The beautiful and interesting state of Louisiana tends to draw people in. From busy cities to quiet bayous, the place seems to have something for everyone. Stately old mansions scatter the countryside, while attractions such as Mardi Gras draw tourists and drive the economy in many areas. A graphic designer salary in Louisiana is on par with the cost of living and housing costs for the state.
Louisiana is the southernmost state on the Gulf of Mexico. The land is flat with great rivers such as the Mississippi and the 402,800 acre Lake Pontchartrain. It rarely gets extremely cold in Louisiana but you will have to contend with crocodiles and alligators, snakes, bugs and humidity. In the winter, residents enjoy milder temperatures than states to the north.
Those who love the state wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It has a sort of underlying voodoo beat and old world charm that gets into your soul and makes you want to stay.
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Louisiana?
The national average pay for graphic designers in the United States is $24.38 per hour, or around $50,710 per year. Some people start at a much lower rate and others make more. The industry is only growing at a 3% rate per year, making it a bit slower than some other industries. However, it is still growing and thriving in nearly every industry.
Indeed estimates the average base salary in the state is only $16.66 per hour, which is about 19% less than the national average. The high hits around $26.57 per hour. Louisiana may be one of those places where you’re much better off seeking a remote position located in another state. You’ll likely make a salary commensurate with what people make in the home state of the company you work for.
Another option is to seek freelance work and set your own rates with clients willing to pay for your expertise. The more you can specialize and develop related skills, such as SEO design or user experience (UX) design, the higher wages you can command.
You can certainly make more in other states but you must also consider the cost of goods and services in the Pelican State.
Average Cost of Living in Louisiana
Although the typical graphic designer salary in Louisiana is lower than the national average, the cost of living in the state is attractive to newcomers. RentCafe reports it is 8% lower than national averages with housing 16% lower, which makes up for the difference in wages. Even utilities and food come in a bit lower. While this is true for most of the state, it isn’t necessarily true of all locations.
Expenses vary, depending on where you live in the state. New Orleans is the highest place to reside, with 21% higher costs than the state average. Hammond is the city with the cheapest costs. There are many viable alternatives other than New Orleans if you wish to live in the state but not be too rural, such as Baton Rouge, with only a 6% higher than state average cost or Shreveport with 2% higher costs.
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Louisiana–New Orleans?
One of the best places to start when looking at an average graphic designer salary in Louisiana is one of the biggest and best known port cities in the world–New Orleans. Filled with history from the early founding of America and set on a French-Creole basis, the city has dark and light to draw people in.
When visiting, you might see a passing funeral procession complete with drums, marching bands and revelry. On the other hand, there is a beautiful cathedral smack in the middle of all the street musicians and revelry of the town. People hop along the stops on Bourbon street, while visitors go on a walking ghost tour of the town or local cemeteries.
Glassdoor lists 16 graphic designer jobs in the city. The roles run the gamut from entry level to experienced designers. Salary range goes from $33,000 to $57,000 per year, which is on par with the averages for the state.
The main problem we see with working on a graphic designer salary in New Orleans, Louisiana, is that the rate matches the state average but the cost to live in the area is much higher than other places. There also aren’t a lot of options for such a populated area. You’ll be limited in the selections available and may have to take a salary you aren’t happy with to pay bills.
You may find more opportunities for promotion in a larger city as you gain experience, so that is something to keep in mind. You could always live in Louisiana for a few years and then move on to a higher wage area of the country.
How Much Is Graphic Designer Salary in Shreveport, Louisiana?
Next, we turned to Shreveport, Louisiana for a look at how much graphic designers make. Located in the northwestern portion of the state, Shreveport sits on the Red River. It’s the third most populated city in the state, with museums and casinos dotting the landscape.
Interestingly, the day we searched there were only three positions listed but the salary hit on the higher end of the $50k a year range, similar to places such as Alabama and other southern states. Since the cost of living is much lower in Shreveport and its sister city Bossier City, taking a position that pays a bit more in an area with lower costs makes more sense.
Shreveport still has plenty to offer anyone wanting a thriving town to keep them engaged. And, New Orleans is a mere five-hour drive, allowing you to still experience the fun of the unique city without living in the higher housing cost area.
Should You Move to Louisiana?
There are many reasons to move to Louisiana, but the state isn’t for everyone. Knowing what to expect can help you decide if taking a position as a graphic designer in the Pelican State.
- Low cost of living
- Beautiful outdoors and plenty of activities
- Slower paced southern lifestyle
- Close to the ocean
- Mardi Gras!
- Historical homes and landmarks
- Extreme weather (very hot and humid in the summer)
- Alligators, crocodiles and snakes galore
- Poverty in some areas
- Lower wages
- High crime rate
- And, because it can be a pro or a con, depending on your outlook, a slower southern paced lifestyle
In the summer, you might wonder if you’re going to melt away. Lemonade and sweet tea are more than drinks, but a way of life. However, in the winter, you’ll enjoy warm weather and no snow days. Keep in mind that you can live anywhere and work as a freelancer, with an average salary between $29,000 and $65,000 per year.
Should You Accept a Graphic Designer Salary in Louisiana?
Only you can decide if you can make it on the salary offered. Do a bit of home shopping on sites such as Zillow or Realtor.com. Figure out whether you want to make the move from your current location to a new state. If the answer is yes and you love the culture in the state, Louisiana is a unique and culturally varied place to live.
You can always increase your salary by adding skills or taking on clients outside of the state. Don’t let a few dollars difference stop you from living where you want to live.
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.