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AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2008


introduction Letter from the executive director Observations

2 3

Economic Data Summary of findings Median total cash compensation 2000–2008 AIGA design leaders confidence index

10 11 14

2008 Compensation Compensation overview Solo designer Owner, Partner, Principal Creative/Design director Art director Senior designer Designer Entry-level designer Print production artist

17 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32

2008 Compensation for additional positions Web designer Copywriter Print production manager Marketing/New business manager or director Web developer (front-end/interface systems) Web programmer/Developer (back-end systems) Web/Senior/Executive producer Content developer

35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

section

2008 Benefits

Contents

Time off Medical and dental insurance Insurance Retirement Financial benefits and family care Personal development and health Transportation and mobility

44 45 46 47 48 49 50

resources and methodology Resources Research methodology Characteristics of survey respondents

52 53 54


introduction

Letter from the executive director

The AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries is the most comprehensive survey of compensation for the communication design profession in the United States. It represents the salary ranges that are currently offered within the design practice. AIGA is committed to raising the awareness of business to the value created by effective designers. For many AIGA members, there is a strongly held belief that the business community neither understands nor respects the contribution design can make toward achieving strategic objectives and competitive advantages. Many of AIGA’s activities are aimed squarely at demonstrating the value of design, which, in the long run, will also increase the value received by designers. Just as we believe design and designers are often undervalued, there are also nonfinancial considerations designers should consider as they move along the arc of their career. While this report provides a measure of actual salaries, we have supplemented those data with observations from a number of prominent designers on the non-monetary considerations that each designer should bear in mind when evaluating his or her opportunities for employment.



Letter from the executive director

Almost every designer is driven by a passion for design; many are also deeply committed to social issues, cultural factors, the opportunity to learn and the desire to work on projects that make a real difference. Com­pensation is critical to us all; yet many of the most gratifying professional experiences are defined by other attributes. In a larger sense, businesses have increasingly come to grasp design’s importance to their competitiveness in the marketplace, with tremendous support coming from the business trade magazines that spotlight stories where design has propelled a product or strategy’s success. AIGA provides this tool to aid designers’ own success stories, so they will find enrichment in all aspects of their careers.

Richard Grefé Executive director


observations

Follow the three Q’s

sean adams is a partner at AdamsMorioka in Beverly Hills, California.

When making a career choice, follow the three Q’s: quality, quality and quality. Do the best work possible. Work with the best people you can find. In my experience, good work gets you more good work. Bad work will always attract more bad work. The best people know other good people. In the end, your future will be determined by the quality of your design work. Money may be tempting, but the work is your future.

observations

Align yourself outside your comfort zone Design is not an occupation—it’s an obsession. Our value is measured in increments of personal drive and passion. Designers entering the professional ranks offer desire and fearless invention. You bring the energy of challenge. You’re the new light in the room. Your spirit is the ultimate human benefit.

Jim Ales is the art director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.

The design landscape is shifting rapidly. Design thinking is the new commodity and disciplines within the field are blurring. The opportunities to contribute are limitless and exciting. When choosing your career path, align yourself somewhere outside your comfort zone. Allow yourself to fail.

Refuse to be labeled. Look for knowledge in every task. Demand this from your employer; demand it of your peers. This is where you discover your real value. Your professional growth will be fueled from your own strength, conviction and sense of purpose. A new generation of designers is entering the field at a critical time. Our responsibilities as influencers are shifting from commercial persuasion to meaningful endeavors. Success will be measured in social progress. Rewards you can’t imagine will follow. You have the power to make a difference. Be the light in the room.

Observations Sample text




observations

Trust your instincts Before you choose a firm, you’ll want to do your homework. Make sure it has people you admire and can learn from and opportunities for growth. Understand what a day in the life is like. Know who its clients are. Connie BirdsaLl is creative director and senior partner at Lippincott in New York.

After you’ve drawn up your list of pros and cons, how do you decide? Think about the work environment. Is this the kind of place where you’ll be able to grow creatively? When you interviewed, did you see yourself fitting in and thriving there? A common theme I’ve heard from candidates about their previous jobs is that they didn’t thrive in the work environment. And the truth is, not every studio will be a right fit for you. Once you feel good about a workplace, then you need to tune in to your gut. This is the time to listen to that voice in your head and not censor it. Did you have a visceral reaction to your potential boss or coworker? How did you feel after the interview, when you were on the street walking away? What was the first thing that came into your mind? Remember, great designers have great creative and intuitive instinct. Use yours and cultivate it when you interview. The ability to trust your instincts and know yourself is a skill that will benefit you not only on interview day, but also throughout your career.



Sample text Observations


observations

Seek personal development and cultural match When evaluating job opportunities, I believe that three of the most important things to consider are portfolio development, skill development and cultural fit.

Janet DeDonato is partner and strategic director at Methodologie in Seattle.

Check out a firm’s client list and the quality of its work—spend five years at a firm that only does Barbie doll packaging and you might have nothing to show for it but an allergy to the color pink. At the interview, ask how much opportunity you’ll have to work with senior-level staff—they can help you hone your skills and provide inspiration and mentoring. The difference between figuring it out on your own and having a mentor is the difference between

correspondence courses and private tutoring. Also, try to determine if the firm’s culture is collaborative or competitive and which is a better fit for you. If you get inspiration from sharing ideas with others and working as part of team, you might not be happy or successful where designers are pitted against each other to compete for work. Likewise, if you prefer to go it alone, all that teamwork may only hold you back. It may be tempting to take a position for the pay, but it’s these other less tangible issues that can determine your ultimate satisfaction and success.

observations

If money didn’t matter… Embarking on a design career poses as many questions as it does choices. One choice might be, “Should I go after the job in a large design office that pays more or the job that offers more creativity?” Perhaps that is the wrong question to ask. Instead, consider this: “If the decision had nothing to do with money, which job would I choose?”

Jennifer Morla is chief creative officer at Design Within Reach and principal of Morla Design, both in San Francisco.

Regardless of the salary, the larger office could offer you an opportunity to learn what you don’t know or, rather, what you want to know. But if you’re certain of your abilities and talent, the job offering more creativity (albeit a smaller paycheck) may allow you to

handle assignments from inception to completion, which can lead to faster job growth and development of important skills. I have never made career decisions based on money, and yet success and financial rewards have been byproducts of those decisions. My first two jobs after college laid the cornerstone for my design career. I barely got by on my salary, but during those years I established a foundation of design skills, business knowledge and professional contacts that I am certain led to both creative and financial success.

Observations Sample text




observations

Salary is only one factor

Shel Perkins is president of Shel Perkins and Associates in San Francisco and chair of the AIGA Center for Practice Management.

If you’re a recent design grad with a student loan to repay, you might be tempted to choose your first job based on starting salary alone. Money should be just one factor when evaluating career opportunities. You also want to find a place where you can expand your creative skills and begin building your network of professional contacts. To start, concentrate on the particular type of design you’re most passionate about and identify the three top firms within that discipline.

Research those companies in detail, and then adjust your job expectations accordingly—in terms of starting salary and geographic location. The competition is intense for staff positions at top firms, so you’ll need a great portfolio and excellent interviewing skills. Don’t be surprised if starting salaries for entry-level positions are low. Keep in mind, though, that base salary is not the only form of compensation. Staff positions also come with a benefits package, which may include insurance coverage and incentive plans.

Most of all, there’s a huge upside to taking a staff position with a leading firm that will open doors and jumpstart your career. You’ll have award-winning creative directors as mentors and participate in major projects for well-known clients, resulting in an impressive portfolio and standout résumé. As time passes, you’ll find that your expanded skills and experience bring you increased compensation—and there’s no downside to that.

observations

The 10-question prescription When considering a job, right out of school or in the first several years after graduation, ask yourself these questions, in this exact order:

Paula Scher is a partner at Pentagram in New York.

1. Do I have any interest in the organization, corporation or design firm that is offering me the job, other than getting a job? 2. What does the work look like that comes out of that organization, corporation or design firm? Do I respect it?

3. If the work is good, who made it, and will I be around those individuals?

9. Is there an opportunity for growth and advancement once I’ve proved myself?

4. If the work is mediocre or bad, was that a result of a circumstance that is changing, or is it endemic in the structure of the organization?

10. What does the job pay, etc.?

5. What are my job responsibilities? 6. Who will I be directly working for? What do they do? 7. Will I be mentored? 8. Will I have an opportunity to learn about client interaction?



Sample text Observations

If you don’t like the answers to 1–6, don’t even bother asking 7–10. The most important thing now is to learn how to be a good designer and learn about client interaction. Any job you take has to support that goal. Money is secondary.


observations

Cultural fit and collaboration fuel the journey What should a young designer be looking for in the first couple of years of work? (Ironically, I’m looking for the same things in a young designer.)

Kristin Seeberger is vice president, corporate marketing, at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore, Maryland.

Cultural fit: Any studio or in-house design/creative department has a culture that is essential to its success. Ask your interviewer to describe the culture with examples of how the culture has created success, both for clients but also for the designers in the studio. Does this fit for you? If not, would it be a great stretch assignment? Be honest with yourself. Collaboration: Design is not the genius of the individual. It is a highly participatory and collaborative process. Fresh out of school, you are probably most familiar with defending your work in open critique sessions. Now you must thrive on the collaborative process—with many partners such as writers, creative directors, marketers—to arrive at solutions that everyone feels part of, and feels ownership of. Learning journey: Design is a discipline that one builds with experience. The more you are open to diverse challenges, the more you will learn. Find work assignments that allow you to stretch yourself, embracing the journey and redirecting as needed. Having a mentor as a sounding board, either in the studio or outside, helps with navigation.

Observations Sample text




observations

The balancing act: creative culture and compensation

Sam Shelton is a partner at KINETIK in Washington, D.C.

There’s a delicate balance between the salary one earns and the intangible value of a workplace experience—the culture of creativity. Salary surveys help us analyze the left-brain aspects of our compensation—money, health care, retirement plans and other benefits—all of which are crucial when assessing what is fair in a particular job market. Still, as creative professionals we should be the first to acknowledge that right-brain experiences demand serious attention, too. Mentoring or independence, initiating designs or executing others’ ideas, client interaction or indirect feedback, flat or hierarchical studio structures—there are myriad workplace philosophies, and the

designer’s dream job is certainly not onesize-fits-all. How much is collaboration, inspiration and actually liking the people you work with worth? Should you accept less money in exchange for a culture of creativity that fuels innovative ideas, nurtures the imagination and matches your ideals? Does it even have to be an either/or question—or can you make enough money and realize your dream in the same place? Determining what is most valuable to you personally and finding that precise balance of fair compensation and creative culture can be the difference between a job you do and a job you love.

observations

What is most important will evolve

Ann Willoughby is president and creative director of Willoughby Design Group in Kansas City, Missouri.



Sample text Observations

What’s the most important benefit a firm can offer beyond monetary compensation varies for each designer and may depend on where you are on your career path. For some, the ability to have flexible hours and work part-time—having the ability to nurture a family in addition to, not at the expense of, a career in design—is key. Some designers are eager to learn about the entire business and creative process by working with smaller clients who are more likely to require comprehensive identity and communications programs. Consider also the range of clients—does the firm represent the kinds of businesses and organizations that would either interest you

or challenge you in a positive way? Do you have similar values? Newer, smaller firms are likely to be in the process of defining their values and work culture, so you could be a part of that creation. As a young designer, you are likely to grow in a culture that values curiosity, play and smart work. If you are interested in sustainable design, seek out a firm that will help you develop your expertise and skills in that area. Successful firms are equipped to serve the needs of their clients and community while providing a work environment that is both challenging and nourishing. If you take time to do the research, you’ll learn what kind of work culture is a good fit for you.


section

Economic data


economic data

Summary of findings

Designers’ salaries increased modestly in 2007—below the increases that other, similar professions experienced, yet still above the rate of inflation.

