If you have a keen interest in art, colors, and technology, a career as a graphic designer is just the field for you! With an increase in the use of social media, every brand is inclined to create a strong digital presence. That is where the need for graphic design professionals comes into the picture, and consequently, the field of graphic design is rapidly growing. An increasing number of companies, small and big, new players in the market and established ones, all are ready to pay a hefty graphic designer salary in the UK. Continue reading to learn how much a graphic designer can earn in the UK, which city offers the highest salary, and what factors can influence the graphic designer salary in the UK.

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Responsibilities of a Graphic Designer

The career demands creative flair, knowledge of the latest software, and a responsible, professional approach to meeting deadlines and costs.

A graphic designer is responsible for creating eye-catching visuals for various products and activities, such as:

  • Books and magazines
  • Websites
  • Advertising
  • Posters
  • Computer Games
  • Corporate Communications
  • Product Packaging
  • Exhibitions and Displays

Although the exact duties of graphic designers depend on the company and industry they join, some of the common responsibilities are as follows:

  • Meet clients and discuss the business objectives/ requirements 
  • Estimate and provide quotes for clients
  • Create design briefs that suit the client's purpose
  • Employ creativity to come up with new ideas and concepts 
  • Figure innovative ways to redefine a design brief while conforming to the time constraints and costs
  • Present finalized ideas to clients/managers
  • Collaborate with a team to work with media, including computer-aided design (CAD) and stay updated on the emerging technologies
  • Produce accurate and high-quality work after thorough proofreading 
  • Demonstrate illustrative skills via sketches

What Is the Average Graphic Designer Salary in the UK?

As per Pay Scale, the average base salary of a graphic designer is £23,573/ year in the UK. A graphic designer's average total compensation package includes a base salary plus bonus and commissions. Here is a breakdown of the average total compensation:

Base Salary

£18k - £32k

Bonus

£202 - £3k

Profit Sharing

£206 - £2k

Commission

£800 - £3k

Total Pay

£18k - £34k

Source 

Factors Affecting Graphic Designer Salary in the UK

Several factors that affect the graphic designer salary in the UK are as follows:

  • Skills: Relevant skills can be critical determiners for graphic designer salary. Skills are crucial for entry-level candidates. Therefore, it is important to take up certified courses that can help advance your skill set and career. 
  • Years of Experience: Your years of experience are the most important contributors to your salary numbers. If you possess 3 to 4 years of experience as a graphic designer, you can expect a salary hike of £1k per year of experience.
  • Industry: The industry you work for will decide your salary figure. A graphic designer can earn a higher salary when working in the television industry than when he associates with a brand for an exhibition.
  • Specific Location: The location of the company significantly affects your salary. For instance, the same company offers a higher salary in London and a comparatively lower salary in Preston.
  • Type and Size of the Organization: The type of organization directly influences your salary as a graphic designer. If you associate with bigger brands, you will certainly be able to earn a higher income. 
  • Education and Training: A candidate's educational background is the next important factor influencing a graphic designer's salary. While most job openings mention a bachelor's degree in their requirements sections, possessing a master's or training in relevant subjects can help negotiate a higher salary. 
  • Performance: The quality of your work and overall performance in junior graphic designer positions can help you get promoted to senior positions and  a hike in your salary.

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Graphic Designer Salary UK Guide - 10 Year Plan 

A graphic designer salary in the UK ranges from £18k to £32k per year. Depending on your years of experience, the average salary can be as follows:

Experience 

Average Salary Per Year

0-6 months

£18k 

1-2 years

£19k 

3-4 years

£22k 

5-8 years

£24k 

9-10 years

£27k 

Source

Salaries of Different Graphic Designer Job Profiles

The salaries vary for different job profiles. Also, in-house design teams offer higher figures than design agencies. The average salaries of different graphic designer job profiles are as follows:

  • Junior Graphic Designer: Starting salaries for graphic designers range from £18,000 to £23,000. When a graphic designer gains one to two years of experience, the salaries can rise to £25,000.
  • Creative Lead/ Senior Graphic Designer: Their salary ranges between £27,000 to £32,000. 
  • Creative Director: The starting salary of a creative director is £32,000.
  • Freelance Graphic Designer: As a freelancer, graphic designers can make between £200 and £400 per day if they have an impressive portfolio and experience to their credit.
  • Visual Designer: The average salary of a visual designer is £40,104 per year in the UK.
  • Digital Designer: You can make £34,716 per year as a digital designer.
  • Web Designer: The demand for web designers is rising; the average salary of web designers in the UK is £28,993 per year.

