Graphic Designer Salary in New York

Posted on December 5, 2022 | Updated on October 27, 2023

Do you live in New York and are considering becoming a graphic designer? Or, maybe you’re a graphic designer considering residing in this state. Either way, it helps to know what a graphic designer’s salary in New York actually is.

Graphic designer salaries can vary based on experience and location. Depending on where you live, other states may pay graphic designers a higher wage. Therefore, it’s always best to do your research when looking to become a graphic designer and where you should live.

With that in mind, you will find the graphic designer’s salary in New York and tips for earning more below.

The Average Graphic Designer’s Salary in New York

According to CareerExplorer, the average salary for graphic designers in New York is $63,770 annually. Of course, if you are a beginner, the average wage at the base level starts at $18.50 per hour.

Yet, if you’re a senior or top-level graphic designer, you will find a higher salary of $125,250 per year.

While the salary will depend on your experience level, there are various ways to earn more as a graphic designer. 

How To Earn More Income As a Graphic Designer

The average graphic designer’s salary in New York is a livable wage. However, if you wish to increase your annual income — many designers achieve this by specializing in an area of the field.

Graphic design is broad and most professionals will tell you to find your niche to become more established in your career. This can be especially overwhelming for those unsure of what truly interests them.

Despite this, specializing in a certain area is sound advice. Advertised graphic design jobs receive hundreds of applications — which is why you need a specialty on your resume to stand out.

Though many companies outsource creative work to agencies or freelancers, many have resorted to this. Therefore, it has resulted in an overcrowded marketplace.

Of course, generalized graphic designers can be successful. However, choosing your specialty and honing your skills is a more reliable method of becoming a professional and well-paid.

How To Find Your Specialty

There are various areas of specialty in graphic design. Therefore, finding the right one depends on your interests, passions and goals. 

When working to find a specialty, consider some of the following questions:

  • Who would you like to interact with? This involves people you’d work with and people that’ll see your design.
  • What is your passion? As you work on different projects, you’ll come across certain areas you enjoy working on within design. 
  • What are your goals? Consider what you hope to achieve in your career as a graphic designer.

While specializations help you stand out, one thing to note is that you don’t need to find your niche right away. When getting started in career, consider experimenting with different types of design.

Once you continue to test and practice your skills, you will begin to see what comes more naturally to you.

Roles That Impact Your Graphic Design Salary

As the design world becomes increasingly complex, this comes with various specialties for you to choose from in your career. Each thing involves certain skill sets, education or higher experience. In addition, this includes a different creative approach.

Not every designer fits all these roles. Therefore, it’s about knowing your strengths and weaknesses when choosing your niche.

Here is a breakdown of the most popular graphic design roles that require specialized skills.

1. UI Design

UI (User Interface) design is one of the most common graphic design specialties. Designers specializing in this field design interfaces for websites, apps, gaming consoles, TV services and more. Typically, they work alongside UX (User Experience) designers, turning designs into functional code.

2. Marketing and Advertising Design

Marketing and advertising design is a wildly popular career path. Businesses highly seek these specialized designers because they are always upgrading their promotional materials to keep up with the latest trends.

Therefore, these designers work to make engaging, highly communicative marketing materials to attract potential customers. Designers must also produce visuals for businesses marketing their products and services on social media.

3. Motion Graphics

Motion graphic design is growing in popularity as video marketing increases. Designers in this area work in video marketing, film production and television. Typically, they help create animated videos, commercials, movie trailers and other digital media.

A strong portfolio is highly beneficial if you are interested in working in this field. 

4. 3D Design

3D design is another growing field. It’s a concept of motion design that takes it a step further. This work involves animation, 3D models and visual effects.

Companies use 3D graphics for various purposes, including ad campaigns, films, product design and video games. Designers specializing in this field need an aptitude for art, animation and technical knowledge.

They also require extensive experience with software such as Autodesk 3DS Max, SketchUp, Rhino and Blender.

5. Product and Packaging Design

Many designers find product and packaging design a fulfilling field to work in — as it involves designing items companies will mass produce. 

In this area of specialization, product and packaging designers must have many skills, an analytical mind and practicality.

The salaries for these fields will vary wildly. For instance, marketing design salaries will not match that of a UI designer — as this job pays almost double. 

Yet, once you start finding a role that fits you best, you can start getting an idea of what a graphic designer’s salary could be in New York.

How Experience Impacts a Graphic Designer’s Salary in New York

Another surefire way to guarantee that an employer pays you right is your experience level. You can compare graphic design salaries on job boards to yours. Various job sites specialize in graphic design on the internet.

A good place to start is Dribbble or Behance, which features positions worldwide.

As soon as you start looking, you’ll notice that the salaries can range widely. These advertised jobs will base the pay on how many years you’ve worked as a graphic designer.

For example, a starting graphic designer can earn a bump in pay when they move straight into a junior position. This can take an average of six months to two years.

Yet, once they enhance their training — they can finally move up to a mid-level designer. However, this takes at least a few years before employers consider you for this position.

While you’ll still have the art director or senior designer oversee your work, you’ll still operate at a level of autonomy. For instance, the senior designer will expect you to discuss briefs, originate ideas and make decisions.

Yet, it can only go up from there. With great determination and quality work, you can move up to becoming a senior designer or art director. 

Kickstart Your Creative Career

Now that you know what a graphic designer’s salary in New York amounts to, you can start increasing your earnings by specializing in a certain area of this field. Mastering a specific area can be financially rewarding. Clients are willing to pay more for professional experience in a chosen domain. 

Yet, once you’ve chosen an area of expertise, keep honing your skills and achieving excellent work. Becoming a master in your chosen field will eventually pay off in the long run.

About The Author

Cooper Adwin is the Assistant Editor of Designerly Magazine. With several years of experience as a social media manager for a design company, Cooper particularly enjoys focusing on social and design news and topics that help brands create a seamless social media presence. Outside of Designerly, you can find Cooper playing D&D with friends or curled up with his cat and a good book.

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