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Money Matters

Are you searching for a new design job or preparing to ask your boss for a raise? If so, it’s in your best interest to know current compensation trends within the creative field. One place to start your research is The Creative Group 2012 Salary Guide. It includes average starting salary ranges for more than 100 creative and marketing positions, which can be customized for more than 130 U.S. cities. The information is based on a range of sources, including actual placements of creative professionals in 2011, and an analysis of current and future hiring trends.

Overall, the numbers paint a fairly promising picture: Average starting salaries for all creative professionals are projected to increase 3.5 percent over 2011 levels. There’s even better news for graphic designers: Those with between one and three years of experience should see average starting salaries of $36,500 and $50,750, up 4.2 percent from 2011. Other positions expected to see higher-than-average salary increases include mobile designers (6.5 percent increase to the range $61,750 to $90,000) and user experience designers (6.2 percent increase to the range of $71,750 to $104,000).

graphic design salary trends

Despite high unemployment rates, employers continue having difficulty finding the talent they seek. In fact, according to The Creative Group’s latest Hiring Index, more than four in 10 advertising and marketing executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today. To secure top-tier job candidates, some employers, in addition to offering competitive compensation, are sweetening the pot with perks such as telecommuting options or extra vacation days.

When evaluating a job offer or entering a salary negotiation, be sure to look at the whole package, including training opportunities and work-life balance programs – not just base salary – to determine if the role is ultimately right for you. If you’re employed and hoping for a raise but discover your employer isn’t in the position to increase your pay, ask if there are other aspects of your job you can negotiate.

For more information or to download a free copy of The Creative Group 2012 Salary Guide, visit The Creative Group Salary Center at