Comparison of Graphic Designer Salary in the UK by Location: Which City Pays the Highest?

A graphic designer's salary can vary dramatically depending on the location of the job. For instance, a graphic designer salary in London is more than the salary offered in Manchester. Here's a look at some of the highest paying cities for graphic designers in the UK.  

City

Average Salary Per Year

London 

£33,403

Southampton 

£26,762

Oxford

£26,420

Manchester

£25,820

Birmingham 

£25,313

Huddersfield 

£24,491

Sheffield

£23,560

Preston 

£22,136

Source

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Top Skills that can Uplevel Your Graphic Designer Salary

Employers seek skilled candidates who can help them advance their businesses. They prefer candidates with added skills who stand out from the rest. One must understand that there is no specific definition of skills because every job and each project may require different technical knowledge. Apart from technical and illustrating skills, graphic designers must exhibit the following qualities:

  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
  • Corel Draw
  • Social Media 
  • Typesetting
  • Web designing
  • Basic knowledge of HTML and UI/UX designing
  • Video editing and animation
  • Acrobat
  • Dreamweaver
  • Illustrator
  • User Interface Design
  • 3D Rendering
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Project Management
  • WordPress
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Flash Animation
  • Web Content Management
  • Digital Design
  • InDesign
  • QuarkXPress

Soft skills are also essential for graphic designers. Following are some important soft skills: 

  • Enthusiasm for design with a creative flair
  • A flexible approach while collaborating with a team
  • Excellent communication skills to negotiate briefs 
  • Good presentation skills 
  • Time management skills 
  • Accuracy and attention to detail for finalizing designs
  • Effective networking skills to strengthen contacts
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Become a Design Leader 

All of the above information is interesting, but aspiring Graphic Designers should never lose sight of the two biggest factors in their career— education and training. One of the best ways to boost your salary potential is to enroll in Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Digital Transformation Certification Program in collaboration with Purdue University. The course envelopes a host of reformative concepts to help graphic designers kick-start their journey and progress to become design leaders. Designers can gain powerful digital leadership skills by advancing their design thinking. 

Graphic design is an ideal profession for creative and tech-savvy minds. They have multiple opportunities to land remunerative offers as digital designing is on an exponential rise. Acquiring experience, certification, and competitive skills can help you land lucrative jobs at top companies. Sign-up for a Simplilearn course to grow your career exponentially. Enroll today! 

FAQs

1.Which industries require graphic designers?

Some of the top industries that require graphic designers are as follows:

  • MNCs
  • Television Industry
  • Corporate Businesses
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Publishing Houses
  • Web Designing
  • Marketing Firms
  • Design Studios
  • Commercial Packaging

2. What qualifications are required to excel as a graphic designer?

Subjects involving visual arts are the best for a graphic designer. A degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) in any of the following subjects can increase your chances of landing your dream job:

  • 3D Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Communication Design
  • Film and Television
  • Fine Art
  • Photography
  • Illustration
  • Visual Art

3. What is the average graphic designer salary in the UK per hour?

A graphic designer can earn up to £12.37 per hour in the UK. Cities like London offer more, and the average salary can rise to £15.36 per hour. 

4. Which graphic design companies are the best in the UK?

Some of the best graphic design companies in the UK are listed below:

  • Pentagram 
  • Wolff Olins 
  • The Chase 
  • Pearlfisher 
  • Charlie Smith Design 

5. How do I become a graphic designer in the UK?

You do not require any formal qualifications to become a graphic designer in the UK. However, qualifications can help you sharpen your design skills. Graphic designers with a diploma or degree in a related subject such as fine art, graphic design, illustration, visual communication or product design find it easier to begin their career. 

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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