Graphic Designer Salary in Maine

Posted on May 3, 2023 | Updated on May 3, 2023

Maine is the most northeastern state in the continental U.S. It’s filled with mountains, wild blueberries and rocky coasts teaming with fresh seafood of all types. It’s known for Acadia National Park, being part of the Appalachian Trail and quaint lighthouses along the beaches. A graphic designer salary in Maine is an interesting mix for the east coast. 

It can get very cold in the winters in Maine, so when choosing whether you want to live and work in the state, consider your ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Even though the cost of living in Maine is a bit higher than southern states or the Midwest, it has one of the lowest costs along the eastern seaboard. 

If you love the great outdoors and can eat fresh lobster with the best of them, then Maine is a good location for you. 

How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Maine?

Graphic designers in the United States make about $50,710 per year, or around $24.38 per hour. As a career, design can pay less than some other options. You can up your pay by adding specialty areas, such as user experience (UX) knowledge or add in web design and other areas that pay a bit more. You can also pick up side gigs if you like to stay busy.

According to Indeed, the average graphic designer salary in Maine is $23.05 per hour, which equals $62,167 per year. Some of the highest paying cities for graphic designers include New York City at $62.318 per year and Los Angeles at $64,359 annually. 

Although the pay rate in Maine is excellent for this career, the cost of living in the state is also a bit higher than other parts of the country. Consider doing freelance work if you want to control your own salary and grow faster than you would in a nine to five job. 

While you’ll make a decent wage in the Pine Tree State, but you’ll also pay a premium for housing and other expenses. Your best bet is to get slightly away from the ocean to reduce living expenses. You can still drive to the coasts and enjoy the seaside treasures Maine offers. 

Average Cost of Living in Maine

SoFi reports the average cost of living in Maine is just over $50k per year. Out of the five neighboring states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont, Maine has the lowest cost of living in the area. It’s clearly much cheaper to live there than one of the larger cities like New York or Los Angeles. 

Housing and utilities come in at around $8,760 annually, food around $4,499 and gas and energy at $1,580. Plan on $4,213 per month for a single person. Housing runs anywhere from $673 to $1,398 a month, with a median mortgage of $1,471. 

Finding affordable housing can be a bit difficult. The cost of homes rose over the last few years, although the real estate market nationwide is now evening out thanks to higher interest rates. However, the issue some people run into when house hunting in Maine is that there is a lack of available properties to purchase. Some examples of home prices include: 

  • Portland $447,810 
  • Lewiston $273,323 

Where you choose to buy has a huge impact on how much you’ll pay for an average home. When a company offers you an employee compensation package, crunch all the numbers to see if you’ll be able to afford to live in a nice location in the area you’re planning to work. 

Factor in other things such as whether they allow you to work from home some of the time and save money on clothes, lunches out and commuting costs.

How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Maine–Portland?

One of the more expensive places to live in Maine is Portland. However, many people choose to set down roots here because of the town’s frequent mention in best places to live in the United States. It has appeared on Pods, U.S. News and World Report and in many smaller publications as a top contender thanks to its small town New England vibe with a lot to offer in the way of shops, restaurants and activities. 

Portland is one of the largest cities in Maine. You’ll find cobblestone streets from days gone by and ships off the Casco Bay. You’ll enjoy art, culture and fresh seafood. Locals call the area the “Peninsula.” Around 536,314 people call the city home, although the number varies as it’s a city on the move. You can buy your own place here for around $310,300. The median age is 43.7 years old. 

Glassdoor lists around 14 graphic designer jobs for the whole state. Several are in the Portland area. The salary ranges from $41,000 to $82,000 per year. One mid-level position lists a possible salary range between $48,000 and $52,000. Another goes up to $61,000. On the other hand, moving into management can bring in quite a bit higher salary, with one job listing the range up to $100,000 per year. 

There aren’t a lot of comparables to living in Maine. The state has a very unique vibe and offerings. However, pricing wise, midwestern Indiana graphic designers make around the same amount with housing costs in a similar category. The states are just quite different from one another and not likely to attract the same types of people as residents. 

There do seem to be very few positions at any given time for the state. Seeking outside, remote jobs might be more conducive to the highest salary possible and more opportunities. You can always take something fully remote while you’re looking for a local position, too. 

How Much Is Graphic Designer Salary in Lewiston, Maine?

Because of the lower housing costs, we looked at Lewiston, Maine as a possible place to live and work. While we didn’t find anything directly in Lewiston, Auburn is a mere 10-minute drive to the west across the Androscoggin River. Positions seemed to be on the higher end of average in this area, giving you more flexibility on where to work and some disposable income.  

However, the severe limitation of available positions may make it much more competitive to land a job. As with many locations, consider starting your own business or working remotely for the widest available opportunities. 

The area is home to a number of fun festivals and has shops, restaurants and activities along the riverfront, making it a pleasant place to work and live. 

Should You Move to Maine?

The Pine Tree State is quite beautiful, especially in the spring and summer. In the fall, the leaves turn gorgeous colors, although not quite on par with Vermont and some of the other eastern states. Winters can be harsh, so be prepared to brave the cold for several months a year and deal with plenty of snow. 

Overall, the state has a slower paced vibe than other parts of New England. It’s a great place to raise a family and kick off your graphic design career. 


  • Affordable housing 
  • Lower cost of living than other areas in New England 
  • Coastal activities, drives and views 
  • Fresh food and excellent local cuisine
  • Low crime rates 
  • Natural beauty


  • Extreme weather (brutal winters)
  • Lack of available jobs
  • Very rural in many areas
  • Older population 
  • Things close early

Summers are some of the most pleasant in the country and are very mild, more than making up for the harsher winters. Maine sits right up at the northern tip of the country, so is sometimes overlooked as a smaller distant state. However, it has its own personality and those who have visited or live there tend to love the location.

Even though job opportunities are scarce in most areas in Maine, you can always open your own design agency or seek out remote opportunities. It’s definitely a location worth looking at because of the higher graphic designer salary in Maine and what the state offers to those who enjoy a slower pace of life.

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.

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