With nearly every industry looking for designers to help its brands stand out from their competitors, it’s no wonder that designers are in high demand. The best thing about this is that design jobs can also be a great way to earn a good living
If you’re a creative person looking to boost your income or even change careers completely, there are plenty of opportunities for designers. Here’s a list of 16 design jobs that pay over $100k annually.
1. User Experience (UX) Designer
Annual salary: $111,913
User experience (UX) designers focus on making a website or app easy to use. They create wireframes and mockups that illustrate how users will interact with a product to make it more intuitive and easy to navigate.
UX designers often work in teams with other designers, developers, and content creators to build clear and intuitive products for users. In addition, they often lead the design process from start to finish or assist with larger projects like rebranding efforts or website redesigns.
UX designers aren’t required to have any specific degree or certification, though many do have an undergraduate degree in graphic design or related fields like industrial design or architecture.
2. User Interface (UI) Designer
Annual salary: $100,857
A user interface (UI) designer creates the interface or visual design for an application, website, or other digital product. They create wireframes and mockups and then produce the final visual design used in the final product, which can include things like colors, text, and images.
UI designers understand how people interact with software and visualize the best way to present information. In addition, their work must be usable by everyone regardless of their experience with technology or other software programs.
3. Senior Visual Designer
Annual salary: $109,938
Senior visual designers are responsible for managing the visual design of large-scale projects. They create and maintain design standards, manage design teams, and collaborate with other designers, developers, and project managers to create high-quality user interfaces for websites and applications.
They may work closely with the chief marketing officer (CMO), chief financial officer (CFO), and other executives to understand the company’s brand, mission, and goals. They also collaborate with various departments, such as sales and product management, to make sure their designs align with business goals.
Senior visual designers typically have several years of experience under their belts, which is why they can command a hefty salary — up to six figures.
4. Front-end Web Developer
Annual salary: $101,863
Front-end web developers often work with back-end developers (who are responsible for the logic behind websites) and designers (who create the look and feel of websites). The position is crucial in creating interactive sites that are both visually appealing and functional.
Front-end web developers can be found at all levels, from entry-level positions as junior developers to senior positions as managers. They typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field.
5. Art Director
Annual salary: $115,430
Art directors are responsible for developing visual concepts and designs. They plan, direct, and coordinate the design of advertising campaigns. They are also responsible for the campaigns’ overall concept, including print, broadcast, and digital content.
Art directors work closely with clients to understand their business objectives and create compelling work that resonates with consumers. They also ensure that their clients’ vision is realized on time and within budget.
Art directors typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject. They also need previous work experience. Depending on the industry, they may have worked as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, or photographers before becoming art directors.
6. Product Designer
Annual salary: $119,921
A product designer is responsible for creating user-friendly products. This job is ideal for entrepreneurs and innovators who want to design a product from scratch, but it can also be used as a stepping stone to other positions in the industry.
Product designers are responsible for every aspect of their product — from research and development to marketing and sales. Therefore, they must stay up-to-date on current trends and technologies, as well as understand how consumers use their products.
A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required for most product design jobs, though some positions may require a master’s degree or even an MBA.
7. Video Game Designer
Annual salary: $118,445
Video game designers are responsible for creating the story, characters, and gameplay of a video game. They work closely with engineers, programmers, and other members of the development team to ensure that their vision comes to life on screen.
They research new technologies and trends, then translate that data into a working game design. Video game designers also make sure that their games meet all industry standards and requirements before being released to the public.
To become a videogame designer, getting a degree in computer graphics, programming, art, or another related field is something to consider.
8. Creative Director
Annual salary: $135,362
Creative directors are the visionaries of their organizations. Their job is to lead teams of designers and developers in creating new products, services, advertising campaigns, and more.
Creative directors must communicate their vision to others so that team members can implement it properly. To do this effectively, they must have excellent communication skills, a keen eye for design and marketing trends, and experience managing employees.
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design, advertising, or communications is generally required. Many creative directors also have graduate degrees in business administration or marketing.
9. Graphic Design Manager
Annual salary: $68,233 to $170,714
Graphic designers with managerial duties may be responsible for overseeing the work of other designers, handling administrative tasks, and supervising project budgets. In addition, the job often involves working with clients to create marketing materials, logos, and other visual elements to promote their products or services.
