web design disciplines and study, they are essentially saying either:
- I am really good at graphic design – so I know I will be on the higher end of that salary curve.
- I don’t care if I make less, graphic design is my passion and I find web design hard or boring.
- I don’t care that the NEED is greater – I like what I like.
If you’re the top one – I understand, and hope the best for you. However, if you’re the bottom two and just are avoiding a career because it’s hard or has a learning curve let me assure you:
You’ll find every career hard if you really want to progress
You might as well make it easy on yourself to at least get paid decently and mix-in some web design
Need being greater = you get to be useful to more people
In a way that they appreciate, and will show their appreciation in monetary ways.
This is not for the most brilliant of the brilliant, top 15%
If you like me, know that you will have to work harder than some – the naturally gifted, than perhaps what I’m saying is put yourself in the best segment to succeed. I know that some brilliant designer could read this and think to themselves – but I made a career on print, and I agree people can. I agree also that it was bigger business 10-20 years ago, and I understand that this might be offensive to some who are established in their graphic design careers.
But this really isn’t for them – I’m writing this because I know too many people who pursued graphic design alone and then worked as servers when they would have rather got a design job. I know just as many web designers who were not brilliant but solid that got jobs right out of college and have stayed steadily employed (what’s more, practicing all day) for the past 3 years.
For that I’m grateful – and just want people to know the facts so they can make an informed decision.