Find The Best Lead Graphic Designer Jobs For You

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Average Salary
$69,249
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
20,022
Job Openings

Lead Graphic Designer Careers

Lead graphic designers are in charge of creating the visual identity of a brand, product, or business. They lead a team of graphic designers working to realize their vision and come up with comprehensive visual communication campaigns with a complex marketing impact.

Working as a lead graphic designer, you will be expected to make independent creative decisions, guide graphic designers on your team, approve their efforts, or push them in the direction you think the project should go. You will need to be an experienced professional to take on this role, with years of practice behind you creating advertising and branding materials.

You will be using digital design programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, and Illustrator on a daily basis. You will need to keep an up-to-date insight into visual advertising trends and have a feel for efficient use of colors, printing options, layouts, and the like. Keeping in contact with printing presses and vendors will also be your task.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead graphic designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $33.29 an hour? That's $69,249 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 Lead Graphic Designer Do

There are certain skills that many lead graphic 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 lead graphic designer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.4% of lead graphic designers included graphic design, while 10.4% of resumes included company website, and 8.7% of resumes included layout. 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 lead graphic designer job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead graphic designers actually find jobs in the manufacturing and retail industries.

How To Become a Lead Graphic Designer

If you're interested in becoming a lead graphic designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 60.9% of lead graphic designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.5% of lead graphic designers have master's degrees. Even though most lead graphic 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 lead graphic designer. When we researched the most common majors for a lead graphic designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead graphic 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 lead graphic designer. In fact, many lead graphic designer jobs require experience in a role such as graphic designer. Meanwhile, many lead graphic designers also have previous career experience in roles such as graphic designer internship or graphic artist.

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Average Salary
$69,249
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
20,022
Job Openings

Lead Graphic Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Graphic Designer

Top Careers After Lead Graphic Designer

Lead Graphic Designer Jobs You Might Like

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 Lead Graphic Designer

Lead Graphic Designers in America make an average salary of $69,249 per year or $33 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $114,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $41,000 per year.
Average Salary
$69,249
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range67k - 135k$96k$95,696
New York, NY
Salary Range57k - 108k$79k$78,598
Seattle, WA
Salary Range52k - 103k$74k$73,518
Washington, DC
Salary Range50k - 92k$68k$67,980
Austin, TX
Salary Range46k - 95k$67k$66,855
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range42k - 58k$50k$49,824
$35k
$135k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Computer Graphics Pipeline Lead
Computer Graphics Pipeline Lead
Netflix, Inc.
Netflix, Inc.
03/10/2021
03/10/2021
$75,08803/10/2021
$75,088
Graphic Design Lead
Graphic Design Lead
Texas Medical Center
Texas Medical Center
02/05/2021
02/05/2021
$72,82802/05/2021
$72,828
Creative Manager & Lead Graphic Designer
Creative Manager & Lead Graphic Designer
Western State College
Western State College
01/10/2021
01/10/2021
$38,00001/10/2021
$38,000
ACD-Graphic Design Lead
ACD-Graphic Design Lead
The Many, LLC
The Many, LLC
12/02/2020
12/02/2020
$150,00012/02/2020
$150,000
Graphic Designer and Lead Sign Maker
Graphic Designer and Lead Sign Maker
Spherion
Spherion
07/27/2020
07/27/2020
$45,00007/27/2020
$45,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Graphic 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 Lead Graphic 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 Lead Graphic Designer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Lead Graphic 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

Lead Graphic Designer Demographics

Gender

male

58.6 %

female

37.8 %

unknown

3.6 %

Ethnicity

White

75.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.3 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.7 %

French

9.9 %

Mandarin

3.3 %
See More Demographics

Lead Graphic Designer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

60.9 %

Associate

21.6 %

Certificate

9.2 %

Top Colleges for Lead Graphic 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

Online Courses For Lead Graphic Designer That You May Like

Graphic Design Mastery: The FULL Branding & Design Process
udemy
4.7
(627)

Follows the FULL Graphic Design Process for A Company: Logo, Ad, Social Media, T-Shirt, Package, Website Design & More!...

Graphic Design Masterclass - Learn GREAT Design
udemy
4.7
(27,094)

The Ultimate Graphic Design Course Which Covers Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Design Theory, Branding and Logo Design...

Master Graphic Design & Software with Practical Projects
udemy
4.7
(445)

Conquer Popular Graphic Design Projects: Logo, Package, Magazine, Book Cover Design, Branding, Digital Graphics & More!...

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Top Skills For a Lead Graphic 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, 11.4% of lead graphic designers listed graphic design on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and artistic ability are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Graphic Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead graphic designer. The best states for people in this position are California, Oregon, Nevada, and New York. Lead graphic designers make the most in California with an average salary of $83,433. Whereas in Oregon and Nevada, they would average $80,176 and $79,283, respectively. While lead graphic designers would only make an average of $78,258 in New York, 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. Nevada

Total Lead Graphic Designer Jobs:
376
Highest 10% Earn:
$150,000
Location Quotient:
2.62
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. Oregon

Total Lead Graphic Designer Jobs:
450
Highest 10% Earn:
$148,000
Location Quotient:
1.58
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. California

Total Lead Graphic Designer Jobs:
2,957
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
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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How Do Lead Graphic Designer Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Life of My DesignAugust 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoLife of My DesignAugust 2019

What do you like the most about working as Lead Graphic Designer?

The opportunity to learn about a client's business needs and create design solutions that can be tested and measured. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Working for a manager who doesn't understand design. Show More

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Top Lead Graphic Designer Employers

1. Signarama
3.1
Avg. Salary: 
$84,207
Lead Graphic Designers Hired: 
18+
2. Minuteman Press Franchise
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$114,441
Lead Graphic Designers Hired: 
9+
3. Whole Foods Market
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$79,028
Lead Graphic Designers Hired: 
8+
4. Signs By Tomorrow
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$81,335
Lead Graphic Designers Hired: 
8+
5. PostNet
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$64,094
Lead Graphic Designers Hired: 
6+
6. AlphaGraphics
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$52,324
Lead Graphic Designers Hired: 
6+
Updated October 2, 2020