The good news about salaries in the design field? On the most part, they have held steady over the last decade. The bad news? The same statement applies: salaries have held steady, generally without much growth. These conclusions can be drawn by looking at the annual design salaries survey published on August 9 by AIGA, the non-profit organization and professional association for designers, in conjunction with Aquent, a staffing company.
This year's survey, tallied from the responses of more than 7,000 design professionals, features a new interactive chart that makes navigating the data easy to use and easy on the eyes -- an appropriate touch for a document produced by a design organization.
According to the AIGA/Aquent survey data, only one design field has seen a decline in median salaries. Web programmers and developers working on the back end of programs saw their median annual compensation dip 0.4% between 2000 and 2010, to $65,000 from $67,500 (note that data was unavailable for the year 2006 in this field only). The highest bump? Writers and copywriters, who saw a 3.3% increase in annual rates over the last 10 years, to $62,000 from $44,800.
The median cash compensation for owners, partners, or principals in design firms is currently $110,000, the highest salary listed in the survey, followed by Creative or Design Directors at $100,000. The lowest? Junior designers of primarily print materials, at $38,000. Nevertheless, this field saw, perhaps surprisingly, a 2.1% increase in median compensation over the last decade, the third-highest rise in percentage.
One reason for the lack of overall salary growth could be the fact that design firms are using more freelancers during economic downturns, a move that keeps staff salaries static, according to AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé's analysis of the data.
Photo: Svilen.milev/Wikimedia Commons
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com