Connecticut is a smaller but gorgeous southern New England state that experiences all four seasons. It’s a mix of coastal getaways and small rural towns. Visitors to the state often come to see the gorgeous fall foliage or visit Yale University. It’s also filled with delicious eats and cultural events. Students thinking or living there often wonder what is a graphic designer salary in Connecticut and is it worth it to move.
Some of the larger companies in the state include Hartford Financial Services, Cigna, Frontier Communications and Charter Communications. However, you can also easily commute to New York from areas of the state, opening up even more possibilities for graphic design work.
Whether you want to live on the Atlantic Ocean or prefer the rolling hills inland, Connecticut offers multiple terrains and everything from larger cities to tiny communities. While the cost of living is naturally higher than in places such as Indiana, Alabama or Kentucky, you’ll also gain access to the coast and some of America’s largest cities.
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Connecticut?
Payscale estimates the national average for a senior graphic designer is $65,548 per year. Typical salaries vary, depending on what area of the country you’re in. Keep in mind, too, that some places have a lower cost of living, so a lower salary might go further than in a location where rent and food costs are higher.
Pay in the state is on par with higher rates along the eastern seaboard of the United States. You can expect a livable wage even at an entry level. The one caveat is intern-type positions, where you may struggle to make ends meet and still live in a desirable area.
Glassdoor estimates a graphic designer salary in Connecticut is about $45,255 per year on average, with $67,000 being more on par for senior designers. How much one can earn depends upon whether you’re at entry level or experienced in the industry. You can also expect higher pay in some cities than others.
The top three largest cities by population in the state are still fairly small by some standards. Bridgeport takes the top spot with approximately 148,529 residents. Stamford boasts 134,820 citizens. New Haven comes in a close third with 133,874 people.
Average Cost of Living in Connecticut
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculated the living wage rate for Connecticut and found the rate for a working adult with no children to support themselves in the state was approximately $17.76 an hour.
The Connecticut government website claims residents have the highest personal income in the United States but more affordable housing costs in the northeast. However, they’re comparing rates to Boston and New York, where residents often earn more hourly.
Various experts point to an excellent education system and access to public transportation as some of the perks of living in the state.
Proximity to New York City (NYC) means you can live in Connecticut and enjoy all the advantages the state offers, while taking the train into NYC and earning top wages. A median salary for a graphic designer in New York is $63,770, which is a bit more than the average graphic designer salary in Connecticut.
Higher salaries help offset the higher costs of living in the New England area. Access to work in NYC is also a nice perk offering additional opportunities people might not have in other areas of the country. Although a graphic designer salary in Connecticut is slightly lower than people make in larger cities, the ability to take the train and commute ramps up earning potential and the possibility of hybrid-remote work.
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Connecticut–New Haven?
Even though Bridgeford is the largest city by population, our search of several job listing sites turned up zero open positions for graphic designers. We did locate some opportunities in New Haven. Since the state features many rural, small towns, job seekers should hunt for a position across the state when job hunting.
Salaries on Indeed range from $33,000 to $77,000 depending on skills and organization. You can also turn to nearby locations such as Woodbridge, Branford and North Haven. The town’s proximity to Yale means you could find a position at a higher education institution or for a business supporting the university.
A graphic designer salary in Connecticut can vary greatly, depending on your experience. You’d be wise to build some unique, in-demand skills before seeking employment. Because there are only a handful of listings at any given time, you’ll want to ensure you’re as competitive as possible before applying.
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Stamford, Connecticut?
We decided to include Stamford because it is within a 50 mile radius of New York City, expanding your possibilities for earning a decent graphic designer salary in Connecticut and opening up a world of support positions for artistic types.
A search on Robert Half doesn’t currently turn up any positions within Stamford but within a 50-mile radius, you’ll find Yonkers, New York at around $55,000 per year, Whippany, New Jersey for contract work and a graphic designer for packaging and web in NYC for about $76.20 per hour.
Should You Move to Connecticut?
Connecticut is a breathtakingly beautiful state. You’ll experience urban skyscrapers, gently rolling hills with forests, beaches and beautiful historic villages filled with colonial era churches. Spend time perusing museums and visiting Long Island Sound. Check out Yale University and soak in the college-town atmosphere of New Haven.
While a graphic designer salary in Connecticut might not be quite enough to offset the higher cost of living, you can still find little towns where housing isn’t quite as much as in the larger cities.
If you have family on the eastern seaboard, Connecticut can serve as an excellent central location. You can be closer to family while also having proximity to NYC, Boston and the availability of work that comes with larger cities but the distance from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living.
As with nearly any state you can imagine, living and working as a graphic designer has its benefits and disadvantages.
- Excellent school systems
- Lower housing costs than New York
- Low crime rates
- Outdoor recreation
- Experience all four seasons
- Tight job market
- High tax rate
- Everything is more expensive than the midwest or south
- Cold winter weather
- Poor road conditions
What you make as a graphic designer in Connecticut may not cover the increased costs. Many find they either have a comfortable living or struggle to make ends meet. Long hours and taking on additional tasks to bring in more income are common and work/life balance may be lacking.
Why Choose Connecticut Over New York?
If you can work and commute to New York, are there advantages to living in CT instead? While the cost of living is higher than some places, Connecticut still has lower rent and fees than New York.
If you enjoy a more intimate community, the state is only 70 miles long and 110 miles wide. The unique mix of arts, culture, thriving industries and education make CT a state unlike any other in the country. If you still aren’t convinced to seek a job there, spend a little time visiting and you’ll likely fall in love with at least one of the smaller towns in the area.