Graphic designers are a key part of the communication process at most companies. They help create visual elements that effectively convey information and ideas — but their job is more than making pretty pictures.
In this guide, we’ll look at a graphic designer’s salary in Alaska. We’ll also compare salaries in different cities and give tips on how you can earn more.
What Is a Graphic Designer’s Salary in Alaska?
Alaska is the largest state in the United States, covering just over 600,000 square miles with a population of over 730,000 people. If you live in Alaska, you know it’s a different place than most other US states — and there are many differences even within Alaska itself. One thing that’s true for all Alaskans is that it’s cold! In fact, according to the National Weather Service, Anchorage has one of the lowest average temperatures in the world.
This matters because it affects your salary entirely. If you work outdoors or spend a lot of time in cold weather, your pay and benefits may be higher. That’s because employers have to compensate for those extra costs. That being said, there are some industries where Alaska pays more than elsewhere.
Yet, if you work in graphic design, the median hourly wage in Alaska is $24.95 per hour. Therefore, you can expect an average annual salary of $51K annually. That’s about $1,000 more than the national average in the United States.
Graphic designers may earn even higher salaries if they focus on a specific niche like industrial or medical design.
The Highest-Paying Cities for Graphic Designers in Alaska
If you’re a graphic designer, your city location greatly impacts how much money you make. That’s because the cost of living varies by city.
One of the most important factors is where you live. If you live in a major city with many job opportunities and high demand for graphic designers, your salary will be higher. On the other hand, someone who lives in a small town with fewer jobs and less need for graphic designers will make less.
If you’re looking to make a living as a graphic designer in this state, take note of these top-paying cities:
- Bethel: $55,469
- Kodiak: $54,537
- Fairbanks: $51,162
- Juneau: $46,912
- Anchorage: $52,671
- Homer: $53,836
- Knik-Fairview: $52,696
- Wasilla, AK $52,597
- Palmer: $52,481
- College: $51,213
The Top-Paying Jobs for Graphic Designers in Alaska
As a graphic designer, you’ll have many job titles and responsibilities, which can impact your salary in several ways.
For example, if you’re a graphic designer for a larger company, your salary will be higher than if you worked for a smaller company. This is because larger companies tend to pay more for the same job title.
If you’re a graphic designer in an industry with more competition, your salary will be higher than in an industry with less competition. This is because businesses with more competition have to compete for employees by offering higher wages.
If you’re working as a graphic designer in an industry with few opportunities to advance your skill set, your salary will be lower than in an industry with various options. That’s because companies will only want to invest in training new employees if they see that investment paying off in increased productivity or revenue generation.
Here are the top-paying jobs for graphic designers in Alaska, according to Zippia’s data:
- Lead Designer: $106,962
- UX Designer: $89,658
- Interactive Designer: $81,309
- Senior Graphic Designer: $80,172
- Visual Designer: $70, 985
- Web Designer: $68,054
- Mid-level Graphic Designer: $65,827
- Junior Graphic Designer $65,506
- Associate Graphic Designer: $65,246
- Freelance Graphic Designer: $66,398
Can Graphic Designers Make a Comfortable Living in Alaska?
A graphic designer’s salary in Alaska may allow you to make a comfortable living, but it also depends on their skill sets and the state of their industry.
Graphic designers looking to relocate to Alaska should expect to live on a tight budget, as the cost of living is high. In fact, it is approximately 28% higher than the national average and is ranked as the seventh state for the most cost of living.
For basic necessities, such as food and clothing, you can expect to pay 16% higher than normal. Health care and utilities are even more expensive — 53% higher than the nation’s average.
Yet, you should be mindful that The Last Frontier has a thriving economy and plenty of employment opportunities. Graphic designers can easily find work if they know how to network effectively and continue to sharpen their skills.
As a graphic designer, you should be prepared to have at least a bachelor’s degree in design or multimedia studies. They should also have experience with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of programs and be able to demonstrate their proficiency with these products during the interview process.
What Is the Job Outlook for Graphic Designers in Alaska?
Graphic designers are in demand in Alaska because there is a growing need for professionals who can create infographics, presentations, and other visual content. In particular, graphic designers are needed in the Anchorage area because of the large number of companies established there recently. As of this past year, the number of jobs in graphic design increased by 220%, and there are currently 32 job openings available in this location.
Alaska’s construction, mining and oil industries are also growing rapidly. This means they will need more graphic designers to help these companies create marketing materials and branding strategies.
However, graphic designers can work for various companies, including ad agencies, design firms and marketing companies. Some graphic designers even work for themselves, freelancing with clients worldwide through online platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
Because Alaska is so large, graphic designers have many opportunities to specialize in specific types of design, such as print or web design.
Tips for Earning a Higher Salary as a Graphic Designer in Alaska
As a graphic designer in Alaska, you’ll want to get the most money possible for your skills. Here are a few tips for doing just that:
- Stay up to date on industry trends. The more current your knowledge of the market, the more valuable your skills will be.
- Get an education. Having a degree or certification in design or art can make it easier to find work and earn more money.
- Become specialized. Specialization is key when it comes to finding work in the field of graphic design, especially in Alaska. It allows you to focus your skills and help clients with specific needs.
- Grow your network. Networking is one of the best ways to find jobs and learn about upcoming projects before anyone else does. Therefore, reaching out to people who can help you advance your career is best.
- Make sure you’re billing clients appropriately for your work. If you’re billing too low, you might find earning enough income to support yourself challenging. Yet if you bill too high, clients may hesitate to hire you again.
Make a Good Salary as a Graphic Designer in Alaska
The pay for graphic designers in Alaska is comparable to the national average but will vary by employer and location. Remember that the cost of living in this state is high, but those willing to put in the time and effort can still find success. As long as you have the skills and experience required, there will always be demand for your services.
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