ONLINE RESOURCE For more information on the survey results, visit www.designsalaries.com.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the increase in wages between December 2006 and December 2007 for comparative occupation and industry sectors was in the range of 3.3 to 3.5 percent. The urban consumer price index increased 2.8 percent during the same period.

The modest increases seem to also reflect a focus within the business sector toward cost control in view of uncertainty in general economic conditions; a lingering memory of how the contraction of the design economy in 2000–2002 had been so severe; and a clear concern among both business and design leaders that the economy is softening.

Those findings obscure a number of trends. Employed designers reported high busiOne unanticipated discovery from this ness activity during 2007, yet this did not year’s survey is how the broad range of saltranslate into higher compensation as the aries for similar positions that previously budgets for design projects were consisrelated to geographical location has nartently characterized as extremely tight rowed substantially across most positions. (whether for clients or within corporaAIGA remains confident in the important tions). In addition, there appeared to be roles designers and design thinking play in only limited expansion of staff and very creating value for both the corporate and selective hiring in corporate design departcivic sectors. Hence, we believe that the ments, studios and agencies, despite the demand and compensation for design serfact that few designers reported that the vices will rise as the economy grows. It is design economy had slowed. also worth noting that, as the essays in this publication articulate from a range of perspectives, compensation should be only one criterion in a young designer’s consideration of employment.

10

Summary of findings


economic data

Median total cash compensation 2000–2008

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006*

2007

2008 $120,000 $110,000 Owner, Partner, Principal

$100,000

Creative/Design Director

$90,000 $80,000

Marketing/New business manager or director Art Director

$70,000

Web producer/Senior producer/ Executive producer Senior Designer Solo Designer

$60,000 $50,000

Web developer (front end/interface systems) Web programmer/Developer (back end systems) Print production manager Copywriter

$40,000

Content developer Web designer Print production artist

$30,000

Designer Entry-level designer

$20,000 $10,000 $0

* NOTE: 2006 data unavailable for Print production manager and Web programmer/Developer (back end systems).

A NOTE ON THE 2006 METHODOLOGY In 2006, a different research methodology was used that may have underestimated income. The 2006 data are reflected by dots and excluded from the trend line; the trend line from 2005 through the most recent data is reflected by a dotted line. The 2007 data are based on the same methodology as all previous years except 2006.

Median total cash compensation Sample text

11


economic data

Median total cash compensation 2000–2008 POSITION Consumer Price Index (for previous 12 months) Solo designer % change from prior year

Owner, Partner, Principal

Creative/Design director

Art director

Senior designer

Designer

Entry-level designer

Print production artist

Web designer

Copywriter

Print production manager

Marketing/New business manager or director Web developer (front end/interface systems) Web programmer/Developer (back end systems) Web producer/Senior producer/ Executive producer Content developer  NOTES: Results not shown if fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

*Change in 2006 survey methodology may have affected measurements.

12

Median total cash compensation


2000 2.2%

2001 3.4%

2002 2.8%

2003 1.6%

2004 2.3%

2005 2.7%

2006* 3.4%

2007 3.2%

$50,000

$58,000

$53,000

$50,000

$52,000

$53,500

$48,000

$60,000

+16.0%

-8.6%

-5.7%

+4.0%

+2.9%

-10.3%

+25.0%

90,000

84,000

90,000

80,000

85,000

90,000

75,000

100,000

-6.7%

+7.1%

-11.1%

+6.3%

+5.9%

-16.7%

+33.3%

80,000

77,500

80,000

80,000

80,000

82,000

76,000

90,000

-3.1%

+3.2%

0.0%

0.0%

+2.5%

-7.3%

+18.4%

53,500

58,800

60,000

60,000

60,000

62,000

59,600

70,000

+9.9%

+2.0%

0.0%

0.0%

+3.3%

-3.9%

+17.4%

50,000

50,000

50,000

52,000

51,000

54,000

50,000

60,000

0.0%

0.0%

+4.0%

-1.9%

+5.9%

-7.4%

+20.0%

36,000

40,000

40,000

40,000

40,000

40,000

38,500

44,000

+11.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-3.8%

+14.3%

30,000

30,400

30,000

30,000

30,000

33,000

35,000

3.2%

-6.3%

3.3%

3.2%

3.1%

6.1%

35,000

36,000

38,000

38,000

40,000

40,000

40,000

41,200

+2.9%

+5.6%

0.0%

+5.3%

0.0%

0.0%

+3.0%

42,600

50,000

50,000

48,000

48,000

50,000

47,100

54,000

+17.4%

0.0%

-4.0%

0.0%

+4.2%

-5.8%

+14.6%

44,500

45,000

50,000

54,000

54,000

53,800

62,000

60,000

+1.1%

+11.1%

+8.0%

0.0%

-0.4%

+15.2%

-3.2%

48,500

45,000

48,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

60,000

-7.2%

+6.7%

+4.2%

0.0%

0.0%

60,000

70,000

70,000

62,500

75,000

+16.7%

0.0%

-10.7%

+20.0%

49,300

50,000

56,900

50,000

50,000

58,000

57,000

60,000

+1.4%

+13.8%

-12.1%

0.0%

+16.0%

-1.7%

+5.3%

60,000

60,000

60,000

52,000

52,000

60,000

60,000

0.0%

0.0%

-13.3%

0.0%

+15.4%

60,000

61,500

73,000

60,000

62,500

63,000

53,100

70,000

+2.5%

+18.7%

-17.8%

+4.2%

+0.8%

-15.7%

+31.8%

45,000

43,500

50,000

46,500

52,000

60,000

68,300

55,000

-3.3%

+14.9%

-7.0%

+11.8%

+15.4%

+13.8%

-19.5%

2008 ANNUAL RATE 2.8% $57,000

+1.6%

-5.0%

95,000

+0.7%

-5.0%

95,000

+2.1%

+5.6%

70,000

+3.4%

0.0%

60,000

+2.3%

0.0%

45,000

+2.8%

+2.3%

35,000

+2.2%

0.0%

45,000

+3.1%

+9.2%

52,000

+2.5%

-3.7%

60,000

+3.7%

0.0%

60,000

+2.7%

0.0%

74,000

+4.2%

-1.3%

65,000

+3.5%

+8.3%

62,400

+0.5%

+4.0%

72,000

+2.3%

+2.9%

55,000

+2.5%

0.0%

Median total cash compensation

13


economic data

AIGA design leaders confidence index

Each quarter, AIGA surveys design leaders to assess their level of confidence in the design economy and the general economy. This index mirrors the Conference Board index of corporate CEOs’ assessment. The intention is to give designers who are experiencing either an upturn or downturn in their own business a sense of what their colleagues nationally are experiencing. At the start of the new year, AIGA’s Design Leaders Confidence Index revealed overwhelmingly strong concern that the national economy would falter in the next six months, yet buoyant confidence that the design economy will fare much better than other sectors. The overall confidence index—declining to 70.02 from the previous quarter’s 86.66—documents the anticipation of a severe drop in overall business activity. The index is now at the lowest point since it has been measured.

The positive signs are in the assessment of design business, which only one-third of respondents feel will decline in the next six months. Only one in four reduce their likelihood of hiring new employees, and only one in six expect to reduce the acquisition of equipment and software. Nonetheless, if the general consensus about the economy is true, there is likely to be a shift in the character of designers’ business in the coming months, as businesses launch fewer new products and as budgets tighten. This should affect the use of the data on designers’ salaries as the demand for designers and upward pressures on salaries are likely to be soft.

www.aiga.org/confidence-index

14

AIGA design leaders confidence index


APR jul 2005 2005

oct jan 2005 2006

apr jul 2006 2006

oct jan 2006 2007

apr jul 2007 2007

oct jan 2007 2008 110 105

101.89 98.46

100

98.22

96.76 94.79

96.67

90.73

100

98.46 94.24

95 90

86.66

85 80 75

70.02

70 65 60 55 50

The Design Leaders Confidence Index is modeled on the confidence indices developed by the Conference Board for private sector corporate leaders. Over time, the index will help AIGA in advocating the interests of the design community in Washington and with sponsors.

AIGA design leaders confidence Sampleindex text

15


section

2008 Compensation


2008 compensation

Compensation overview

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH%

Solo designer

$40,000

$57,000

Owner, Partner, Principal

$65,000

Creative/Design director

$80,000

1,121

$95,000 $140,000

$75,000 $105,000 $170,000

782

$75,000

$95,000 $120,000

$78,000 $100,000 $130,000

1,122

Art director

$55,000

$70,000

$85,000

$60,000

$75,000

$90,000

1,225

Senior designer

$50,500

$60,000

$72,500

$53,500

$65,000

$78,000

1,852

Designer

$38,000

$45,000

$52,000

$39,000

$45,000

$55,000

2,084

Entry-level designer

$30,000

$35,000

$40,000

$32,000

$36,000

$42,000

897

Print production artist

$36,000

$45,000

$53,000

$37,000

$47,500

$55,000

426

Web designer

$44,000

$52,000

$65,000

$45,000

$55,000

$70,000

490

Copywriter

$48,000

$60,000

$75,000

$50,000

$60,500

$80,000

331

Print production manager

$48,100

$60,000

$75,000

$50,000

$62,000

$80,000

430

Marketing/New business manager or director

$60,000

$74,000

$90,000

$60,300

$80,000 $100,000

302

Web developer (front end/interface systems)

$50,000

$65,000

$75,000

$50,000

$65,000

$80,000

255

Web programmer/Developer (back end systems)

$49,800

$62,400

$75,000

$50,000

$65,000

$80,000

163

Web producer/Senior producer/ Executive producer $60,000 $72,000 $80,000

$60,000

$75,000

$90,000

140

Content developer

$50,000

$59,000

$70,000

98

$47,600

$55,000

$80,000

$70,000

$40,000

$60,000

Compensation overview

17


position title

Solo designer

position description

A solo designer is a freelance or self-employed design professional who works independently of a company and has no employees.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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$40,000

18

2008 Compensation

$70,000


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$40,000

$57,000

$80,000

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

1,121

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$40,000 $45,000 $35,800 $35,000 $37,000 $40,000 $36,000 $40,000 $42,000

$56,500 $65,000 $52,000 $49,800 $43,000 $49,500 $60,000 $55,000 $60,000

$83,500 $85,000 $75,000 $65,000 $68,000 $85,000 $75,000 $77,900 $80,000

$40,800 $45,000 $37,900 $37,100 $37,000 $40,000 $36,000 $40,000 $45,000

$60,000 $65,000 $54,000 $50,000 $45,000 $50,000 $60,000 $60,000 $61,000

$83,500 $90,000 $77,000 $65,800 $68,000 $90,000 $75,800 $87,500 $80,000

90 231 174 144 19 63 53 69 278

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$38,000 $45,000 $36,000 $41,500 $36,900 n/a n/a $51,000 $38,800 $24,500 n/a $38,000 n/a $44,800 n/a $40,000 n/a $45,300 n/a $29,100 $38,000 $40,000 n/a $40,000 n/a n/a $42,300 $54,400 $40,000 n/a $45,000