Many graphic design managers work for advertising agencies or design firms. But some are employed by publishing companies, computer software manufacturers, and other types of businesses that need graphics created for their products or services.
The typical graphic design manager has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or art, but some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).
10. Creative Technologist
Annual salary: $110,539
Creative technologists are a unique breed. They’re the intersection of creative, technical, and business minds that can understand the needs of their clients and deliver websites, apps, software, and more that are not only functional but also beautiful.
Creative technologists work with many different types of clients, from small businesses to large corporations, which means they can choose projects that interest them the most.
Aside from technical knowledge and visual design skills, creative technologists also need business acumen and communication skills to effectively communicate with stakeholders within their organizations, such as product managers, programmers, and end-users.
11. Design Technologist
Annual salary: $121,635
Design technologists work on front-end programming, design, and user experience all at the same time. They’re responsible for creating and implementing user-centered designs and developing and implementing prototypes.
They can usually code, but they also have a deep understanding of design and human behavior. Design technologists work with clients to understand the problem they’re trying to solve and then design solutions that can be executed by developers or other people on their team.
Design technologists are interested both in their work’s technical and creative aspects, which gives them a unique perspective on how things should look and function.They typically have experience in engineering, computer science, or a related field.
12. Creative Manager
Annual salary: $109,612
Creative managers are responsible for managing the creative staff in their organization. They work closely with the creative director to develop and execute strategies to help their company meet its goals. They also oversee projects from start to finish, ensuring that everything goes as planned and that deadlines are met.
Creative managers work in many areas, including advertising, marketing, and public relations. They are responsible for managing a team of graphic designers, copywriters, and other creative professionals to ensure that the company’s marketing materials are done on time and within budget.
This role is often filled by someone with a background in design. This position usually requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a specific creative field, such as marketing or graphic design.
Annual salary: $106,680
Architects are the people who design buildings. They’re responsible for all aspects of the building process, from initial concept through construction and completion. Therefore, they need to have an eye for detail and a strong ability to visualize how a structure will look when it’s completed.
Architects work in various settings, including private practices, architecture firms, and government agencies. They may also work as consultants on large projects. In addition, architects with specialized skills can earn more than those without them. For example, an architect specializing in historic preservation may have a higher salary than an architect specializing in commercial buildings.
14. Fashion Designer
Annual salary: $109,060
Fashion designers are the creative minds behind some of the most famous brands in the world. They’re responsible for developing new designs and trends and overseeing the production of clothing.
Many fashion designers start by working in the industry they’re interested in, such as retail or wholesale retailing. Others start as assistants to established designers or at design firms.
The highest paying industry for fashion designers is the motion picture and video industry, where they can earn six-figure salaries on average. Fashion designers typically have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, textile merchandising, or a related field.
15. Interior Designer
Annual salary: $131,390
An interior designer is responsible for planning and implementing visual designs for residential spaces, commercial buildings, and more. This person must have an eye for color coordination and balance and an understanding of how furniture, lighting, and other decor items will affect the overall feel of a space.
Interior designers work with clients to create spaces that reflect their tastes and lifestyle. Most interior designers are self-employed, often working on a contract basis for corporations and individuals.
The highest paying industry for interior designers is securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments. They often have a bachelor’s degree in architecture, design, or interior design, but some employers prefer a master’s degree and certification.
16. Industrial Designer
Annual salary: $124,630
Industrial designers create new products, improve existing ones and work with other people to make sure their designs are practical and functional enough to be manufactured at scale. They are responsible for everything from how a product feels in your hand to how it looks on a shelf.
Industrial designers work with engineers and other stakeholders to ensure that products are designed with function and usability in mind. The top-paying industry where industrial designers can earn six-figure salaries is manufacturing semiconductors and other electronic components.
Industrial designers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in industrial design or another relevant field. Most industrial design programs include courses in drawing, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), and three-dimensional modeling.
If you have a passion for design, you should be glad to know that your options are seemingly limitless. The job market is alive and well for designers with many different jobs offering over $100k salaries.
All of the listed positions not only pay well but also come with substantial growth opportunities and job security. So if you’re thinking about moving into a field related to design, one of these roles may be a perfect fit for your career.