You may be relocating or have always found your home in the Cornhusker state. Regardless, it is essential that you know the graphic designer’s salary in Nebraska. You must balance the cost of living with the type of work you’re doing, whether you are a freelancer or hired by a company. Nebraska is an unassuming place most people would not associate with budding graphic designers. So, is it worth it to make a living there from it?
How Much Is a Graphic Designer Salary in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, a graphic designer’s salary averages around $19.63 per hour, or $52,945 a year in 2023. This is the average, where the low is around $34,890 and the high is $80,342. Numerous factors can play into what side you lean toward. For example, a fresh-out-of-college assistant graphic designer or intern may make less than $40,000. But, if they get hired and have years of experience, they could ascend quickly.
Another factor that influences wages is the sector. Generally, tech and marketing companies are the highest-paying for graphic designers. It is different in Nebraska. Construction and maintenance companies are some of the top paying in Nebraska. Education follows behind in second place. These may seem like confusing industries, but they need a lot of designers to make advertising materials like banners, construction signs, educational materials, and event paraphernalia.
City and region is another consideration. Though most of Nebraska has a similar average wage for graphic designers, the state’s most populated city, Omaha, is the best place for options. Other choices include:
- La Vista
Most top-paying companies have offices there, but that doesn’t stop a venture capitalist-funded startup from entering a rural area for some local buzz. That has just as much potential to turn into a six-figure salary as working for a company like NVIDIA.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Nebraska?
Living in Nebraska is cheaper than in other states in the Midwest. It has a cost of living score of 87.8, where 100 is the average across the United States. Based on this, living in the state is cheaper whether you rent or buy a home. Everything from groceries to transportation is more affordable on average. The only costs that are pricier are miscellaneous lifestyle expenses and health care.
Many choose to leave the state for leisure travel to visit attractions outside, making these budget categories slightly inflated. However, a graphic design salary in Nebraska and the cheaper housing costs may be enough to balance out and justify any higher living costs. If the company has a great benefits package as well, this might be something to consider in addition to your lifestyle depending how much that’s worth and mitigates other expenses like travel.
If you feel your pockets are tight, graphic designers have countless opportunities for gig work. Side hustling until you gain more experience or shop around for higher-paying employers is sustainable with enough perseverance. Research sites like Fiverr or Upwork to find one-off graphic design jobs. Alternatively, you can create a website and a social media presence, and leads may come in naturally.
Nebraska’s top cities are populated, but not nearly as much as surrounding cities. Geotargeting may be your best option in honing in on potential work as a freelancer, especially when the competition is not as stiff as in places like southern California or Florida.
What Can I Do to Get a Higher Graphic Designer Salary?
Fortunately, this advice applies anywhere you want to live. Because graphic design is fluid across industries and borders, it is easy to translate these skills into Nebraska. Apart from proficiency in various graphic design software, sketching, and understanding basic color theory, there is more at play when convincing employers you deserve higher pay.
The first essential step is to create a robust portfolio. It is a delicate balancing act because you want to display a cohesive style while demonstrating a variety of projects. Additionally, you want to show enough consistent personality to impress a company while making them understand with your portfolio alone that you will be able to adapt to their brand image and style.
Secondly, you will want to connect. Everyone always says it is “who” you know, not “what” you know. It is partially true. Networking with professionals starting in college, at local events, or even at your library is a great way to unintentionally get your foot in the door and name out there. These low-stakes interactions make it easier to provide a distinct impression versus hoping you shine among countless interview candidates.
Additionally, graphic designers everywhere will want to learn to communicate. Though designing feels like a solitary position, there is a lot of back and forth between project updates and revisions. You will want to learn how to take feedback and criticism while communicating what you feel is best for the client if something someone says is contradictory. You must learn to stand your ground as a creative person while learning to compromise. It takes years of practice, which is why it is good to start early.
What Are the Roles of a Graphic Designer?
Some may think being a graphic designer only means creating art in Photoshop. The job may encompass more nuance and responsibilities, especially if the graphic designer leads a team or has a specialty. Additionally, it is essential to consider how much design has changed over time. It didn’t used to be the responsibility of a graphic designer to know anything about the social internet, but now it’s basically a requirement.
For assistant or senior graphic designers, management may task them with creating marketing materials or designs that promote a cohesive brand identity. That could be designing uniform-related t-shirts or changing colors for banners and navigation on the company website. They may overhaul packaging designs or record videos for social media.
If a graphic designer has a more specific marketing niche instead of working for the company directly for their own branded materials, a graphic designer may focus on advertising. A communications or marketing-oriented graphic designer will spend more time on billboards, social media imaging, and search-engine-optimized features.
Someone who works with websites might be more familiar with user interface or experience design. They may focus on multimedia graphics that interact with other site elements for a streamlined experience.
Additionally, some internal designers focus on pamphlets, product designs, presentations, and other internal projects that make the work easier to conceptualize or pitch to stakeholders.
As you can see, each of these positions expands upon the capabilities of graphic designers. It stretches their abilities into marketing, planning, and programming for designs that impact users emotionally and practically.
Getting a Solid Graphic Design Salary in Nebraska
Anywhere is a solid option for graphic designers if you look hard enough. Though it doesn’t pay as much as other states, the cost of living in the state will make it feel just as rewarding. Everything will depend on your position, experience, schooling, and the company you work for. Or, you can create your journey via freelance. Regardless of what your choices are, Nebraska can provide that for you in your creative, professional journey.