$55,000 $75,000 $60,000 $75,000 $45,000 $70,000 $59,000 $80,000 $50,000 $65,000 n/a n/a n/a n/a $65,000 $100,000 $56,000 $65,100 $41,000 $50,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $61,300 n/a n/a $60,000 $80,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $88,800 n/a n/a $66,000 $90,000 n/a n/a $35,000 $52,000 $50,000 $78,500 $65,000 $85,000 n/a n/a $45,000 $70,000 n/a n/a n/a n/a $60,000 $73,100 $67,000 $90,900 $50,000 $68,000 n/a n/a $60,000 $94,000

$38,500 $45,000 $37,500 $43,900 $40,000 n/a n/a $51,000 $43,800 $28,800 n/a $38,800 n/a $45,000 n/a $42,300 n/a $50,000 n/a $29,100 $38,000 $55,000 n/a $40,000 n/a n/a $44,500 $55,000 $40,300 n/a $45,000

$55,000 $75,900 $60,000 $75,000 $50,000 $70,000 $60,000 $80,000 $51,000 $70,500 n/a n/a n/a n/a $70,000 $100,000 $60,000 $66,300 $41,000 $50,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $73,800 n/a n/a $65,000 $84,800 n/a n/a $62,500 $95,000 n/a n/a $70,000 $96,300 n/a n/a $40,000 $52,000 $52,500 $80,000 $65,000 $85,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $72,000 n/a n/a n/a n/a $60,000 $73,100 $70,000 $100,000 $52,000 $72,500 n/a n/a $62,500 $94,000

25 15 19 50 74 3 8 17 22 12 9 10 3 94 9 40 6 170 4 11 29 11 7 27 6 8 26 58 33 7 50

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $40,500 $60,000 $80,000 Advertising agency $38,000 $45,000 $87,500 Publishing house $36,100 $47,500 $64,300 Web development firm n/a n/a n/a In-house design department $39,000 $50,000 $70,000 Other $40,000 $60,000 $80,000

$43,000 $38,000 $39,400 n/a $40,000 $40,000

$60,000 $45,000 $51,000 n/a $52,500 $60,000

$85,000 $87,500 $64,300 n/a $72,000 $80,000

69 15 14 4 63 955

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$37,300 $40,000 $40,000 $46,300

$51,000 $50,000 $50,000 $60,000

$80,000 $74,500 $60,000 $80,000

$40,000 $40,000 $40,000 $46,500

$55,000 $50,000 $50,000 $60,000

$80,000 $78,200 $60,000 $80,000

144 76 53 73

Client base Local/regional only National International

$36,000 $42,000 $43,000

$50,000 $60,000 $60,000

$73,200 $85,000 $80,000

$38,900 $45,000 $45,000

$55,000 $60,000 $62,500

$75,000 $93,000 $89,400

497 383 204

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Solo designer

19


position title

Owner, Partner, Principal

position description

An owner, partner, principal holds an equity position and has major business responsibility for a firm having employees.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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DENOTES FEWER THAN 5 VALID CASES OR 10 VALID VALUES

$53,000

20

2008 Compensation

$200,000


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$65,000

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$60,000 $74,800 $72,000 $60,000 $72,800 $70,000 $70,000 $49,000 $60,000

$100,000 $115,000 $95,000 $90,000 $100,000 $100,000 $95,000 $75,000 $90,000

$75,000 $55,000 $70,000 $56,000 $70,500 $52,000 $87,000 n/a $61,300 $50,000 $95,000 $60,000 n/a $60,000 $49,600 $65,000 n/a $87,900 n/a n/a $65,000 $75,000 n/a $45,000 $100,000 n/a $69,000 $85,000 $60,000 $125,000 $75,000

$92,500 $85,000 $75,000 $100,000 $90,000 $100,000 $110,000 n/a $75,000 $53,000 $120,000 $72,500 n/a $95,000 $75,000 $100,000 n/a $125,000 n/a n/a $80,000 $120,000 n/a $60,000 $125,000 n/a $85,000 $125,000 $80,000 $135,000 $105,000

$75,000 $105,000 $170,000

782

$125,000 $187,500 $125,000 $130,000 $101,300 $140,000 $135,000 $115,000 $150,000

$80,000 $80,000 $80,000 $70,000 $74,300 $80,000 $75,000 $49,000 $75,000

$122,500 $137,500 $100,000 $104,800 $100,000 $104,000 $120,000 $75,000 $102,000

$163,800 $221,300 $150,000 $148,000 $121,500 $165,000 $150,000 $131,300 $200,000

53 152 109 120 13 66 40 55 174

$120,000 $96,000 $150,000 $125,000 $140,000 $150,000 $150,000 n/a $107,500 $90,000 $135,000 $100,000 n/a $150,000 $100,000 $141,000 n/a $200,000 n/a n/a $115,000 $167,200 n/a $75,000 $175,000 n/a $100,000 $200,000 $140,000 $237,500 $150,000

$84,000 $55,000 $82,000 $90,000 $81,300 $55,000 $110,000 n/a $62,500 $50,000 $120,000 $91,300 n/a $91,300 $75,000 $70,000 n/a $90,000 n/a n/a $65,000 $90,000 n/a $48,300 $103,000 n/a $73,000 $100,000 $63,000 $165,000 $80,000

$105,000 $95,000 $100,000 $125,000 $104,800 $125,000 $117,000 n/a $85,000 $53,000 $135,000 $147,500 n/a $120,000 $87,000 $100,000 n/a $160,000 n/a n/a $90,000 $135,000 n/a $70,000 $150,000 n/a $90,000 $150,000 $108,000 $200,000 $120,000

$128,500 $112,000 $150,000 $175,000 $140,000 $200,000 $150,000 n/a $118,800 $90,000 $210,000 $500,000 n/a $176,300 $107,500 $170,000 n/a $250,000 n/a n/a $115,000 $167,200 n/a $75,000 $200,000 n/a $100,000 $300,000 $300,000 $300,000 $172,500

22 9 11 29 60 8 5 6 13 8 11 6 4 41 11 32 3 112 5 2 19 8 3 9 7 3 20 47 22 8 34

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $65,000 $90,000 $140,000 Advertising agency $80,000 $100,000 $150,000 Publishing house n/a n/a n/a Web development firm $40,000 $74,000 $120,000 In-house design department $96,500 $145,000 $282,500 Other $60,000 $90,000 $144,000

$75,000 $90,000 n/a $44,000 $97,000 $70,000

$110,000 $122,500 n/a $82,000 $155,000 $100,000

$175,000 $175,000 n/a $120,000 $300,000 $150,000

521 74 7 19 17 142

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$95,000 $140,000

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$60,000 $80,000 $110,000 $92,000 $125,000 $175,000 $189,500 $250,000 $380,000 $95,000 $150,000 $216,300

$65,000 $90,000 $140,000 $100,000 $150,000 $240,000 $244,600 $365,800 $421,300 $105,000 $200,000 $300,000

507 211 16 12

Client base Local/regional only National International

$52,000 $75,000 $100,000 $65,000 $97,500 $135,000 $80,000 $120,000 $200,000

$60,000 $88,000 $137,500 $80,000 $110,000 $160,000 $91,300 $145,000 $250,000

224 349 202

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Owner, Partner, Principal

21


position title

Creative/Design director

position description

A creative director or design director is the creative head of a design firm, advertising agency or an in-house corporate design department. In all of these positions, key responsibilities can include the development of graphic design, advertising, communications and industrial design publications.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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DENOTES FEWER THAN 5 VALID CASES OR 10 VALID VALUES

$51,000

22

2008 Compensation

$127,500


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$75,000

$95,000 $120,000

$78,000 $100,000 $130,000

1,122

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$80,000 $93,000 $105,000 $88,300 $110,000 $140,000 $65,000 $85,000 $109,300 $70,000 $90,000 $110,000 $44,100 $70,000 $90,300 $70,000 $90,000 $120,000 $75,000 $85,000 $100,000 $62,600 $80,000 $105,000 $80,000 $100,000 $125,000

$82,000 $100,000 $126,500 $95,000 $120,000 $150,000 $69,000 $92,000 $118,200 $75,000 $97,000 $123,000 $44,400 $72,000 $95,000 $80,000 $98,000 $125,000 $75,000 $97,100 $115,300 $65,000 $83,500 $114,500 $85,000 $120,000 $140,000

64 236 198 157 35 89 58 70 215

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$64,500 $63,000 $62,000 $80,000 $74,800 $80,000 $71,300 $94,500 $68,500 $90,000 $75,000 $57,500 $70,000 $80,000 $60,000 $80,000 $32,000 $100,000 n/a $70,000 $87,500 $36,000 $50,300 $83,000 $70,000 n/a $75,000 $100,000 $85,000 $70,000 $72,600

$87,000 $80,000 $85,000 $96,000 $95,000 $104,000 $85,800 $100,000 $85,000 $100,000 $81,000 $65,000 $97,500 $95,200 $67,700 $95,000 $51,000 $120,000 n/a $71,000 $100,000 $80,000 $63,000 $92,500 $88,000 n/a $80,000 $125,000 $106,500 $81,000 $95,000

$109,800 $100,000 $145,000 $103,000 $117,500 $110,000 $95,000 $130,000 $130,000 $110,000 $94,300 $78,500 $121,100 $123,500 $82,500 $125,000 $77,500 $150,000 n/a $108,500 $120,000 $85,000 $88,300 $110,000 $114,200 n/a $96,000 $135,000 $125,000 $110,000 $110,000

$69,500 $69,300 $65,000 $87,000 $78,500 $85,500 $75,000 $99,200 $70,000 $90,000 $88,500 $58,000 $75,000 $85,000 $60,000 $90,000 $37,000 $100,000 n/a $70,000 $90,000 $36,000 $52,000 $83,300 $71,500 n/a $80,000 $115,300 $93,600 $80,000 $81,300

$95,000 $85,000 $85,000 $105,000 $100,000 $120,000 $101,000 $100,000 $90,000 $100,000 $95,000 $75,000 $110,500 $115,000 $74,200 $106,000 $51,000 $127,500 n/a $71,000 $114,000 $80,000 $68,000 $100,000 $103,000 n/a $85,000 $126,000 $120,000 $86,300 $100,000

$120,000 $105,000 $145,000 $125,000 $135,000 $135,000 $135,000 $130,000 $160,000 $110,000 $110,000 $88,500 $137,400 $125,000 $90,000 $129,100 $85,300 $170,000 n/a $121,300 $135,000 $85,000 $91,800 $120,000 $119,200 n/a $105,000 $150,000 $140,000 $110,000 $124,300

38 11 14 36 70 13 10 17 25 12 16 13 16 57 14 38 9 169 7 8 32 10 14 19 13 6 19 55 30 15 74

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $78,000 $95,000 Advertising agency $81,500 $100,000 Publishing house $66,500 $82,000 Web development firm $62,500 $87,500 In-house design department $70,000 $93,000 Other $70,000 $95,000

$120,000 $126,300 $113,000 $131,300 $120,000 $120,000

$84,000 $85,000 $68,000 $70,500 $75,000 $75,000

$105,000 $102,600 $87,000 $95,000 $100,000 $100,000

$126,000 $140,000 $125,000 $147,500 $130,000 $130,000

250 125 67 18 412 247

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$58,000 $75,000 $75,000 $90,000 $75,000 $95,200 $82,000 $108,000

$100,000 $116,000 $123,800 $125,000

$60,500 $80,000 $100,000 $75,000 $100,000 $123,900 $79,000 $100,000 $130,000 $90,000 $118,000 $140,000

