The Creative Group does a great job of surveying creatives at varying job titles and agencies around the country to compile this salary guide annually.
According to their guide, a Graphic Designer with 1-3 years of experience can expect to make anywhere from $39,000 - $56,000. That number may fluctuate a bit depending on the cost of living in a particular area.
For example, the same survey shows that in Lancaster, PA, a Graphic Designer with 1-3 years of experience can expect to earn a salary of $32,000 - $46,000.
Salaries can vary. some places like silicon valley can skewy the averages up which can lead to unrealistic expectations.
It's kind of hard to get an accurate picture, but I suggest going to those websites and checking out what the salary is to where you actually live to give you a slightly better picture.
Salaries can vary depending on what field and location you are in. The Creative Group puts together a yearly Salary Guide for careers in creative fields. You can find it here: https://www.roberthalf.com/creativegroup/salary-center-for-creative-and-marketing-professionals.
• years of experience
• client side or ad agency job
• if client side and with a publicly traded company salary could be lower
• all print focus or print and digital
• what part of the country the job is in
Those primary drivers can shift starting salaries a good bid. For designers I have hired being their first job out of school I have started them on average in the mid 40s. This is for client side work and a focus of print and digital work. Depending on how strong the designer is determines how fast their salary grows from there. On client side we can offer bonuses and other benefits not found at an ad agency so some client side work may look like lower pay but come with other added incentives. I have worked on both sides of Ad agency and Client side and started out of school really lower but asked that if I am pulling my weight in 6 months we renegotiate the salary. I worked really hard and 6 months in got a nice raise. I did move Client side and have been there over 16 years. My focus has been to do great work and let the salary work itself out naturally. This has served me well as I prefer not to play cards forcing pay raises as you only get to do that a time or two before your employer will develop a bit of a negative view of your motives.