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Freelance Designer Careers

Whether we are talking about industrial design or visual communication, a designer is a creative professional who comes up with ideas for objects, packaging, or layouts. Working as a freelance designer means you are not employed by one company but work on your own, for different clients, on a project basis.

There are many different aspects of design. You can be a graphic designer creating product illustrations or visuals for brand identities, a user experience designer making easy-to-navigate websites, software, or applications. You can design interior spaces, or special effects for the entertainment media, or clothes and accessories for the fashion industry.

Whatever the case, as a freelance designer, you are basically an entrepreneur and find your own clients, take care of accounts, and the promotion of your services for yourself and in exchange, you enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working on your own time and your own terms.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a freelance designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $32.25 an hour? That's $67,073 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 8,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Freelance Designer Do

There are certain skills that many freelance designers 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 analytical skills, artistic ability and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a freelance designer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.9% of freelance designers included company website, while 9.8% of resumes included layout, and 8.3% of resumes included graphic design. 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 freelance designer job title. But what industry to start with? Most freelance designers actually find jobs in the retail and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Freelance Designer

If you're interested in becoming a freelance designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.0% of freelance designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.6% of freelance designers have master's degrees. Even though most freelance designers 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 freelance designer. When we researched the most common majors for a freelance designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on freelance designer resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a freelance designer. In fact, many freelance designer jobs require experience in a role such as graphic designer. Meanwhile, many freelance designers also have previous career experience in roles such as designer or internship.

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Average Salary
$67,073
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
20,240
Job Openings

Freelance Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Freelance Designer

Top Careers After Freelance Designer

Designer
11.4 %

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 Freelance Designer

Freelance Designers in America make an average salary of $67,073 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $79,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $56,000 per year.
Average Salary
$67,073

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Hebrew Speaking Marketing & Design Freelance
Hebrew Speaking Marketing & Design Freelance
Jewish Community Center
Jewish Community Center
01/09/2021
01/09/2021
$73,04501/09/2021
$73,045
Design Freelancer
Design Freelancer
Fung Retailing Limited
Fung Retailing Limited
09/13/2020
09/13/2020
$31,30509/13/2020
$31,305
Freelance Designer
Freelance Designer
24 Seven Staffing, LLC
24 Seven Staffing, LLC
06/08/2018
06/08/2018
$156,52506/08/2018
$156,525

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Freelance Designer 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 Freelance Designer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Freelance Designer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Freelance Designer 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

Freelance Designer Demographics

Gender

female

49.0 %

male

45.2 %

unknown

5.8 %

Ethnicity

White

75.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.3 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.8 %

French

11.5 %

Italian

6.6 %
See More Demographics

Freelance Designer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

68.0 %

Associate

15.0 %

Masters

8.6 %

Top Colleges for Freelance Designers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Freelance Designer

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, 9.9% of freelance designers listed company website on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and artistic ability are important as well.

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Top Freelance Designer 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 freelance designers and discovered their number of freelance designer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Creative Group was the best, especially with an average salary of $69,556. Contractors follows up with an average salary of $68,573, and then comes Aquent with an average of $73,046. 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 freelance designer. The employers include Fox, Maritz Holdings, and Jewish Community Center

1. Creative Group
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$69,556
Freelance Designers Hired: 
33+
2. Contractors
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$68,573
Freelance Designers Hired: 
23+
3. Aquent
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$73,046
Freelance Designers Hired: 
22+
4. Ralph Lauren
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$70,660
Freelance Designers Hired: 
21+
5. Indesign
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$70,703
Freelance Designers Hired: 
21+
6. Kate Spade & Company
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$74,191
Freelance Designers Hired: 
19+

Freelance Designer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020