Working as a Design Manager

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a design manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.72 an hour? That's $97,171 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 5,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Design Manager Do

There are certain skills that many design managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed visualization, math skills and creativity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a design manager, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.0% of design managers included product development, while 8.4% of resumes included project management, and 5.7% of resumes included user interface. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the design manager job title. But what industry to start with? Most design managers actually find jobs in the technology and construction industries.

How To Become a Design Manager

If you're interested in becoming a design manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.2% of design managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.2% of design managers have master's degrees. Even though most design managers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a design manager. When we researched the most common majors for a design manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on design manager resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a design manager. In fact, many design manager jobs require experience in a role such as designer. Meanwhile, many design managers also have previous career experience in roles such as project manager or senior designer.

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Average Salary$97,171
Job Growth Rate3%

Design Manager Jobs

Design Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before Design Manager
Designer13.4 %
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Top Careers After Design Manager
Manager6.2 %
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What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Design Manager

Design Managers in America make an average salary of $97,171 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $154,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $61,000 per year.
Average Salary
$97,171

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Digital Design Manager
Digital Design Manager
Washington Health Benefit Exchange
Washington Health Benefit Exchange
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$87,90507/31/2020
$87,905
Digital Design Manager
Digital Design Manager
State of Washington
State of Washington
07/15/2020
07/15/2020
$87,90507/15/2020
$87,905
Electrical Design Manager
Electrical Design Manager
Spherion
Spherion
07/07/2020
07/07/2020
$114,78507/07/2020
$114,785
Design Manager | Commercial Interiors
Design Manager | Commercial Interiors
Interior Talent
Interior Talent
06/28/2020
06/28/2020
$95,00006/28/2020
$95,000
Electrical Design Manager
Electrical Design Manager
Spherion
Spherion
06/09/2020
06/09/2020
$114,78506/09/2020
$114,785
See More Recent Salaries

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Design Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

60.4 %

Female

34.6 %

Unknown

5.0 %
Ethnicity

White

61.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.1 %

Black or African American

10.7 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.5 %

French

10.5 %

German

6.8 %
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Design Manager Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

14.5 %

University of Cincinnati

6.3 %

Arizona State University

6.0 %

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.0 %
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Majors

Graphic Design

21.1 %

Business

13.5 %

Drafting And Design

8.9 %

Interior Design

7.6 %
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.2 %

Associate

18.4 %

Masters

15.2 %

Certificate

6.1 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Design Manager

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Design Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.0% of design managers listed product development on their resume, but soft skills such as visualization and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Design Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a design manager. The best states for people in this position are California, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Colorado. Design managers make the most in California with an average salary of $123,338. Whereas in New Mexico and Hawaii, they would average $120,933 and $117,910, respectively. While design managers would only make an average of $116,418 in Colorado, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Design Manager Jobs:
1,953
Highest 10% Earn:
$206,000
Location Quotient:
1.88
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Colorado

Total Design Manager Jobs:
262
Highest 10% Earn:
$195,000
Location Quotient:
1.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Design Manager Jobs:
440
Highest 10% Earn:
$189,000
Location Quotient:
1.88
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Design Manager Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a design manager. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless design manager resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Design Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless design manager resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Design Manager Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ design managers and discovered their number of design manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Texas Instruments was the best, especially with an average salary of $92,622. Starbucks follows up with an average salary of $29,600, and then comes Apple with an average of $103,599. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a design manager. The employers include DuPont, CDM Smith, and Atlassian

1. Texas Instruments
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,622
Design Managers Hired: 
62+
2. Starbucks
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$29,600
Design Managers Hired: 
41+
3. Apple
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$103,599
Design Managers Hired: 
32+
4. Intel
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,479
Design Managers Hired: 
28+
5. Nordstrom
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$37,529
Design Managers Hired: 
28+
6. The Walt Disney Company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$53,941
Design Managers Hired: 
19+

Design Manager Videos

Recently Added Design Manager Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020