179 385 241 310

Client base Local/regional only National International

$55,000 $70,000 $92,800 $72,000 $90,500 $114,300 $80,000 $100,000 $125,000

$56,000 $77,000 $99,800 $75,000 $100,000 $125,000 $85,500 $115,000 $140,000

178 360 428

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Creative/Design director

23


position title

Art director

position description

The art director establishes the conceptual and stylistic direction for design staff and orchestrates their work, as well as the work of production artists, photographers, illustrators, prepress technicians, printers and anyone else who is involved in the development of a project. The art director generally selects vendors and, if there isn’t a creative director on staff, has final creative authority.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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DENOTES FEWER THAN 5 VALID CASES OR 10 VALID VALUES

$50,000

24

2008 Compensation

$92,500


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$55,000

$70,000

$85,000

$60,000

$75,000

$90,000

1,225

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$65,000 $65,000 $51,000 $55,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,500 $62,100

$75,000 $85,000 $80,000 $100,000 $65,000 $75,400 $65,000 $78,000 $55,500 $72,300 $60,000 $75,000 $60,000 $70,000 $57,500 $70,000 $80,000 $90,000

$67,000 $67,000 $55,000 $58,000 $50,000 $55,000 $52,000 $54,000 $65,000

$80,000 $91,000 $90,000 $102,500 $68,000 $80,000 $70,000 $80,000 $65,000 $76,800 $65,000 $81,000 $61,000 $70,000 $60,000 $70,000 $80,000 $95,000

74 282 238 155 17 111 65 62 221

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$59,300 $45,000 $54,500 $68,000 $56,000 $73,000 $50,000 $52,000 $50,000 $55,000 $56,000 n/a $55,000 $60,000 n/a $55,000 n/a $75,000 $40,500 $55,000 $59,000 $53,400 $50,000 $63,000 $57,000 $44,000 $60,000 $77,500 $66,000 $60,000 $70,000

$75,000 $80,000 $52,500 $70,000 $60,000 $64,000 $80,000 $90,000 $66,000 $78,000 $77,500 $90,000 $65,000 $70,000 $65,000 $79,100 $54,000 $85,000 $60,000 $81,000 $60,000 $68,000 n/a n/a $80,000 $88,100 $80,000 $90,300 n/a n/a $63,200 $74,800 n/a n/a $87,500 $100,000 $49,300 $68,000 $57,500 $65,000 $70,000 $80,000 $55,000 $61,000 $53,500 $70,000 $70,000 $75,000 $72,800 $90,000 $45,000 $68,300 $65,000 $83,000 $85,000 $92,000 $80,000 $91,500 $70,000 $75,000 $75,800 $90,000

$61,800 $45,500 $55,000 $70,000 $60,000 $73,000 $50,000 $55,000 $50,000 $55,000 $56,000 n/a $55,000 $64,900 n/a $57,000 n/a $77,000 $44,200 $57,000 $64,000 $55,000 $50,000 $65,000 $58,500 $44,000 $60,000 $77,500 $70,500 $64,000 $72,000

$75,000 $82,300 $55,000 $70,000 $64,000 $75,000 $82,000 $95,300 $70,000 $80,000 $83,500 $104,000 $70,000 $70,000 $68,000 $80,000 $58,000 $89,000 $60,000 $82,500 $65,000 $68,000 n/a n/a $85,500 $90,000 $85,000 $95,000 n/a n/a $68,500 $76,800 n/a n/a $92,500 $110,000 $50,000 $75,000 $63,000 $65,000 $72,500 $85,000 $57,000 $61,000 $53,500 $80,000 $75,000 $75,000 $72,800 $100,000 $49,000 $69,000 $67,300 $92,800 $90,000 $98,500 $85,000 $95,000 $70,000 $85,000 $80,000 $90,000

39 17 16 50 68 10 10 27 13 15 14 8 14 69 7 48 6 222 15 9 35 17 8 21 16 11 19 57 24 14 82

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $60,000 $72,000 $85,000 Advertising agency $50,000 $60,000 $75,000 Publishing house $55,000 $72,000 $88,300 Web development firm $70,000 $75,000 $100,000 In-house design department $60,000 $75,000 $90,000 Other $60,000 $75,000 $90,000

$61,600 $50,000 $56,000 $73,500 $62,700 $60,000

$75,000 $90,000 $64,000 $80,000 $75,000 $90,500 $80,000 $100,000 $79,000 $95,000 $75,000 $90,000

215 215 107 13 440 232

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$45,000 $54,900 $60,000 $60,000

$56,500 $65,000 $73,000 $75,000

$72,000 $80,000 $90,000 $90,000

$50,000 $58,000 $60,000 $65,000

$60,000 $70,000 $75,000 $80,000

$75,000 $85,000 $90,000 $96,000

168 420 282 345

Client base Local/regional only National International

$45,000 $55,000 $60,000

$57,300 $68,000 $75,000

$72,000 $81,300 $90,000

$50,000 $57,000 $65,000

$60,000 $70,000 $77,000

$75,000 $85,500 $95,000

181 437 425

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Art director

25


position title

Senior designer

position description

The senior designer is responsible for conceptualization and design of solutions to their completion. In some firms, a senior designer directs the work of one or more junior designers who generate comps and create layouts and final art. In some cases, senior designers do not manage staff but are designated “senior” because of their authority in design decision-making.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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DENOTES FEWER THAN 5 VALID CASES OR 10 VALID VALUES

$43,000

26

2008 Compensation

$80,000


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$50,500

$60,000

$72,500

$53,500

$65,000

$78,000

1,852

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$55,000 $55,000 $48,500 $48,500 $39,800 $48,000 $50,000 $45,000 $55,000

$65,000 $65,000 $58,000 $58,000 $50,800 $60,000 $56,000 $55,000 $65,000

$75,000 $75,000 $68,000 $65,000 $60,000 $75,000 $65,000 $66,000 $80,000

$56,000 $58,000 $50,000 $50,300 $43,900 $50,000 $54,000 $47,500 $60,000

$68,000 $70,000 $60,000 $60,000 $51,500 $62,500 $60,000 $57,200 $70,000

$82,000 $81,900 $72,500 $70,000 $66,800 $80,000 $70,000 $70,000 $82,000

143 384 328 254 34 145 65 112 387

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$49,000 $49,500 $46,000 $56,000 $52,900 $48,000 $53,400 $54,500 $50,000 $50,000 $55,500 $40,500 $53,000 $58,000 $47,000 $52,000 $39,800 $60,000 $47,000 $42,500 $50,000 $42,600 $43,300 $51,000 $50,000 $45,800 $52,300 $65,000 $55,000 $50,000 $55,000

$60,000 $67,000 $55,000 $65,000 $56,000 $65,000 $65,000 $73,000 $60,000 $65,000 $62,500 $69,000 $60,000 $75,000 $60,000 $85,000 $59,000 $66,000 $60,000 $82,000 $65,000 $65,000 $43,000 $47,500 $75,000 $82,500 $65,000 $80,000 $58,000 $67,000 $60,000 $75,000 $45,000 $52,000 $67,000 $80,000 $48,000 $49,000 $46,500 $58,800 $58,000 $70,000 $45,000 $62,500 $52,000 $57,500 $55,000 $65,000 $52,000 $77,500 $58,000 $100,000 $60,500 $71,800 $75,000 $84,000 $61,500 $75,000 $60,000 $74,000 $62,000 $70,000

$50,000 $53,500 $46,000 $57,000 $55,000 $50,500 $56,100 $58,500 $52,000 $50,000 $60,000 $43,000 $55,000 $60,000 $50,000 $55,000 $43,900 $60,600 $48,000 $42,500 $50,000 $43,000 $43,300 $52,000 $50,000 $50,000 $52,500 $66,300 $56,000 $50,000 $56,000

$61,000 $71,000 $56,300 $67,000 $56,500 $68,000 $67,000 $78,000 $62,000 $74,000 $66,000 $70,000 $60,000 $77,000 $60,000 $85,000 $62,000 $73,100 $61,000 $82,000 $65,000 $79,000 $43,000 $50,000 $75,000 $82,500 $71,000 $80,000 $60,000 $69,000 $65,000 $75,000 $49,000 $65,000 $74,000 $85,000 $48,300 $55,000 $48,000 $62,500 $58,000 $75,000 $46,300 $62,500 $52,200 $62,500 $60,000 $65,000 $52,000 $78,800 $71,000 $115,000 $65,500 $79,200 $80,000 $90,000 $68,000 $80,000 $70,000 $82,000 $65,000 $75,000

58 17 34 99 128 21 16 19 49 15 17 15 16 120 9 74 9 288 10 10 50 19 14 23 15 8 34 107 58 22 132

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy Advertising agency Publishing house Web development firm In-house design department Other

$50,000 $46,100 $50,000 $53,100 $52,000 $52,000

$60,000 $60,000 $58,000 $64,500 $62,000 $63,000

$70,000 $70,000 $65,000 $77,300 $75,000 $75,000

$54,000 $48,000 $50,000 $53,400 $55,000 $54,000

$65,000 $60,000 $60,000 $72,000 $65,000 $65,000

$75,000 $75,000 $67,000 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000

502 122 95 19 720 390

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$45,000 $50,000 $51,000 $55,000

$55,000 $60,000 $61,000 $64,000

$65,000 $72,600 $72,000 $75,000

$48,900 $52,000 $52,500 $57,500

$57,000 $65,000 $65,000 $66,000

$70,000 $76,300 $80,000 $80,000

329 548 421 543

Client base Local/regional only National International

$45,000 $50,000 $55,000

$55,000 $60,000 $65,000

$63,300 $70,000 $75,000

$46,000 $52,100 $57,200

$56,100 $63,000 $68,000

$67,000 $75,000 $80,000

316 611 659

Senior designer

27


position title

Designer

position description

A designer is responsible for conceptualization and design of graphic applications such as collateral material, environmental graphics, books and magazines, corporate identity, film titling and multimedia interfaces, to their completion.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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$37,000

28

2008 Compensation

$55,000


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$38,000

$45,000

$52,000

$39,000

$45,000

$55,000

2,084

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$42,000 $40,000 $36,000 $37,000 $33,000 $35,000 $37,000 $35,000 $40,000

$47,000 $48,000 $43,000 $41,600 $35,000 $40,000 $40,200 $40,000 $48,000

$56,000 $55,000 $50,000 $50,000 $42,000 $50,000 $49,000 $46,000 $58,900

$43,000 $42,000 $38,000 $38,000 $33,000 $35,000 $38,000 $35,000 $42,500

$50,000 $50,000 $44,700 $42,500 $38,000 $42,000 $42,500 $43,000 $50,000

$60,000 $60,000 $52,000 $50,800 $45,900 $50,300 $50,000 $49,900 $62,000

133 375 353 313 48 200 96 143 423

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$42,000 $41,000 $36,000 $42,000 $38,000 $35,000 $41,600 $34,000 $34,900 $40,000 $39,400 $35,000 $38,500 $43,000 $36,000 $35,000 $33,000 $43,000 $39,500 $35,000 $40,000 $35,000 $35,000 $38,000 $35,000 $36,400 $37,300 $46,000 $40,000 $39,200 $42,000

$50,000 $45,000 $40,000 $47,000 $44,600 $39,500 $45,000 $39,000 $43,600 $45,000 $40,000 $38,000 $41,000 $50,000 $40,000 $42,000 $35,500 $50,000 $41,000 $43,000 $48,000 $42,000 $35,000 $45,000 $40,000 $48,000 $45,000 $54,000 $45,000 $40,000 $48,000

$52,000 $50,000 $45,300 $58,000 $53,000 $45,800 $50,000 $46,500 $48,000 $46,000 $50,000 $50,000 $54,500 $60,300 $43,500 $50,000 $40,000 $56,000 $46,000 $45,000 $55,000 $47,000 $45,000 $50,000 $45,000 $49,600 $50,000 $65,000 $50,000 $45,000 $55,000

