As a graphic designer, it’s important to know about all the aspects of your career. That way, you can take advantage of certain opportunities to help you advance. One of the key factors to consider is where you live. Consider Oklahoma as a place to make a living as a graphic designer.
Also known as the Sooner State, Oklahoma is a rural place with more populous cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City. While Oklahoma is known for its small towns, it’s a state of scenic beauty, moderate weather temperatures and high-quality living. Yet, before you decide to reside in the midwest of the U.S., consider what a graphic designer’s salary is in Oklahoma and various other factors.
What Is the Market Like for Graphic Designers in Oklahoma?
When considering establishing a career in graphic design in a potential place to live, one of the first things you’d want to find out is the state of the market. It helps to understand whether Oklahoma is a good place to live.
Suppose you decide to live in Oklahoma and pursue graphic design. Will there be plenty of opportunities for you in this area of the U.S.? Or, say you do find a job, but the company limits your professional growth and career advancement. Knowing this information will allow you to understand whether you can make a living and live comfortably.
When considering graphic design jobs in Oklahoma, there are some jobs available. If you look at popular job boards like Indeed, you’ll find there are currently about 44 jobs available in its job market. Yet, if you look into Glassdoor, there are only 17 jobs listed for graphic designers in Oklahoma.
While the job opportunities may be few and far between, you must keep a positive outlook. The job market is constantly changing, and there could be several more jobs available shortly. On that note, it’s a good idea to understand what these jobs pay on average for graphic designers. Learning about the average hourly pay for graphic designers in Oklahoma helps you know what to expect and negotiate a higher salary.
Based on data from ZipRecruiter, salaries were recorded for graphic designers making a living in Oklahoma. On average, graphic designers make $23 per hour.
High-Paying Industries for Graphic Designers in Oklahoma
While the average wage could be higher, it’s important to understand that a full-time graphic designer’s pay varies widely. Therefore, if you’re just getting started in the field, you could have a starting salary much lower than the average. Yet, it all depends on the company you’re with. Here are some of the top-paying companies for graphic designers:
- Wyzant: $26.83
- City of Oklahoma City: $23.89
- Ford Audio Video: $21.80
- Thrive: $21.22
- Hobby Lobby: $20.27
- Paycom: $20.08
- Bob Mills Furniture: $18.92
- Science Museum Oklahoma: $16.58
- A&B Distributors: $15.50
- Oklahoma State University: $15.33
As you can see, the hourly wage depends greatly on the type of employer you have. The highest-paying company for graphic designers in Oklahoma is Wyzant, a private tutoring company that offers sessions online or in person.
What Is the Graphic Designer Salary in Oklahoma?
Most of the wages you’ve seen so far are for entry-level positions. Yet, as you grow into your field, you’ll eventually start making more. If you’re already a mid-level graphic designer, it helps to understand what you should make now in Oklahoma. With that in mind, you’ll need to know the average graphic designer’s salary in this state.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for graphic designers is $51,590 in Oklahoma. This number is slightly higher than the national average. In the United States, graphic designers can expect to make an average salary of $50,710 every year.
These insights indicate that Oklahoma is right where it should be. As a graphic designer, you could live comfortably within this state. However, you must also factor in the cost of living to understand. That way, you’ll know if you can still afford housing and live comfortably in Oklahoma.
According to MERIC (Missouri Economic Research and Information Center), Oklahoma’s cost of living index is 86.9, ranking it level two out of the 50 states. This means that Oklahoma’s cost of living status is very low. In fact, you can expect the total consumption of expenditures to equal out to $38,650 on average. Therefore, you’d have much room to save for retirement or take a vacation.
Highest-Paying Cities for Graphic Designers in Oklahoma
Yet, there are other considerations to keep in mind when conducting your search for a graphic designer salary in Oklahoma. Most of the cities in Oklahoma are small towns, and typically, employers will offer lower pay due to the lower cost of living in these areas.
However, larger cities like Oklahoma City are more active and are more likely to provide graphic design jobs with higher pay. Consider the data below to understand which cities pay the most in Oklahoma:
- Heavener, OK: $26.83
- Oklahoma City, OK: $21.54
- Jenks, OK: $21.22
- Broken Arrow, OK: $19.59
- Edmond, OK: $19.46
- Tulsa, OK: $18.88
- Stillwater, OK: $15.17
- Midwest City, OK: $14.05
- Bartlesville, OK: $13.02
According to Indeed’s data, Heavener is the highest-paying city for graphic designers. Heavener is a sparsely populated city but has many recreational areas. For instance, Heavener Runestone Park is known for housing a large rock with runic inscriptions, possibly made by early Scandinavians. However, the runestone’s authenticity has been a long debate.
The Career Outlook for Graphic Designers in Oklahoma
Between the cost of living and the average salary for graphic designers in Oklahoma, things are looking up so far. While the job market could be more active, there is still another factor to consider. Will graphic designers be in demand soon in this state?
Data shows it is looking up. In 2020, Oklahoma had 1,970 employees working in graphic design. However, the data suggests that Oklahoma will see a 7% increase in employed graphic designers. In total, you may see 2,100 designers by 2030.
This projected growth is significantly higher than in the U.S. overall. Between 2022 and 2032, the expected growth rate will likely increase by 3%, with 22,800 annual openings. The career outlook for graphic designers in Oklahoma has positive indications. Therefore, designers may be in high demand in the near future.
Tips for Earning a Better Salary as a Graphic Designer in Oklahoma
As a graphic designer living in Oklahoma, here are some things you can do to start earning a higher salary:
- Carve your niche: Impress employers by specializing in a certain area in your field. For instance, consider crafting your specialty in animation or creating script fonts.
- Know your worth: Luckily, you have the data on hand. Now, you can negotiate a higher salary with a potential employer by showcasing your skills and what other companies pay.
- Build your portfolio: Show off the skills you’ve honed in on by publishing your projects on an online portfolio. That way, potential employers can get an easier look at your style and what you can accomplish.
Should You Earn a Salary as a Graphic Designer in Oklahoma?
Whether you should live in Oklahoma and earn a living as a graphic designer is up to you. Consider the average salary. While the number is comparable to the national average, is it exactly what you want? It’s a great income for those who are entry-level. Yet, it may be more desirable if it were higher for mid and senior-level positions. Overall, Oklahoma’s cost of living is well below the nation’s average, and designers will be in higher demand in the future. If you’re considering living in Oklahoma as a graphic designer, you’d be in a good position to get started.
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.