Graphic design is a challenging yet rewarding career. It offers creative minds a canvas to bring visions to life. However, designers may consider which places to go to that give them the most fulfilling opportunities. One such state may be in the heart of America — Minnesota. Yet, what is a graphic designer’s salary in Minnesota, and would it be a great place for designers to live and work? Knowing this information is crucial before you decide to relocate.
What Is the Market Like for Graphic Designers in Minnesota?
As a graphic designer, you may reside in Minnesota or are looking to relocate to this state. When considering a career in graphic design in this part of the U.S., it’s important to know whether working in Minnesota would be a good fit for you. Otherwise, other states with better economic conditions and employment opportunities may give you a higher graphic designer salary than in Minnesota.
For graphic designers in Minnesota, the good news is that the market is fairing well. Many companies are actively hiring graphic designers, so these professionals are in high demand. According to data we’ve found on job boards — like Zip Recruiter — there are approximately 193 job postings for graphic designers in Minnesota. 17% of the jobs have wages fall between $17.96 and $20.87.
Some of the top industries that are hiring graphic designers in Minnesota include:
- Advertising and public relations: Agencies in this industry always need graphic designers to create visuals for marketing and PR campaigns.
- Manufacturing: Companies in this industry use graphic designers to design certain aspects of products and packaging.
- Education: This sector hires graphic designers to design websites, promotions and educational content.
- Human resources: The HR department will use graphic designers to create onboarding and training materials, social media graphics and corporate branding and culture.
- Retail: Businesses in this sector need graphic designers to create graphics for promotions and websites.
According to Glassdoor’s data, these industries are hiring graphic designers with a starting salary ranging from $49,742 to $59,526.
What Is the Graphic Designer Salary in Minnesota?
The average salary for graphic designers in Minnesota is approximately $64,880, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. This figure is notably higher than the national average, which stands at $50,710 annually.
However, a graphic designer’s salary in Minnesota depends on several factors. These include your experience, education level and specialization and the employer or industry you’re working in. For instance, a designer with a decade of experience may have a higher salary than a recent graduate. Or, you could work for a prominent marketing agency making $60,000 a year — whereas a graduate may start at $38,000. Therefore, your salary varies, depending on various factors. It also matters what city you live in within Minnesota.
Consider some of the top-paying cities in Minnesota for graphic designers:
- Saint Paul, MN: $26.21 per hour
- Plymouth, MN: $24.13 per hour
- Eden Prairie, MN: $22.82
- Minneapolis, MN: $22.65
- Bloomington, MN: $20.25
- Rochester, MN: $19.35
- Saint Cloud, MN: $18.61
- Wayzata, MN: $17.48
- Duluth, MN: $16.58
As you can see, a graphic designer’s salary in Minnesota can be a $10 an hour difference, depending on the city. Knowing this information is crucial, as you’ll need enough income to live comfortably. Yet, be mindful that graphic designers in a higher-paying city may also have higher living expenses.
The good news is that if you were to work in Saint Paul as a designer, the cost of living in this city is 2% lower than the national average. Housing is also 10% below the national average, while groceries are 7% below. With this data, Saint Paul is a viable option for graphic designers to live and work.
The Career Outlook for Graphic Designers in Minnesota
Will graphic designers in Minnesota be in demand in the future? This information is also crucial to understand if you’re ready to decide to live in this state and stay on this career path.
As of 2020, Minnesota employs 6,460 graphic designers, according to data from O Net Online.
However, a slight contraction in this field is expected, with a projected decline of one percent over the next decade. This brings the number of designers down to 6,430 by 2030. Compared to the U.S., the national trend for graphic design careers is on an upward trajectory, with an expected growth of three percent from 2021 to 2031.
While the data suggests a marginally decreasing demand for graphic designers in Minnesota, this shouldn’t discourage those passionate about this career. There are various avenues to explore within the field. Experienced designers can opt for roles with higher responsibilities or specialize in niche areas and potentially increase their earnings. Moreover, Minnesota offers annual job openings of approximately 580, indicating regular opportunities despite the modest decline.
Furthermore, as the digital age advances, many designers will turn to freelance work or may even launch their own design firms. This offers more flexibility and potential for higher income. Additionally, as one gains more experience and refines their skills, there’s a direct positive correlation with salary increments.
Tips for Earning a Better Salary as a Graphic Designer in Minnesota
Earning a salary as a graphic designer in Minnesota is an attractive opportunity for many, as they would earn enough to make a living in this part of the U.S. Therefore, you may be considering it as a future endeavor.
Yet, some graphic designers may start with pay on the lower end, which may cause you to wonder if it’s possible to earn more. The short answer is yes! Graphic designers get creative and compensated through various steps.
1. Build a Portfolio
The graphic design field is competitive, as many people want to pursue a career in art, creativity and design. However, those starting out in their career as a graphic designer will find how challenging it can be to get a job. One thing they can do to land an interview is to build a portfolio.
Portfolios are like visual resumes — they showcase your skills, style and expertise. By building a diverse portfolio, you allow potential employers and clients to see your work. An impressive portfolio sets you apart from the competition because you get to show off what you can do.
2. Keep Learning and Improving
Graphic design is a field where there is much to learn. On top of that, it’s always changing with trends coming and going, as well as new tools and technologies. Therefore, continuous learning and skill enhancement are crucial to stay relevant. Consider reading up on your industry or taking courses. Practice takes time, and improving your skills allows you to find where your passion lies.
Once you hone a skill and specialize in a certain area of graphic design, you’ll have a key attribute that allows you to stand out to employers.
3. Have More Confidence
Confidence in your abilities and skills is key to increasing your salary as a graphic designer in Minnesota. If you know you can create a good logo, your clients or employer should know this, too. Having confidence is crucial because it impacts how others perceive and value your work.
Confident designers communicate their ideas effectively, justify their design choices and stand their ground in discussions with clients or team members. This ensures people on the other side understand and respect their vision. While building confidence takes time, one of the ways to achieve this is by learning from your mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes in their field. You have to be aware of them.
Should You Earn a Salary as a Graphic Designer in Minnesota?
Pursuing a salary as a graphic designer in Minnesota would make a great choice. While the field is always shifting, the state offers many growth opportunities. Beyond the profession, Minnesota is rich with culture, beautiful landscapes and a vibrant community. Choosing to work in Minnesota may give you a quality of life that’s fulfilling and inspiring.