$45,000 $44,000 $36,000 $43,000 $40,000 $36,600 $42,000 $34,000 $35,800 $40,000 $40,000 $36,000 $40,000 $44,000 $37,000 $37,500 $33,000 $45,000 $40,000 $36,600 $40,000 $35,000 $35,000 $38,000 $35,000 $40,000 $37,400 $47,000 $43,500 $40,000 $42,000

$50,000 $46,000 $41,300 $48,000 $45,500 $40,000 $45,000 $39,000 $44,100 $45,000 $42,000 $40,000 $47,000 $52,000 $40,000 $45,000 $37,500 $53,000 $42,000 $43,000 $50,000 $44,000 $37,000 $45,000 $41,000 $48,000 $48,000 $55,000 $48,500 $45,000 $50,000

$58,800 $50,000 $48,800 $60,000 $58,000 $48,500 $50,000 $48,400 $52,000 $53,600 $55,000 $51,000 $57,800 $65,000 $44,000 $50,400 $43,000 $60,000 $49,600 $49,500 $60,000 $47,000 $48,000 $55,000 $47,500 $59,300 $52,000 $65,000 $62,500 $60,000 $60,000

41 26 37 98 128 24 26 16 39 17 26 23 28 122 21 101 12 268 11 11 53 27 22 44 19 14 39 97 60 18 128

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $38,000 $43,000 $50,000 Advertising agency $35,000 $40,000 $47,500 Publishing house $35,000 $40,000 $47,000 Web development firm $41,500 $52,500 $70,000 In-house design department $40,000 $45,000 $55,000 Other $38,000 $45,000 $52,000

$40,000 $36,500 $35,000 $41,500 $40,000 $38,500

$45,000 $42,100 $40,000 $55,000 $48,000 $45,900

$54,500 $50,000 $48,000 $85,000 $60,000 $55,000

520 186 107 11 794 458

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$35,000 $37,000 $37,000 $41,000

$40,000 $42,000 $45,000 $49,000

$46,000 $50,000 $55,000 $60,000

$36,000 $38,000 $38,000 $42,000

$42,800 $45,000 $45,000 $50,000

$49,000 $53,000 $55,000 $60,000

383 659 480 546

Client base Local/regional only National International

$35,000 $37,000 $40,000

$40,000 $43,000 $45,000

$47,500 $50,000 $55,000

$35,000 $38,000 $40,000

$42,000 $45,000 $48,000

$50,000 $55,000 $58,000

416 643 719

Designer

29


position title

Entry-level designer

position description

An entry-level designer is one to two years out of school and requires mentoring in all aspects of design conception and implementation.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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DENOTES FEWER THAN 5 VALID CASES OR 10 VALID VALUES

$30,000

30

2008 Compensation

$42,500


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$30,000

$35,000

$40,000

$32,000

$36,000

$42,000

897

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$32,100 $33,000 $30,000 $30,000 $25,000 $30,000 $30,000 $32,000 $32,000

$37,600 $35,000 $35,000 $34,000 $30,000 $32,500 $32,000 $33,000 $38,000

$45,000 $40,000 $39,200 $38,000 $33,500 $38,000 $35,000 $35,300 $42,000

$32,600 $34,000 $32,000 $30,000 $25,000 $30,000 $30,000 $33,000 $33,300

$39,600 $38,000 $35,000 $35,000 $30,500 $34,000 $32,500 $35,000 $40,000

$46,500 $45,000 $41,700 $39,800 $35,800 $40,000 $36,000 $37,000 $42,500

52 193 140 140 25 71 58 54 164

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$32,000 $31,500 $32,000 $35,000 $33,000 $30,000 $31,900 $30,000 $32,000 $28,000 $30,000 n/a $29,500 $34,000 n/a $30,800 n/a $35,000 n/a n/a $30,000 $34,000 $30,000 $21,000 $34,000 n/a $30,000 $38,000 $32,000 n/a $33,000

$35,000 $33,000 $35,000 $40,000 $35,000 $39,500 $35,000 $33,000 $33,000 $30,000 $33,500 n/a $37,000 $40,000 n/a $35,000 n/a $37,000 n/a n/a $35,000 $38,000 $30,000 $30,000 $35,000 n/a $35,000 $41,000 $36,000 n/a $36,000

$42,000 $40,000 $45,000 $45,000 $40,000 $43,000 $38,000 $38,000 $34,000 $32,000 $36,500 n/a $42,000 $42,000 n/a $40,000 n/a $42,000 n/a n/a $40,000 $40,000 $31,000 $41,300 $37,500 n/a $40,000 $45,000 $40,000 n/a $40,000

$35,000 $32,000 $32,000 $35,500 $33,000 $31,500 $32,000 $30,000 $33,000 $28,000 $30,000 n/a $30,000 $35,000 n/a $32,000 n/a $35,000 n/a n/a $30,200 $34,000 $30,000 $32,600 $34,000 n/a $33,000 $40,000 $33,000 n/a $35,000

$35,800 $34,500 $35,100 $40,000 $35,000 $42,000 $35,000 $36,000 $34,000 $30,000 $35,500 n/a $40,500 $40,000 n/a $36,000 n/a $40,000 n/a n/a $35,300 $38,000 $30,000 $42,500 $36,000 n/a $39,000 $42,500 $40,000 n/a $38,000

$42,800 $42,000 $45,000 $49,500 $44,000 $45,900 $38,800 $38,200 $37,000 $32,000 $39,300 n/a $42,000 $42,500 n/a $40,000 n/a $45,000 n/a n/a $45,000 $42,500 $34,000 $45,000 $42,800 n/a $40,000 $45,800 $42,000 n/a $45,000

22 13 13 30 65 13 13 14 20 7 11 4 13 47 4 35 6 141 5 5 33 10 8 10 9 4 20 37 19 4 49

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy Advertising agency Publishing house Web development firm In-house design department Other

$31,000 $30,000 $29,000 $30,000 $30,900 $31,000

$35,000 $32,000 $34,000 $40,000 $36,000 $35,000

$40,000 $35,000 $40,000 $43,800 $40,000 $41,000

$32,900 $30,000 $30,000 $30,500 $32,200 $32,000

$36,000 $32,000 $35,000 $40,000 $37,000 $36,000

$41,000 $35,000 $42,000 $45,600 $44,900 $42,000

313 84 45 15 258 179

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$30,000 $30,000 $30,000 $34,000

$34,000 $34,000 $35,000 $38,000

$37,900 $40,000 $40,000 $42,000

$31,000 $30,700 $31,000 $35,000

$35,000 $35,000 $36,000 $40,000

$40,000 $40,000 $42,000 $45,000

212 333 168 176

Client base Local/regional only National International

$29,000 $30,000 $32,000

$32,000 $35,000 $35,000

$36,000 $40,000 $40,000

$30,000 $30,500 $33,000

$33,600 $35,000 $38,000

$36,000 $40,000 $45,000

164 334 308

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Entry-level designer

31


position title

Print production artist

position description

A print production artist has a working understanding of layout, type and color, and is able to take instructions from a designer and create a complete layout, working proficiently in InDesign, Quark, Photoshop and Illustrator. Responsibilities also include producing final files that image properly to printer specification.

national comparison

2008 Median total cash compensation comparison by metro area

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DENOTES FEWER THAN 5 VALID CASES OR 10 VALID VALUES

$33,500

32

2008 Compensation

$65,000


SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$36,000

$45,000

$53,000

$37,000

$47,500

$55,000

426

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$42,300 $37,000 $35,000 $39,600 $30,000 $37,000 $30,000 $35,000 $41,200

$50,000 $50,000 $45,000 $45,000 $31,000 $45,000 $40,000 $40,000 $50,000

$58,500 $60,000 $50,000 $53,000 $35,000 $50,000 $45,000 $44,000 $60,000

$42,300 $40,000 $35,000 $40,000 $30,000 $37,000 $30,000 $35,000 $43,000

$50,000 $50,000 $45,000 $48,000 $31,000 $48,000 $40,000 $40,000 $51,100

$60,000 $60,200 $50,000 $55,000 $35,000 $55,000 $45,000 $46,000 $65,000

17 71 77 58 8 45 27 28 95

Metro area Atlanta Austin Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit Houston Indianapolis Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Minneapolis/St. Paul Nashville New York Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland Raleigh Richmond San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Washington, D.C.

$38,100 $35,000 $34,000 $43,000 $41,600 n/a n/a $41,500 $35,000 $32,000 n/a n/a $33,500 $45,000 $47,000 $39,600 n/a $50,000 n/a $38,000 $40,000 n/a $25,000 $35,000 n/a n/a $40,000 $55,000 $44,000 n/a $45,000

$40,000 $40,000 $42,000 $47,500 $47,000 n/a n/a $46,300 $35,000 $40,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $45,500 n/a $57,000 n/a $46,000 $43,000 n/a $31,500 $40,000 n/a n/a $41,800 $65,000 $50,000 n/a $50,000

$57,500 $40,000 $48,000 $60,000 $55,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $44,000 $42,000 n/a n/a $52,900 $55,800 $50,000 $50,000 n/a $65,000 n/a $50,000 $46,500 n/a $35,000 $46,000 n/a n/a $55,000 $72,000 $59,200 n/a $53,800

$38,100 $35,000 $34,600 $43,000 $44,000 n/a n/a $42,000 $35,000 $37,000 n/a n/a $33,500 $45,000 $47,000 $39,600 n/a $50,000 n/a $38,000 $40,000 n/a $26,000 $35,000 n/a n/a $41,200 $57,000 $44,300 n/a $45,000

$40,000 $40,000 $42,000 $47,500 $48,800 n/a n/a $49,500 $40,000 $42,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $47,000 n/a $60,000 n/a $48,500 $43,000 n/a $33,500 $40,000 n/a n/a $43,000 $65,000 $56,100 n/a $50,000

$57,800 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 $55,000 n/a n/a $65,000 $46,000 $51,000 n/a n/a $52,900 $59,000 $60,000 $55,000 n/a $65,000 n/a $55,000 $47,000 n/a $41,800 $46,000 n/a n/a $55,000 $75,000 $68,900 n/a $55,000

10 8 14 10 28 3 1 10 7 7 2 4 6 25 5 28 2 46 3 5 10 8 8 9 4 2 14 18 17 3 24

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $38,200 $50,000 $60,000 Advertising agency $40,000 $45,000 $50,000 Publishing house $27,800 $35,000 $45,000 Web development firm n/a n/a n/a In-house design department $37,000 $45,000 $55,000 Other $37,000 $45,000 $50,000

$40,000 $40,000 $28,500 n/a $38,500 $38,000

$51,000 $50,000 $35,000 n/a $48,000 $45,000

$65,000 $55,000 $50,000 n/a $59,500 $55,000

83 67 30 0 145 99

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$32,900 $35,000 $38,000 $40,000

$38,000 $45,000 $45,000 $48,000

$45,800 $52,000 $52,800 $55,000

$33,000 $35,000 $39,700 $40,000

$38,000 $45,000 $46,000 $50,000

$49,800 $55,000 $60,000 $55,000

47 157 100 110

Client base Local/regional only National International

$30,000 $37,000 $40,000

$38,000 $45,000 $50,000

$47,800 $50,000 $58,900

$32,000 $38,300 $42,000

$38,000 $47,000 $50,000

$50,000 $55,000 $60,200

69 140 165

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Print production artist

33


section

2008 Compensation for additional positions Data are also collected on professional employees who work with and support designers, but are not in core design roles. Since a smaller number of these categories of employees are present in the sampled universe and in the response pool, it is not possible to report accurate data for metro areas. The response pool is sufficient to offer statistically valid results for all other distinguishing characteristics. For partial results, see www.designsalaries.com.


