11 Highest Paid Design Jobs (2023 Career Guide)

Design jobs play a vital role in various industries and the field is constantly evolving. In this article, we will be discussing the highest-paying design jobs currently available, providing an overview of each position, including the median salary and other relevant details to give you a better sense of what’s expected from the role.

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1. Creative Director

Median salary according to Salary.com: $139,188 per year.

A Creative Director is a key role responsible for the creative vision and design strategy of a project. They are often in charge of concepting, developing, and executing creative projects. A successful Creative Director must have a deep understanding of visual arts, storytelling, brand strategy, and communication. Typically, they hold at least an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts or Design-related fields.

2. Art Director

art supplies to paint with

Median salary according to Salary.com: $131,542 per year

An Art Director is a creative role tasked with realizing the vision of a project. They are responsible for overseeing the creation of visual materials such as layout, imagery and design and they ensure that all graphic materials produced adhere to accepted aesthetic sensibilities and meet brand objectives.

3. Graphic Design Manager

Median salary according to Salary.com: $117,703 per year

Graphic Design Managers oversee and direct the graphic design of a project. They are usually in charge of managing personnel related to graphic design such as designers, illustrators, and photographers. They make sure that all visuals created are cohesive with the brand and meet standards set by clients or supervisors. In addition, they are responsible for supervising budgeting, deadlines and consistency of design among other tasks related to graphic design.

4. User Experience Designer

Median salary according to Indeed.com: $99,734 per year

A User Experience Designer is in charge of creating the “user experience” of a product or service. They take into account how users feel when interacting with a product, and design elements that help to maximize their satisfaction. They create user flows, wireframes, and visual designs to show how elements are used within an interface. They also do usability testing to make sure the design functions properly in all circumstances.

5. Senior Designer

Median salary according to Indeed.com: $87,889 per year

A Senior Designer is a highly experienced and knowledgeable professional who focuses on the overall aesthetic of a product or service. They are responsible for producing designs that meet creative and technical standards as set out by clients or supervisors. Senior Designers have a deep understanding of design principles, typography, layout, and color theory and can also manage multiple projects at once.

6. Video Game Designer

Median salary according to Indeed.com: $84,834 per year

black video game controller

Video game designers are responsible for the creative elements of video game development. They create concepts and stories, design levels, characters, and animations, script the game code, and provide feedback to ensure that the final product meets the desired quality standards. They work closely with programmers, artists, and audio engineers to create a complete video game experience.

7. User Interface Designer

Median salary according to Indeed.com: $86,058 per year

User Interface (UI) Designers create the visual design and usability of a user interface. They create and develop the look and feel of websites, games, mobile apps, and other digital experiences and need to have expertise in layout design, user experience principles, accessibility standards, typography, and color theory. They also keep up-to-date with emerging technologies to create innovative visuals that are both attractive and functional.

8. Architect

architectural blueprint

Median salary according to Salary.com: $88,932 per year

Architects design and oversee the construction of buildings and other structures. They must be knowledgeable in a wide range of disciplines including engineering, physics, mathematics, construction, urban planning, and design, and are ultimately responsible for creating detailed plans and drawings of proposed projects, obtaining approval from local authorities, and adhering to relevant building codes and regulations.

9. Industrial Designer

Median salary according to Indeed.com: $68,224 per year

An industrial designer designs products such as appliances, automobiles, and furniture, working with engineers and manufacturers to create products that are both functional and visually pleasing. To become an industrial designer, one would typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in industrial design or a related field, and several years of experience working in industrial design, with a portfolio of successful projects.

10. Furniture Designer

orange sofa

Median salary according to Salary.com: $67,389 per year

Furniture Designers create and design furniture for both commercial and residential settings. They are responsible for researching design trends, sourcing materials, creating sketches and prototype models, applying finishes, and overseeing production. Additionally, they must ensure the furniture pieces meet safety regulations and customer expectations.

11. Product Designer

Median salary according to Salary.com: $63,275 per year

Last on our list are Product Designers, who are professionals responsible for the design, development, and manufacture of products ranging from consumer electronics to home goods and industrial tools. They create sketches and prototypes, use CAD software to generate accurate product plans, work with vendors to procure materials, ensure adherence to safety standards and regulations, coordinate with manufacturers during production, and often provide customer support after the product is launched.

Will You Apply to Any of the Highest Paid Design Jobs? 

The design industry offers a wide range of high-paying jobs, each with its own set of responsibilities and skills required. It’s important for designers to stay current with the latest trends and techniques to stay competitive in the job market. With the right skills and experience, designers can expect to earn a good salary, and it’s important for them to research the different job opportunities available and determine which one best aligns with their skills and interests. 

The median salary for the job positions mentioned in this article range from $63,275 to $139,188 per year. Keep in mind that this is just a general guide and salaries can vary depending on location, experience, and the specific company or organization hiring. It’s also important to note that the job market is constantly changing, and new opportunities and positions may arise in the future.

With those caveats out of the way, good luck in your job hunt!