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Salary and Pay Rates
Graphic Design

How much are Graphic designers paid per hour?


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Wiki User
June 05, 2008 3:25PM

Graphic designers usually either work for a studio or firm or operate independently from their home or office. In a studio, an entry-level designer can expect to be paid $15-$18/hr, however a graduate with competence and a worthy portfolio can expect to start off with a salary of $45k-$65k per year, which would seem like $25/hr to $36/hr, but in reality designers making decent money usually work more than 40 hrs/week.

Working independently is a totally different story. Freelance or registered business-owning designers need to charge more because they need to pay income taxes on that income. They also need to cover business costs like electricity/equipment costs, paper, ink, insurance, etc. Freelance designers usually charge between $40 and $140 per hour, depending on experience, and quality of work. It also depends on location, type of work, type of client, and convenience of the project.

A typical calculation for a freelancer with 3-4 years of experience,

working from home might include:

$50,000 expected annual design salary, single employee

+$40,000 annual operating costs (rent/equipment/utils/travel/insurance)

=$90,000 business costs

/1,750 (BILLABLE annual hours {36hrs/week x 49 weeks/yr})

=$51.43/hr break-even rate



+50% profit for growth



$92.57/hr charge for clients

$25.51/hr goes to designer's pockets