position title

Web designer

position description

A web designer determines and develops the look and feel for sites, and is responsible for site navigation design and visual execution.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$44,000

$52,000

$65,000

$45,000

$55,000

$70,000

490

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$45,000 $48,500 $45,000 $40,000 $39,000 $38,800 $40,000 $39,300 $48,000

$56,500 $57,500 $51,000 $50,000 $50,000 $45,000 $50,000 $50,000 $60,000

$65,000 $65,000 $61,100 $56,000 $50,000 $55,000 $70,000 $60,000 $70,000

$45,000 $50,000 $47,100 $40,000 $39,000 $39,800 $40,100 $40,000 $50,000

$58,000 $60,000 $53,000 $50,000 $50,000 $45,000 $57,000 $53,100 $62,600

$66,500 $75,000 $66,000 $56,500 $50,000 $58,000 $70,000 $63,500 $76,000

29 92 87 70 11 40 24 36 101

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $40,000 $55,000 $65,000 Advertising agency $43,000 $50,000 $60,000 Publishing house $36,500 $47,500 $60,000 Web development firm $37,500 $45,000 $58,000 In-house design department $49,000 $55,000 $70,000 Other $42,000 $52,000 $64,000

$40,000 $43,000 $38,300 $38,000 $50,000 $43,000

$55,000 $50,000 $48,000 $50,000 $57,500 $52,800

$72,300 $65,000 $60,000 $66,000 $73,000 $68,000

85 53 19 30 158 144

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$37,000 $40,000 $45,000 $50,000

$45,000 $50,000 $55,000 $55,000

$55,000 $65,000 $65,800 $65,000

$39,400 $40,000 $45,000 $50,000

$45,000 $53,500 $56,000 $58,000

$58,000 $66,000 $70,000 $73,000

76 172 106 126

Client base Local/regional only National International

$39,300 $42,000 $46,000

$50,000 $50,000 $57,800

$60,000 $60,000 $70,000

$40,000 $43,000 $50,000

$50,000 $52,000 $60,000

$60,000 $65,000 $75,000

94 175 152

Additional positions

35


position title

Copywriter

position description

A copywriter is able to write, edit and proof promotional or publicity copy for print or electronic publications. At higher levels, copywriters are often responsible for strategic and conceptual development of messages and stories.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$48,000

$60,000

$75,000

$50,000

$60,500

$80,000

331

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$48,000 $50,000 $46,000 $53,000 $60,000 $45,000 $48,700 $40,000 $50,000

$65,300 $70,000 $55,000 $60,000 $60,000 $53,500 $65,000 $45,000 $61,300

$85,000 $83,000 $80,000 $65,000 $67,500 $60,000 $70,000 $64,800 $80,000

$48,000 $51,000 $48,000 $54,800 $60,000 $47,000 $50,000 $40,000 $54,000

$68,500 $110,000 $75,000 $85,000 $57,000 $80,000 $62,400 $74,000 $60,000 $71,300 $55,000 $65,800 $65,000 $75,000 $47,500 $64,800 $65,000 $85,000

13 54 59 54 5 33 22 21 70

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $45,000 $65,000 $82,500 Advertising agency $50,000 $60,000 $70,000 Publishing house $30,000 $40,000 $80,000 Web development firm n/a n/a n/a In-house design department $46,000 $58,900 $70,000 Other $50,000 $60,000 $75,000

$45,000 $52,000 $32,000 n/a $48,900 $50,000

$70,000 $65,000 $40,000 n/a $60,000 $62,400

$90,000 $75,000 $95,000 n/a $79,600 $75,000

55 69 6 3 111 86

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$37,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000

$48,000 $65,000 $60,000 $60,000

$53,000 $75,000 $80,000 $70,000

$38,000 $50,000 $50,000 $52,000

$50,000 $65,000 $60,000 $61,000

$54,500 $80,000 $84,500 $75,000

34 118 69 99

Client base Local/regional only National International

$40,000 $50,000 $50,000

$50,000 $65,000 $60,000

$62,400 $75,000 $79,500

$40,000 $50,000 $52,000

$52,000 $65,000 $65,000

$63,400 $80,000 $80,000

51 127 119

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

36

2008 Compensation


position title

Print production manager

position description

The print production manager is responsible for managing the process (bids, scheduling, production and delivery) of producing publications, from concept through production, including photo­ graphy, separations, 4-color press work as well as digital production. Print production managers are strong project managers, managing multiple jobs simultaneously. In some cases, proficiency in InDesign, Quark, Photoshop and Illustrator is desirable in this role.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$48,100

$60,000

$75,000

$50,000

$62,000

$80,000

430

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$43,500 $51,000 $50,000 $45,000 $39,000 $40,500 $46,000 $49,500 $54,500

$54,000 $70,000 $60,000 $60,000 $40,000 $55,000 $55,000 $55,000 $70,000

$68,000 $80,000 $73,800 $76,000 $45,000 $63,300 $60,000 $60,000 $75,000

$44,300 $52,000 $50,000 $50,000 $39,000 $43,800 $46,000 $50,000 $55,000

$54,000 $70,000 $62,000 $65,000 $40,000 $55,000 $55,000 $56,500 $70,000

$70,000 $85,000 $75,000 $84,000 $50,000 $70,000 $65,000 $60,000 $85,000

21 82 76 60 8 35 25 23 100

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy Advertising agency Publishing house Web development firm In-house design department Other

$48,300 $48,200 $40,000 n/a $50,000 $45,000

$60,000 $60,000 $52,000 n/a $62,000 $65,000

$71,000 $70,000 $65,000 n/a $79,500 $75,000

$50,000 $50,000 $40,000 n/a $52,000 $45,000

$60,000 $62,000 $52,000 n/a $66,000 $65,000

$76,500 $79,000 $66,000 n/a $83,800 $75,000

114 59 28 0 154 72

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$39,000 $45,000 $52,000 $50,000

$50,000 $60,000 $60,000 $65,000

$60,000 $70,000 $75,000 $78,900

$41,000 $50,000 $52,300 $52,000

$53,000 $60,000 $65,000 $65,000

$65,000 $73,000 $84,800 $80,000

60 163 88 116

Client base Local/regional only National International

$39,000 $48,000 $52,400

$54,000 $58,300 $65,000

$70,000 $66,500 $80,000

$40,000 $50,000 $55,000

$55,000 $60,000 $70,000

$72,000 $73,000 $85,000

81 140 146

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Additional positions

37


position title

Marketing/New business manager or director

position description

A marketing or new business professional is responsible for seeking business opportunities, developing proposals and marketing the firm’s practices.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$60,000

$74,000

$90,000

$60,300

$80,000 $100,000

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$57,500 $70,000 $49,500 $50,000 n/a $60,000 $56,900 $65,000 $70,000

$72,000 $100,000 $86,000 $100,000 $65,000 $75,000 $65,500 $85,000 n/a n/a $60,000 $80,000 $65,000 $74,100 $65,000 $88,000 $83,000 $95,000

$63,000 $80,000 $55,000 $50,000 n/a $60,000 $65,000 $69,500 $73,000

$80,000 $95,000 $70,000 $65,500 n/a $70,000 $65,000 $71,500 $90,000

$102,500 $120,000 $91,300 $86,500 n/a $108,000 $90,000 $88,000 $100,000

26 57 45 48 5 30 17 10 64

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $59,900 Advertising agency $59,500 Publishing house n/a Web development firm n/a In-house design department $57,500 Other $60,000

$77,500 $74,000 n/a n/a $70,000 $70,000

$90,000 $91,300 n/a n/a $92,000 $90,000

$62,300 $61,000 n/a n/a $57,500 $61,300

$85,000 $105,000 $81,000 $95,000 n/a n/a n/a n/a $80,000 $100,000 $75,000 $98,000

99 35 7 4 70 86

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$40,500 $59,400 $60,000 $70,000

$60,000 $74,500 $73,500 $90,000 $70,000 $90,000 $90,000 $100,000

$48,500 $60,000 $65,000 $75,000

$65,800 $85,000 $75,000 $100,000 $76,000 $100,000 $95,000 $115,000

53 156 41 52

Client base Local/regional only National International

$45,000 $60,000 $65,000

$60,000 $70,000 $80,000

$55,000 $62,300 $66,100

$60,000 $80,000 $75,000 $100,000 $90,000 $102,900

52 106 121

$75,800 $85,000 $99,500

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

38

2008 Compensation

302


position title

Web developer (front-end/interface systems)

position description

A front-end developer uses HTML/JavaScript/ASP/ColdFusion and other tools to develop static and dynamic web pages.

25TH%

SALARY/WAGES MEDIAN

SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON 75TH%

TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH%

Overview

$50,000

$65,000

$75,000

$50,000

$65,000

$80,000

255

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$50,000 $60,000 $50,500 $45,300 $40,000 $43,900 $44,000 $51,000 $57,300

$65,000 $70,000 $60,000 $60,000 $45,000 $60,500 $55,000 $63,500 $65,000

$84,800 $80,000 $75,000 $74,600 $55,000 $65,000 $62,900 $80,000 $80,000

$52,500 $63,800 $52,000 $45,300 $42,000 $50,000 $45,000 $53,500 $60,000

$67,000 $75,000 $65,000 $65,000 $45,000 $60,500 $55,000 $68,500 $68,000

$87,400 $89,000 $75,000 $75,000 $60,000 $75,000 $63,900 $87,500 $80,000

15 45 44 42 8 13 18 15 55

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $40,000 $60,000 $73,800 Advertising agency $50,000 $60,000 $75,000 Publishing house n/a n/a n/a Web development firm $51,000 $60,000 $65,000 In-house design department $52,000 $67,500 $80,000 Other $52,000 $65,000 $75,000

$42,000 $50,000 n/a $52,000 $52,000 $55,000

$62,000 $60,000 n/a $65,000 $70,400 $65,800

$77,500 $75,000 n/a $90,000 $84,000 $78,800

50 28 5 13 59 100

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$45,000 $50,000 $48,000 $58,200

$55,000 $60,000 $60,000 $70,000

$72,300 $70,000 $85,000 $80,000

$45,000 $50,000 $52,000 $59,400

$58,000 $65,000 $65,000 $75,000

$72,300 $75,000 $85,000 $87,500

45 103 44 59

Client base Local/regional only National International

$40,500 $50,500 $55,000

$52,000 $65,000 $65,000

$65,000 $70,000 $85,000

$42,600 $51,000 $55,000

$52,000 $65,000 $71,500

$65,000 $80,000 $89,000

43 91 94

Additional positions

39

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.


position title

Web programmer/Developer (back-end systems)

position description

A back-end programmer works with web server systems and web databases, develops web queries to databases, and programs web applications.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$49,800

$62,400

$75,000

$50,000

$65,000

$80,000

163

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

n/a $45,500 $60,000 $40,000 $45,000 $40,000 $50,000 $57,500 $50,600

n/a $60,000 $65,000 $60,000 $45,000 $43,500 $60,000 $75,000 $75,000

n/a $79,500 $80,000 $65,000 $65,000 $50,000 $65,000 $75,000 $83,800

n/a $50,000 $60,000 $40,000 $45,000 $40,000 $50,000 $66,300 $53,100

n/a $60,000 $65,000 $60,000 $45,000 $43,900 $62,000 $82,500 $75,000

n/a $83,000 $80,000 $68,000 $69,300 $50,000 $65,000 $90,000 $85,000

3 26 32 29 7 13 12 7 34

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $42,000 $50,000 $69,000 Advertising agency $45,000 $60,000 $65,000 Publishing house n/a n/a n/a Web development firm $44,200 $62,500 $69,000 In-house design department $50,000 $65,000 $80,000 Other $50,000 $65,000 $76,000

