These Are The 10 Best States For Designers

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Designers are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as designers in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.

Since designers are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where designers have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around, and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.

To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for designers. After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s designers:

  1. New York
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Kansas
  4. Indiana
  5. Maine
  6. California
  7. Michigan
  8. Missouri
  9. Texas
  10. Colorado

So there you have it — New York is the best of the best when it comes to being a designers.

How did it end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for designers and for more on the top ten states.

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How we determined the best states to be a designer

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 states for designers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well 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 state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

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

Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for designers in California is $72,780 and the average salary in Illinois is $68,010, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.

In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.

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

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

1. New York

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 7,440
Average Annual Salary: $79,610
Average Entry Level Salary: $39,140
Average Experienced Salary: $134,710
Location Quotient: 6.0

2. Massachusetts

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 310
Average Annual Salary: $86,600
Average Entry Level Salary: $43,940
Average Experienced Salary: $132,480
Location Quotient: 0.65

3. Kansas

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 230
Average Annual Salary: $63,460
Average Entry Level Salary: $33,280
Average Experienced Salary: $99,980
Location Quotient: 1.22

4. Indiana

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 50
Average Annual Salary: $72,340
Average Entry Level Salary: $35,620
Average Experienced Salary: $139,720
Location Quotient: 0.12

5. Maine

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 70
Average Annual Salary: $71,030
Average Entry Level Salary: $29,280
Average Experienced Salary: $112,970
Location Quotient: 0.91

6. California

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 6,180
Average Annual Salary: $72,780
Average Entry Level Salary: $30,840
Average Experienced Salary: $128,970
Location Quotient: 2.89

7. Michigan

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 130
Average Annual Salary: $65,120
Average Entry Level Salary: $37,500
Average Experienced Salary: $102,240
Location Quotient: 0.23

8. Missouri

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 110
Average Annual Salary: $71,030
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,080
Average Experienced Salary: $154,070
Location Quotient: 0.28

9. Texas

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 600
Average Annual Salary: $56,090
Average Entry Level Salary: $33,160
Average Experienced Salary: $82,220
Location Quotient: 0.38

10. Colorado

Best States For Designers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 220
Average Annual Salary: $59,770
Average Entry Level Salary: $33,970
Average Experienced Salary: $93,230
Location Quotient: 0.64

There You Have It

If you’re looking to start out your career as a designer these are the states 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 states to be a designer in America:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Washington
  3. Wisconsin

Detailed List Of The Best States For Designers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 New York $79,610 $39,140 7,440
2 Massachusetts $86,600 $43,940 310
3 Kansas $63,460 $33,280 230
4 Indiana $72,340 $35,620 50
5 Maine $71,030 $29,280 70
6 California $72,780 $30,840 6,180
7 Michigan $65,120 $37,500 130
8 Missouri $71,030 $17,080 110
9 Texas $56,090 $33,160 600
10 Colorado $59,770 $33,970 220
11 Oregon $65,300 $29,570 160
12 South Carolina $63,490 $27,270 30
13 Illinois $68,010 $31,950 210
14 New Jersey $62,950 $18,610 320
15 Pennsylvania $52,760 $33,470 290
16 Utah $57,300 $26,720 50
17 Florida $57,610 $32,540 390
18 North Carolina $54,890 $30,560 120
19 Minnesota $52,940 $31,700 130
20 Hawaii $44,960 $29,290 40
21 New Hampshire $0 $0 90
22 Virginia $44,720 $32,810 80
23 Wisconsin $0 $0 180
24 Washington $0 $0 150
25 Tennessee $0 $0 90