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The average salary for a Design and Media in U.S. is $66,100.

Annual Average Salary Information

Annual Average Salary: $66,100


Hourly Pay Information

Hourly Average Salary: $31.78


What does a Design and Media earn?

On average, designers and media professionals earn around $66,100 per year in the U.S. They work on creative projects for clients of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. Designers and media professionals can specialise in digital graphics, video editing, advertising or media relations, among other fields.

How to earn more as a Design and Media

To become a designer or media professional, you will need to train in design, media arts or digital media. Alternatively, you could consider a degree apprenticeship. To increase your earnings as a design or media professional, you should look at specialising in a specific field like illustration, audio engineering or web design. You may even decide to work for yourself as a freelancer or set up your own company.

Design and Media responsibilities

The average design and media salary greatly depend on the job title and its duties. The job title could be for an entry-level position, such as junior Graphic Designer, a mid-level position, such as Public Relations Specialist, or a senior or management position, such as Editor or Music Director.

Most careers working as Graphic Designers, a Media Designer, or similar, will see you receive an average base salary for responsibilities and duties such as conceptualising artwork, creating design solutions, producing animations, developing TV show concepts, adjusting lighting, or directing actors. 

Media and design leaders earn higher salaries and additional pay for focusing on delegating tasks to the marketing team, making creative direction decisions, measuring employee performance, and ensuring briefs are met, with successful outcomes.

Skills and education level

Your education level is one of the most significant pay factors. Most agencies or businesses will expect you to have a high school diploma for entry-level jobs, such as trainee Media Designer or Graphic Designer. You should be paid a higher salary, and possibly profit sharing or bonuses, if you work for employers requesting a high school degree, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or master’s.

You can take the General Education Development Test (GED) if you do not have a U.S. high school diploma to show you have the same level of knowledge and education as a person who has completed high school. You can take the GED test within America or from 90 countries around the world.

Designer pay can also be a reflection of the skills they possess. For example, an excellent designer salary may be given to individuals who can display or provide evidence of creativity, innovation, attention to detail, time management, and design software proficiency.

What to expect from Design and Media careers

You can start your career as a trainee or junior Graphic Designer or Media Designer and earn an average salary. Graduate-level jobs are also available, with the highest salary going to those with the most advanced education. You will most likely be expected to work in an office environment, collaborating with marketing team members. 

Your workload and variety of tasks may be dictated by the company size. You could be responsible for working on one project or simultaneously working on many. In these high-paying industries, hours can vary, and a Media Designer or Graphic Designer could work remotely, partially or full-time.

You will be expected to be adaptable, efficient, and solutions-driven. Client confidentiality is crucial, and there may be company or government policies and guidelines to follow. Your working day could follow a similar routine or be widely different with incoming ad-hoc projects and tasks.

Design and Media job title

There are numerous job titles within the design and media industry. For example, media and design-related job titles include Camera Operator, Fashion Designer, Graphic Designer, Journalist, Lighting Technician, Media Designer, Photographer, Producer, PR Specialist, and Translator.

You can search for Graphic Designer and Media Designer vacancies and salaries on for entry-level to senior positions.

Highest-paying locations for Design and Media jobs

The location of your design and media job in America and the United States can significantly affect your pay and compensation. You can use our Salary Calculator to check the annual salary and hourly average salary for jobs in any location in America. We have salary and pay data for locations such as California, New York, the District of Columbia, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, San Francisco, and more.

You could consider relocating to improve your compensation. However, if you do not wish to relocate, this does not mean you cannot improve your pay. A short commute and working for a business in an inner city location will often mean access to better salaries. If you are interested in a job in a rural location or city, you can use our annual salary data to check if employers are offering a below, above or average salary.

Design and Media professional development

The salary for design and media professionals varies depending on the individual’s career level and experience in the field. Entry-level positions have the lowest pay, while fully qualified workers, senior staff, and management earn more. Graduates with relevant qualifications may command a higher starting salary. To increase your earning potential, consider taking training opportunities such as workshops or online courses. Our per-hour and annual salary data provide guidance on the wage range and earnings for junior, intermediate, and senior industry roles.

Design and Media work experience

Obtaining prior design and media work experience in your chosen career path can significantly enhance your chances of getting hired and earning a competitive salary. Practical experiences such as internships, apprenticeships, shadowing, and vacation work can provide valuable skills and knowledge in the field. If it is not possible to find work experience directly for your prospective job, showcasing transferable skills gained from other experiences can also be beneficial to potential employers and demonstrate your experience level.

Design and Media working hours

Working hours for your design and media job and career can have an impact on monthly pay and salaries. Companies of different sizes may offer higher overtime pay or additional compensation for working non-traditional hours, such as evenings, weekends, or holidays. The type of employment, such as part-time, full-time, permanent, temporary, or contract, can also affect the salary received and should be considered when evaluating compensation fairness.

Design and Media salary negotiations

To be well-prepared for design and media salary negotiations with employers, it’s crucial to research and understand the typical salaries and other compensation factors, such as average bonus, for prospective positions. Use our salary comparison tool and perform searches for different job titles and locations to determine your worth.

Keep in mind that compensation is not only limited to financial benefits and performance-related commission, and consider other benefits such as the ability to work from home, additional paid vacation, gym membership, or private healthcare.

Annual salary, median salary, and taxes

When you review the design and media median salary or annual salary for a role, it is vital to remember that you will pay taxes on salaries paid. When you receive your pay, you may be liable for various employment taxes, either deducted by your employer or required by self-payment. U.S. government taxes can include Federal Income Tax, Federal and State Unemployment Tax, Social Security and Medicare Tax, and Additional Medicare Taxes.

Design and Media job search

If you are seeking a better salary, start your design and media job search today. You can search for jobs by job title and set up job alerts to get notified as soon as an employer posts their vacancy.