$44,000 $45,000 n/a $45,700 $50,000 $50,000

$50,000 $65,000 n/a $65,000 $70,000 $65,000

$75,000 $70,000 n/a $78,800 $86,600 $80,000

39 18 5 12 31 58

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$45,000 $49,600 $45,100 $52,000

$55,000 $60,000 $50,000 $75,000

$65,000 $75,000 $68,800 $80,000

$47,000 $50,000 $45,100 $54,000

$60,000 $65,000 $53,700 $75,000

$65,000 $78,000 $68,800 $90,000

24 85 20 31

Client base Local/regional only National International

$40,000 $49,400 $50,000

$50,000 $65,000 $65,000

$62,500 $75,000 $80,000

$40,000 $50,000 $52,300

$50,000 $65,000 $70,000

$65,000 $75,800 $85,000

31 63 60

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

40

2008 Compensation


position title

Web producer/Senior producer/Executive producer

position description

A web producer organizes web development teams and ensures adherence to budget, schedule and design of website development.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$60,000

$72,000

$80,000

$60,000

$75,000

$90,000

140

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

$60,000 $70,000 $50,500 $55,000 $50,000 $47,000 $65,000 n/a $70,000

$63,500 $77,500 $75,000 $65,000 $60,000 $60,000 $72,000 n/a $80,000

$73,000 $81,300 $80,000 $75,000 $62,500 $84,000 $75,000 n/a $95,000

$62,000 $70,000 $53,500 $55,000 $52,000 $47,000 $68,000 n/a $72,000

$64,500 $86,500 $80,000 $96,300 $75,000 $80,000 $65,000 $81,000 $60,000 $63,800 $60,000 $89,000 $80,000 $85,000 n/a n/a $85,000 $102,900

7 25 24 18 5 12 9 6 34

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $58,800 $67,500 $80,000 Advertising agency $54,200 $60,000 $70,000 Publishing house $63,800 $80,000 $80,000 Web development firm n/a n/a n/a In-house design department $65,000 $75,000 $93,000 Other $60,000 $72,000 $80,000

$60,000 $55,000 $63,800 n/a $65,000 $62,000

$70,000 $85,300 $62,500 $75,000 $80,000 $80,000 n/a n/a $82,000 $102,900 $75,000 $90,000

27 22 6 5 26 54

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

$60,000 $60,000 $56,000 $62,100

$72,000 $70,000 $75,000 $75,000

$80,000 $80,000 $80,000 $95,000

$60,000 $60,000 $56,500 $64,300

$72,000 $72,500 $80,000 $81,000

$82,000 $89,000 $85,000 $96,300

21 64 18 34

Client base Local/regional only National International

$58,000 $55,000 $65,000

$60,000 $70,000 $75,000

$72,000 $80,000 $85,000

$60,000 $55,000 $66,000

$62,000 $70,000 $80,000

$76,000 $90,000 $90,000

23 56 50

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

Additional positions

41


position title

Content developer

position description

A content developer is also known as a web writer or editor. He or she is responsible for the production and repurposing of text/graphic/audio content on sites.

SALARY/WAGES SALARY/WAGE COMPARISON TOTAL COMPENSATION RESPONDENTS 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% 25TH% MEDIAN 75TH% Overview

$47,600

$55,000

$70,000

$50,000

$59,000

$70,000

98

Region New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

n/a $50,000 $47,500 $40,000 n/a $55,000 n/a n/a $50,000

n/a $73,000 $65,000 $50,000 n/a $62,000 n/a n/a $55,000

n/a $80,000 $68,000 $55,000 n/a $62,000 n/a n/a $70,000

n/a $50,000 $47,500 $40,000 n/a $55,000 n/a n/a $50,000

n/a n/a $73,000 $100,000 $65,000 $69,900 $50,000 $55,000 n/a n/a $62,000 $62,000 n/a n/a n/a n/a $57,000 $70,000

3 14 26 16 5 7 3 1 23

Type of organization Design studio or consultancy $33,500 $49,500 $78,800 Advertising agency $40,000 $47,500 $50,000 Publishing house n/a n/a n/a Web development firm n/a n/a n/a In-house design department $45,000 $55,000 $68,000 Other $50,000 $65,000 $70,000

$33,500 $40,000 n/a n/a $50,000 $50,000

$52,500 $47,500 n/a n/a $55,000 $65,000

$78,800 $55,000 n/a n/a $69,900 $75,000

11 10 5 3 27 41

Size of organization 2–9 10–99 100–999 1,000+

n/a $45,000 $50,000 $50,000

n/a $50,000 $55,000 $63,000

n/a $70,000 $70,000 $71,100

n/a $45,000 $50,000 $50,000

n/a $50,000 $60,000 $63,500

n/a $70,000 $70,000 $73,300

5 31 20 40

Client base Local/regional only National International

$33,000 $50,000 $45,000

$50,000 $55,000 $56,000

$65,000 $73,500 $70,000

$33,000 $50,000 $47,300

$50,000 $57,000 $60,000

$65,000 $73,500 $75,000

11 31 43

N/A (not available) indicates that the results are not included because there were fewer than 5 valid cases or 10 valid values.

42

2008 Compensation


section

2008 Benefits


benefits

Time off Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy 1,339 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

87% 85% 74% 60% 21%

2–9 employees

1,216 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

76% 74% 62% 49% 18%

Advertising agency

529 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

97% 96% 84% 75% 23%

10–99 employees

1,592 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

96% 94% 81% 70% 26%

Publishing house

283 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

96% 94% 85% 74% 28%

100–999 employees

1,182 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

96% 94% 83% 76% 27%

Web development firm

85 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

87% 85% 61% 65% 18%

1,000+ employees

1,350 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

95% 93% 83% 75% 28%

NOTE: The value represented by “Net: Paid time off” indicates the percentage of respondents receiving one or more of the types of paid time off listed.

In-house design department 1,812 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time

98% 96% 83% 77% 27%

Other

49% 48% 41% 36% 15%

44

2008 Benefits

2,217 Respondents Net: Paid time off Paid vacation/holidays Paid sick leave Paid personal time off Comp time


benefits

Medical and dental insurance Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy 1,339 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

81% 72% 49% 41% 17%

2–9 employees

1,216 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

68% 59% 34% 29% 10%

Advertising agency 529 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

94% 83% 74% 70% 36%

10–99 employees

1,592 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

95% 84% 74% 67% 33%

Publishing house

94% 84% 82% 82% 59%

100–999 employees 1,182 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

96% 87% 90% 87% 62%

78% 60% 60% 58% 25%

1,000+ employees 1,350 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

97% 89% 94% 91% 71%

283 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

Web development firm 85 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

NOTE: The value represented by “Net: Medical/dental coverage” indicates the percentage of respondents receiving one or more of the types of medical/dental coverage listed.

In-house design department 1,812 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

98% 89% 92% 88% 64%

Other

51% 45% 44% 41% 26%

2,217 Respondents Net: Medical/dental coverage Med. insurance or group plan: Individual Dental insurance or group plan Med. insurance or group plan: Family Medical savings account

Benefits provided

45


benefits

Insurance Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy 1,339 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

39% 30% 23% 22%

2–9 employees

1,216 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

23% 17% 13% 12%

Advertising agency

529 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

62% 53% 43% 42%

10–99 employees

1,592 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

62% 52% 40% 37%

Publishing house

283 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

77% 73% 56% 56%

100–999 employees

1,182 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

Web development firm

85 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

45% 42% 25% 28%

1,000+ employees

1,350 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

NOTE: The value represented by “Net: Insurance” indicates the percentage of respondents receiving one or more of the types of insurance listed.

In-house design department 1,812 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

88% 83% 72% 69%

Other

39% 34% 29% 27%

46

2008 Benefits

2,217 Respondents Net: Insurance Life insurance Long-term disability insurance Short-term disability insurance

87% 81% 67% 65%

92% 87% 80% 76%


benefits

Retirement Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy 1,339 Respondents 56% Net: Retirement plan 49% Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) 5% Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan 6% Other retirement plan

2–9 employees

Advertising agency 529 Respondents Net: Retirement plan Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan Other retirement plan

79% 73% 9% 7%

10–99 employees 1,592 Respondents 78% Net: Retirement plan 72% Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) 11% Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan 6% Other retirement plan

Publishing house 283 Respondents Net: Retirement plan Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan Other retirement plan

81% 77% 27% 8%

100–999 employees 1,182 Respondents Net: Retirement plan 91% Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) 87% Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan 24% Other retirement plan 8%

Web development firm 85 Respondents Net: Retirement plan Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan Other retirement plan

55% 52% 8% 7%

1,000+ employees 1,350 Respondents Net: Retirement plan Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan Other retirement plan

In-house design department 1,812 Respondents Net: Retirement plan 91% Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) 87% Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan 32% Other retirement plan 9%

Other

1,216 Respondents 38% Net: Retirement plan 30% Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) 5% Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan 6% Other retirement plan

93% 88% 39% 12%

NOTE: The value represented by “Net: Retirement plan” indicates the percentage of respondents receiving one or more of the types of retirement plans listed.

2,217 Respondents Net: Retirement plan 44% Defined contrib. retirement plan e.g., 401(k) 40% Defined benefit (pension) retirement plan 12% Other retirement plan 6%

Benefits provided

47


benefits

Financial benefits and family care Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy

1,339 Respondents 4% Sign-on bonus 23% Profit sharing 4% Stock options 14% Paid parental leave 2% Child or elder care

2–9 employees

1,216 Respondents Sign-on bonus 3% Profit sharing 15% Stock options 2% Paid parental leave 7% Child or elder care 1%

Advertising agency

529 Respondents Sign-on bonus Profit sharing Stock options Paid parental leave Child or elder care

5% 25% 10% 21% 5%

10–99 employees

1,592 Respondents Sign-on bonus 5% Profit sharing 26% Stock options 8% Paid parental leave 20% Child or elder care 4%

Publishing house

283 Respondents Sign-on bonus Profit sharing Stock options Paid parental leave Child or elder care

2% 15% 17% 30% 13%

100–999 employees

1,182 Respondents Sign-on bonus Profit sharing Stock options Paid parental leave Child or elder care

5% 19% 18% 32% 12%

Web development firm

85 Respondents Sign-on bonus Profit sharing Stock options Paid parental leave Child or elder care

11% 14% 11% 15% 5%

1,000+ employees

1,350 Respondents Sign-on bonus Profit sharing Stock options Paid parental leave Child or elder care

8% 23% 34% 41% 24%

In-house design department

1,812 Respondents Sign-on bonus Profit sharing Stock options Paid parental leave Child or elder care

7% 21% 26% 35% 18%

Other

2,217 Respondents 3% Sign-on bonus 11% Profit sharing 8% Stock options 13% Paid parental leave 6% Child or elder care

48

2008 Benefits


benefits

Personal development and health Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy 1,339 Respondents Education funding/professional 30% development assistance 35% Professional society dues 9% Employee assistance or wellness program

2–9 employees

Advertising agency 529 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance Professional society dues Employee assistance or wellness program

28% 26% 18%

10–99 employees 1,592 Respondents Education funding/professional 34% development assistance 32% Professional society dues 16% Employee assistance or wellness program

