Bordered by Tennessee to the north and Florida to the south, Georgia also sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the home state of former President Jimmy Carter, for amazing peaches, pralines and peanuts, the state is warm nearly year round. A graphic designer salary in Georgia is going to be comparable to most middle-southern states in the country.
Maybe you’ve spent a lot of time looking at job postings and noticed how salaries are all over the place. How can you know what’s fair and livable and what to walk away from?
Here at Designerly, we love to dig into the research and find answers to your most pressing questions. We looked at sites such as Monster, Indeed and Salary.com. We combined that with what we already know about typical salaries for graphic designers. The result is a rundown of what you can expect should you choose to become a graphic designer in Georgia.
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Georgia?
Zippia estimates an average salary for graphic designers in Georgia runs about $38,646 per year, with an entry level range of about $28,000 annually. The upper 10% make as much as $53,000 per year.
Pay fluctuates based on location and level of experience. If you have specialized skills, expect to make more. If you just graduated and have little experience, you’ll make less.
A graphic designer salary in Georgia is a bit below national averages. The medium range for designers in the United States is $50,710 per year. The cost of living in Georgia can be reasonable, but it isn’t low enough to warrant the lower wages seen on various job hunting sites.
Average Cost of Living in Georgia
The cost of living in Georgia is $38,165 per year, with average housing costs between $885 and $1,417 per month. Cost of living (COL) is comparable to states such as Missouri and Indiana. By comparison, Indiana ranks eighth for lowest costs, Missouri ranks sixth and Georgia ranks fifth.
You’ll find things such as eggs, milk and bread are cheaper in the grocery stores. You may pay a little less when going out to eat or filling up your gas tank. Housing costs tend to be a bit lower in some areas, but if you move to a big city, such as Atlanta, you’ll get hit with higher expenses.
Even with a lower cost of living, you may struggle to make ends meet when receiving a beginner’s graphic designer salary in Georgia. The Georgia Sun recently reported the COL is 11.2% lower than the rest of the nation, with prices not rising as rapidly from inflation as other areas. However, money only stretches so far and housing costs are rising in nearly every city in America.
How Much Is an Average Graphic Designer Salary in Georgia–Atlanta
The capital of the great state of Georgia is Atlanta, with a population around six million people–the eighth largest in the country. The airport serves as a hub for numerous airlines, shuffling passengers through terminals and on to other destinations in the north, south, east and west. Big brands include Delta, CNN and Coca-Cola.
Keep in mind that the COL in Atlanta, Georgia is higher than the state average and likely more than the national average. Make sure any job offers are commensurate with the higher costs of living in the metro area.
Georgia neighbors Alabama and has a similar wage and cost of living structure. The lower end of wages for Alabama is around $48,128 a year, making it slightly better paying than Georgia.
However, you’ll find many specialized positions that pay a bit more. Adding some unique skills to your resume may pay off. For example, Coca-Cola lists a position for an Educational Production Designer with an estimated salary package of between $85,000 and $108,000 per year. The higher wages for some positions help cover the added costs of living in Atlanta.
On the other hand, a listing for an Associate Graphic Designer for a nonprofit pays around $39,000 to $50,000 a year. Available positions and pay rates vary from week to week. These numbers serve as a ballpark estimate of what you can expect when job hunting in Atlanta.
Pay close attention to any added bonuses that might sweeten the deal, such as the ability to work remotely or companies that cover moving costs.
How Much Do Graphic Designers Make in Savannah, Georgia?
Teaming with history, the city of Savannah offers a plush oasis of beautiful park areas down every block. No matter where you walk, you’ll step over the resting place of former slaves and soldiers. Ghost tours and stories of weird happenings abound in the town.
You’ll find delicious seafood, unique boutiques and good southern hospitality. The city has a huge tourist industry, so finding work with a company catering to visitors might be your best bet. At the same time, you’ll find other positions with companies such as Edwards Interiors and Vineyards Management Group. Glassdoor estimates graphic designers in Savannah make between $32,000 and $64,000 per year.
There are fewer positions listed than for Atlanta and some other cities in Georgia. Perhaps work the pavement and make network connections to find open jobs not publicly listed.
Should You Move to Georgia?
Do you love sweet tea but hate heat? There are many pros and cons to living in the south. Here are a few to consider.
- Lower cost of living
- Historical homes
- Mild winters
- Lower property taxes
- Friendly people
If you’ve been through Georgia, you’ll recognize the slow, southern drawl of those who are from there. The pace is slower and more friendly than in other places.
- Muggy summers
- Tons of insects
- Low pay compared to national averages
- Atlanta’s traffic bottlenecks are legendary
- Dangers from snakes and alligators
Living in the deep south is like visiting another planet. You’ll have to adjust to a different climate, pace and dangers you might not have in northern or western states.
Although there are a few negatives, those who move to the area tend to stay long-term. The scenery is beautiful, the people are helpful and kind and you won’t have to deal with ice and snow.
How to Be Happy as a Peach in Georgia
Georgia has everything from swamps to mountains to marshes to flat areas. You can find tiny towns and big cities. Visit Radium Springs for natural hot springs or walk down the cobbled streets of Savannah. No matter where you go, you’ll be surrounded by a southern drawl and a slower pace.
Georgia is known as the peach state and you can be as happy as one there if you take the time to learn the heartbeat of the place. Whether you land a job making more than you expected or less, you’ll love the warm weather and beautiful features of the state.
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About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.