These Are The 10 Best Cities For Graphic Designers

We used the most recent data to determine the best cities in America for Graphic Designers to open up shop.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarBest States For Professions, Rankings - 1 year ago

Whether you’re just starting out your career, or looking to make a move, it can be important to know what part of the country offers the best chance for your long term career prospects. And for a very common profession like Graphic Designers, the regional differences can have a big impact on your salary and career options.

To help you make the best decision possible, we at Zippia wanted to look at the cities that offer graphic designers the most for their career. These are the cities across the US where graphic designers get paid well, relative to the cost of living, and jobs are plentiful.

So we did what we do best and dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which cities have the best opportunities for graphic designers.The result is this list of the best cities graphic designers:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Boulder, CO
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. Kansas City, MO
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Framingham, MA
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Columbus, OH
  9. Santa Rosa, CA
  10. Silver Spring, MD

So there you have it — San Francisco is the best city when it comes to being a graphic designer.

And where should you consider avoiding if you’re a graphic designer? That would be Laredo.

Read on to see how we completed our research on the best cities for graphic designers and for more on the top ten cities.

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How we determined the best cities to be a graphic designers?




Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

So in order to find out the best cities for graphic designers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well graphic designers get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given city.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across cities, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

This left us with enough data for 359 metro areas across the country. We then took the primary area of the metro and labeled that the ‘city’ for this analysis. So, for example, “Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division” became simply Boston.

In order to develop an overall ranking, we ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 359 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a city into a Job Score with the city having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best city for graphic designers in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each city so great for graphic designers.

1. San Francisco, CA

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 3,270
Average Annual Salary: $76,980
Average Entry Level Salary: $45,990
Location Quotient: 2.16

2. Boulder, CO

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 660
Average Annual Salary: $58,940
Average Entry Level Salary: $35,470
Location Quotient: 2.61

3. Seattle, WA

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 3,140
Average Annual Salary: $60,580
Average Entry Level Salary: $33,590
Location Quotient: 1.38

4. Kansas City, MO

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,950
Average Annual Salary: $51,910
Average Entry Level Salary: $31,770
Location Quotient: 1.28

5. San Jose, CA

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,850
Average Annual Salary: $75,780
Average Entry Level Salary: $39,670
Location Quotient: 1.23

6. Framingham, MA

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source:

Total Jobs: 410
Average Annual Salary: $62,760
Average Entry Level Salary: $38,380
Location Quotient: 1.58

7. Minneapolis, MN

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 4,360
Average Annual Salary: $56,010
Average Entry Level Salary: $32,820
Location Quotient: 1.56

8. Columbus, OH

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,710
Average Annual Salary: $53,220
Average Entry Level Salary: $32,470
Location Quotient: 1.15

9. Santa Rosa, CA

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 340
Average Annual Salary: $60,680
Average Entry Level Salary: $39,870
Location Quotient: 1.23

10. Silver Spring, MD

Best States For Graphic Designers

Source:

Total Jobs: 970
Average Annual Salary: $67,530
Average Entry Level Salary: $40,970
Location Quotient: 1.13

And that’s our list of the best cities for graphic designers

If you’re looking to start out your career as a graphic designer these are the cities that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst cities to be a graphic designer in America:

