Careers >> Browse Articles >> Creative Jobs By State


Top Paying States for Artists and Designers


Graphic Designers

                                                              Hourly           Annual
                                                                Wage            Wage             (Mean Salary 2009)

1. District of Columbia    $31.50   $65,500    (last year’s rank: 1) -
2. New York                     $24.79   $51,600    (last year’s rank: 3)
3. Connecticut                  $24.72   $51,400    (last year’s rank: 4)
4. CALIFORNIA             $24.70   $51,400    (last year’s rank: 2)
5. New Jersey                  $23.20   $48,300    (last year’s rank: 7)
6. Virginia                        $23.19   $48,200    (last year’s rank: 9)
7. Massachusetts              $23.14   $48,100    (last year’s rank: 8)
8. Maryland                      $23.08   $48,000   (last year’s rank: 5)
9. Delaware                      $22.92   $47,700    (last year’s rank: n/a)
10. Rhode Island              $22.85   $47,500    (last year’s rank: 6)

Worst: Puerto Rico (#52) $11.34 $23,600

Dropped Out of Top Ten: Illinois (last year’s rank: 10, this year: 12)

Wages & Employment Trends:
National Median wages (2009): $20.76 hourly, $43,180 annual
Employment (2008): 286,000 total U.S. employees
Projected growth (2008-2018): Average (7% to 13%)

Job Outlook

Graphic designers have a good job outlook based on the high demand for their services from small-to-large businesses, as well as individuals. Advertisers and computer firms will be the biggest employers over the next few years and those with web site design and animation experience will see the most commissions.

Loss in the overall number of jobs in publishing might give graphic designers a temporary job-loss blow, but the easier it is for publishers to use the web, the easier it will be for graphic designers to transfer their skills to the web. Designers with experience managing and marketing their own small business will also have a leg up finding jobs – most ads created for the web are based on the latest of communication and social-web strategies.

The top paying industries for this occupation are the Federal Executive Branch- OES Designation ($35.59 hourly mean, $74,030 annual mean), PC and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing ($31.85 hourly mean, $66,250 annual mean), Motion Picture and Video Industries ($31.11 hourly mean, $64,710 annual mean), Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing ($30.65 hourly mean, $63,750 annual mean), and Consumer Goods Rentals ($28.38 hourly mean, $59,040 annual mean).

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!