45% 28% 42%

100–999 employees 1,182 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance 51% Professional society dues 36% Employee assistance or wellness program 46%

32% 20% 14%

1,000+ employees 1,350 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance 66% Professional society dues 43% Employee assistance or wellness program 65%

Publishing house 283 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance Professional society dues Employee assistance or wellness program

Web development firm 85 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance Professional society dues Employee assistance or wellness program

1,216 Respondents Education funding/professional 23% development assistance 27% Professional society dues 6% Employee assistance or wellness program

In-house design department 1,812 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance 58% Professional society dues 43% Employee assistance or wellness program 55%

Other

2,217 Respondents Education funding/professional development assistance 26% Professional society dues 17% Employee assistance or wellness program 19%

Benefits provided

49


benefits

Transportation and mobility Type of organization

Size of organization

Design studio or consultancy 1,339 Respondents 46% Mileage reimbursement 27% Parking 18% Car phone/cell phone 5% Company car or allowance

2–9 employees

1,216 Respondents 37% Mileage reimbursement 22% Parking 13% Car phone/cell phone 4% Company car or allowance

Advertising agency

529 Respondents Mileage reimbursement Parking Car phone/cell phone Company car or allowance

58% 37% 17% 5%

10–99 employees

1,592 Respondents 53% Mileage reimbursement 33% Parking 18% Car phone/cell phone 4% Company car or allowance

Publishing house

283 Respondents Mileage reimbursement Parking Car phone/cell phone Company car or allowance

39% 23% 14% 4%

100–999 employees

1,182 Respondents Mileage reimbursement 55% Parking 32% Car phone/cell phone 20% Company car or allowance 5%

Web development firm

85 Respondents Mileage reimbursement Parking Car phone/cell phone Company car or allowance

26% 22% 12% 1%

1,000+ employees

1,350 Respondents Mileage reimbursement 57% Parking 30% Car phone/cell phone 26% Company car or allowance 6%

In-house design department 1,812 Respondents Mileage reimbursement Parking Car phone/cell phone Company car or allowance

Other

50

2008 Benefits

58% 32% 23% 5%

2,217 Respondents Mileage reimbursement 28% Parking 16% Car phone/cell phone 11% Company car or allowance 3%


section

Resources and methodology


resources and methodology

Resources Design Jobs

Gain: AIGA Journal of Business and Design

Human resources are a critical element of any design business. AIGA Design Jobs is a means of finding qualified designers who are committed to the profession. By virtue of affiliation with AIGA, Design Jobs provides a valuable filter on the type of positions posted and the applicant pool.

The Gain journal is dedicated to stimulating thinking at the intersection of design and business. Through rigorous case studies and thoughtful interviews, the journal demonstrates how the process of design can be used to solve business problems, foster innovation, build meaningful customer relationships and differentiate products from competitors.

If you’re looking for a job, you can post your portfolio containing samples of your work, a personal statement, résumé and contact details.

www.aigadesignjobs.org AIGA Design:Business The AIGA Design:Business newsletter contains articles on the practical issues of running a design practice, based on the advice of nationally recognized consultants. AIGA Design:Business represents the views of its authors, who are familiar with the practices of scores of firms. Aimed at those who run studios, sole practitioners and designers, it will help you learn more about what you need to know to run your own practice.

www.aiga.org /designbusiness-archive Design Business and Ethics series AIGA has released a series of brochures outlining the critical ethical and professional issues encountered by designers and their clients. The series, entitled “Design Business and Ethics,” examines the key concerns a designer faces in maintaining a successful practice and speaks directly to the protection of individual creative rights. Authored by industry leaders from across the country, each brochure offers clear and concise information, as well as practical and specific directions for approaching design issues.

www.aiga.org /design-business-and-ethics

52

Resources

gain.aiga.org AIGA Yale School of Management Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders AIGA and the Yale School of Management offer an advanced leadership program, “Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders,” a one-week program to provide experienced designers with a chance to master the perspective of their clients toward business. Drawing on the strength of the Yale School of Management experience and the school’s best faculty, the program helps creative leaders discover opportunities within the forces of transforming the business environment.

www.aiga.org /business-perspectives AIGA Standard Form of Agreement As part of the “Design Business and Ethics” series, AIGA has released the latest version of the AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services. This version acknowledges that most design firms develop their own custom proposal document for each project and are looking for an appropriate set of terms and conditions to attach to it. When put together and signed, the custom proposal document and its attached terms and conditions comprise the binding agreement with the client.

www.aiga.org /standard-agreement


resources and methodology

Research methodology Purpose This survey was conducted on behalf of AIGA, the professional association for design, and its partners, Aquent and Communication Arts magazine, as part of a comprehensive program of activities to serve the professional designer by providing sources of inspiration and strategies for success. AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2008 draws from the largest pool to date of designers and others allied to the profession, and includes responses from over 6,200 design professionals. The survey was conducted on AIGA’s behalf by Readex Research, an independent research company in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Method The survey was administered both by mail and via the web. The sampling frame included emailable individuals from a variety of list sources: AIGA’s current and past membership, recent AIGA contacts (from conference registrations, inquiries, etc.), lists of clients and talent supplied by Aquent, and domestic subscribers of Communication Arts magazine. These combined lists represented a total of 49,314 unduplicated individuals at the time of sample selection. All unduplicated emailable individuals in the AIGA and Aquent lists were invited to participate, a total of 21,976. A random sample of 3,000 Communication Arts subscribers was contacted by mail.

Responses were cut off for final editing, cleaning and tabulation on January 7, 2008, with a total of 808 usable mail survey returns (27% response rate) plus 5,638 usable web survey returns from the email sample (26% response rate)—a grand total of 6,446 returns, for an overall response rate of 26%. This represents an increase of more than 1,500 tabulated cases from the 2007 survey.

RESULTS Compensation is reported in terms of three statistics: the 25th percentile, the median (or 50th percentile), and the 75th percentile. The 25th percentile represents that value which is greater than 25% of all values, the median that value greater than 50% of all values, and so on. Two quantities are reported out: 2007 wages/salary, and 2007 total cash compensation (which includes not only wages and salary but other forms of cash compensation such as bonuses, profit sharing, incentives, and partners’ profits). Non-wage compensation is especially significant in understanding compensation for owners/partners/ principals. Where sufficient data are available, the median hourly rate for freelancers in each position (if employed) is also reported.

METHODOLOGY For a complete explanation of the survey methodology, please visit the online version of the results at www.designsalaries.com.

Compensation data are reported by several variables: geographic region (based on the nine standard U.S. Census divisions), metropolitan area (35 select Core Based Statistical Areas, up from 24 in 2007), type of organization, size of organization, and organization’s client base. Results have been suppressed where fewer than 10 data points and/or 5 cases were returned in a given tabulation.

Research methodology

53


resources and methodology

Characteristics of survey respondents All respondents Type of organization Design studio or consultancy Advertising agency Publishing house Web development firm In-house design department Other Size of organization 2–9 employees 10–99 employees 100–999 employees 1,000+ employees

6,278 Respondents 1,339 21% 529 8% 283 5% 85 1% 1,812 29% 2,217 35% 6,278 Respondents 1,216 19% 1,592 25% 1,182 19% 1,350 22%

Geographic region

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

6,278 Respondents 447 1,208 1,089 894 130 508 288 386 1,328

7% 19% 17% 14% 2% 8% 5% 6% 21%

Geographic regions U.S. Census divisions

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54

Characteristics of survey respondents


Type of organization 1,339 RESPONDENTS

Design studio or consultancy

529 RESPONDENTS

Advertising agency

1,812 RESPONDENTS

In-house design department

283 RESPONDENTS

7% 16% 20% 16% 3% 9% 4% 5% 20%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific 2,217 RESPONDENTS

Other 11% 31% 13% 13% 2% 7% 4% 5% 14%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

6% 16% 16% 8% 2% 12% 1% 9% 28%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

3% 16% 21% 19% 3% 10% 8% 6% 14%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

Publishing house

85 RESPONDENTS

Web development firm 7% 22% 14% 14% 1% 8% 3% 6% 23%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

7% 20% 17% 13% 2% 7% 5% 7% 23%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

Size of organization 1,216 RESPONDENTS

2–9 employees

1,592 RESPONDENTS

10–99 employees New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

1,182 RESPONDENTS

100–999 employees 7% 20% 17% 13% 2% 8% 4% 8% 21%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

1,350 RESPONDENTS

1,000+ employees 5% 19% 18% 15% 3% 9% 6% 6% 18%

7% 19% 17% 16% 2% 9% 4% 5% 22%

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

New England Middle Atlantic South Atlantic East North Central East South Central West North Central West South Central Mountain Pacific

8% 20% 19% 14% 2% 8% 4% 5% 21%

Characteristics of survey respondents

55


resources and methodology

About AIGA | Aquent

AIGA | the professional association for design 164 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10010 212 807 1990 | www.aiga.org This survey is conducted by AIGA on behalf of its members and is sponsored by Aquent. To provide comments on how the survey can be improved in future years, please contact salarysurvey@aiga.org. Survey research Readex Research, Stillwater, MN www.readexresearch.com Design KINETIK, Inc., Washington, DC www.kinetikcom.com Printing ColorCraft of Virginia, Inc., Sterling, VA www.colorcraft-va.com Paper Sappi Fine Paper, McCoy Silk Cover 80 lb/216 gsm and Text 80 lb/118 gsm www.sappi.com ©2008 AIGA No information in this survey may be published without recognizing the source as the AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2008.

56

About AIGA | Aquent

ABOUT AIGA

ABOUT AQUENT

AIGA, the professional association for design, is the oldest and largest membership association for design professionals engaged in the discipline, practice and culture of designing. Its mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force.

Aquent is the Official AIGA Sponsor for Professional Development, serving as a source for creative and design talent as well as providing access to great career opportunities for AIGA members nationwide.

The organization was founded as the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1914. Since then, it has become the preeminent professional association for communication designers, broadly defined. In the past decade, designers have increasingly been involved in creating value for clients (whether public or business) through applying design thinking to complex problems, even when the outcomes may be more strategic, multidimensional and conceptual than what most would consider traditional communication design. AIGA now represents more than 22,000 designers of all disciplines through national activities and local programs developed by 59 chapters and 240 student groups. AIGA supports the interests of professionals, educators and students who are engaged in the process of designing. The association is committed to stimulating thinking about design, demonstrating the value of design, and empowering success for designers throughout the arc of their careers. Through conferences, competitions, exhibitions, publications and websites, AIGA inspires, educates and informs designers, helping them to realize their talents and to advocate the value of design among the media, the business community, governments and the public.

Aquent partners with AIGA on national conferences, initiatives, exhibitions and events. As part of ongoing support of AIGA members’ career goals, Aquent underwrites the AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries. This resource establishes a common ground for discussing the costs and value of creative work. To find out more about the AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries, a print and online publication, visit www.designsalaries.com. Aquent also strives to support AIGA’s effort to promote a lively and engaging exchange of ideas concerning the issues of greatest importance to the design community. Aquent is the only global staffing company dedicated to marketing and creative services organizations and the leader in helping companies increase marketing capacity by providing the right talent quickly. Its network of more than 400,000 marketing and creative services professionals provides access to a diverse field of talent that includes graphic designers, copywriters, brand managers and market researchers. To learn more, visit Aquent’s website at aquent.com or call 877 2 AQUENT.


AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2008 Visit www.designsalaries.com for complete results.

AIGA | the professional association for design 164 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10010 www.aiga.org


AIGA | Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2008