  1. Laredo, TX
  2. Corpus Christi, TX
  3. McAllen, TX

Detailed List Of The Best Cities For Graphic Designers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 San Francisco, CA $76,980 $45,990 3,270
2 Boulder, CO $58,940 $35,470 660
3 Seattle, WA $60,580 $33,590 3,140
4 Kansas City, MO $51,910 $31,770 1,950
5 San Jose, CA $75,780 $39,670 1,850
6 Framingham, MA $62,760 $38,380 410
7 Minneapolis, MN $56,010 $32,820 4,360
8 Columbus, OH $53,220 $32,470 1,710
9 Santa Rosa, CA $60,680 $39,870 340
10 Silver Spring, MD $67,530 $40,970 970
11 New York, NY $66,480 $34,760 17,880
12 Philadelphia, PA $62,380 $35,730 1,420
13 Atlanta, GA $53,500 $28,910 4,970
14 Bridgeport, CT $63,310 $38,190 740
15 St. Louis, MO $52,630 $30,210 2,210
16 Warren, MI $53,330 $30,830 2,030
17 Dayton, OH $48,270 $31,330 600
18 Lancaster, PA $50,710 $30,870 450
19 Salt Lake City, UT $50,840 $27,770 1,420
20 Trenton, NJ $62,240 $34,850 360
21 Montgomery County, PA $52,950 $29,790 1,850
22 Cincinnati, OH $49,400 $29,260 1,640
23 Madison, WI $47,970 $32,170 880
24 Portland, OR $52,320 $30,810 2,240
25 West Palm Beach, FL $52,970 $34,080 930
26 Akron, OH $46,740 $26,970 620
27 Chicago, IL $53,820 $30,790 6,560
28 Lowell, MA $73,870 $35,170 230
29 Oxnard, CA $60,370 $33,170 510
30 Dalton, GA $52,250 $32,840 80
31 Lake County, IL $52,680 $31,650 670
32 Reno, NV $53,020 $31,070 350
33 Charlottesville, VA $49,120 $33,680 200
34 Omaha, NE $46,140 $27,950 950
35 Peabody, MA $53,910 $38,030 170
36 Nashville, TN $47,880 $28,520 1,350
37 Providence, RI $55,040 $32,790 780
38 Oakland, CA $64,870 $31,690 1,790
39 Milwaukee, WI $50,730 $28,550 1,810
40 Greensboro, NC $49,850 $27,560 700
41 Denver, CO $53,350 $31,810 2,280
42 Raleigh, NC $50,900 $29,190 870
43 Portland, ME $55,810 $28,700 320
44 Dallas, TX $54,840 $30,820 2,720
45 Pocatello, ID $43,430 $26,290 60
46 Los Angeles, CA $58,670 $30,260 10,010
47 Des Moines, IA $45,860 $28,280 650
48 Lansing, MI $44,570 $29,040 370
49 Tulsa, OK $53,810 $29,660 500
50 Portsmouth, NH $56,700 $30,230 160
51 Winston, NC $51,690 $27,960 410
52 Boston, MA $58,100 $35,950 2,640
53 Provo, UT $49,040 $24,580 520
54 Lincoln, NE $43,890 $26,890 350
55 Detroit, MI $51,530 $30,880 810
56 Missoula, MT $41,980 $27,150 110
57 Elkhart, IN $45,560 $30,210 150
58 Waterloo, IA $43,440 $31,360 140
59 Huntsville, AL $52,360 $33,130 200
60 Anaheim, CA $55,100 $30,460 3,300
61 Kennewick, WA $52,100 $29,660 140
62 Durham, NC $48,500 $26,050 610
63 Charlotte, NC $49,520 $26,990 1,920
64 Fort Lauderdale, FL $45,920 $31,070 1,320
65 South Bend, IN $42,940 $27,840 190
66 Morgantown, WV $44,900 $28,540 70
67 Appleton, WI $47,880 $32,550 150
68 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY $43,530 $27,290 720
69 Fayetteville, AR $46,180 $25,670 280
70 Springfield, MA $54,570 $35,610 440
71 Newark, NJ $59,150 $32,660 1,350
72 Lebanon, PA $55,260 $32,260 40
73 Sioux Falls, SD $37,710 $28,170 270
74 Racine, WI $46,470 $26,960 170
75 Anchorage, AK $52,430 $33,590 210
76 Kalamazoo, MI $44,720 $26,230 260
77 Fargo, ND $39,390 $26,620 370
78 Houston, TX $46,480 $31,840 3,070
79 Cleveland, OH $43,900 $25,890 1,450
80 Richmond, VA $52,640 $30,960 830
81 Peoria, IL $54,780 $31,220 180
82 Austin, TX $49,030 $24,330 1,600
83 Tacoma, WA $51,920 $31,270 290
84 Reading, PA $42,790 $31,660 260
85 Knoxville, TN $46,770 $28,250 420
86 Elgin, IL $51,620 $27,480 420
87 Lawton, OK $43,250 $25,760 70
88 Springfield, IL $50,410 $29,860 140
89 Ogden, UT $45,520 $27,220 310
90 Atlantic City, NJ $58,700 $35,030 110
91 Auburn, AL $46,060 $27,670 60
92 Indianapolis, IN $42,340 $25,640 1,690
93 Columbus, GA $47,800 $29,690 110
94 Muncie, IN $48,240 $24,380 60
95 Greenville, NC $45,860 $29,750 90
96 Rochester, MN $53,020 $31,720 110
97 Napa, CA $49,460 $31,540 140
98 Grand Junction, CO $46,270 $32,480 80
99 San Rafael, CA $60,700 $21,170 410
100 Santa Fe, NM $39,480 $26,870 140

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