FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Principal Designer

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Principal Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $99,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Designer Do

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following: 

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, still others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Principal Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. It provides aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and experience the design process from concept to completion while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Principal Designer?

Send To A Friend

Principal Designer Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Principal Designer Career Paths

Principal Designer
Share

Do you work as a Principal Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Owner & Designer 6.1 years
Principal Designer 5.0 years
Designer/Artist 4.3 years
Senior Designer 4.2 years
Head Designer 3.6 years
Lead Designer 3.2 years
Designer 3.1 years
Package Designer 3.0 years
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Associate Designer 2.3 years
Junior Designer 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Principal Designer
Designer 14.5%
Draftsman 4.7%
Consultant 2.6%
Internship 2.1%
Top Careers After Principal Designer
Designer 8.3%
Consultant 3.9%
Principal 3.9%

Do you work as a Principal Designer?

Average Yearly Salary
$99,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$64,000
Min 10%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Median 50%
$153,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.9 years
How much does a Principal Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Principal Designer in the United States is $99,239 per year or $48 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $64,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $153,000.

Real Principal Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Design Manager Microsoft Corporation Palo Alto, CA Jun 24, 2015 $195,000
Designer (Principal Designer Program Manager) Microsoft Corporation Palo Alto, CA Aug 29, 2016 $195,000 -
$215,000
Principal Design Manager Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 01, 2014 $169,306
Principal Experience Designer Thoughtworks, Inc. Chicago, IL Apr 01, 2014 $160,000
Senior Principal Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 14, 2011 $155,482
Senior Principal Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 10, 2011 $154,960
Principal Economy Designer Storm8, Inc. Redwood City, CA Jun 01, 2015 $150,000 -
$170,000
Principal Designer Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 30, 2009 $149,282
Principal Designer Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 30, 2012 $149,282
Principal Designer KBR Technical Services, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 25, 2016 $147,013
Principal Designer Here North America, LLC Calabasas, CA Aug 14, 2014 $139,940
Principal Designer Entegee, Inc. D/B/A Additional Technical Support, I Detroit, MI May 18, 2010 $139,829
Principal Designer KBR, Inc. Houston, TX May 09, 2013 $135,200
Principal Experience Designer Thoughtworks Inc. Chicago, IL May 16, 2013 $130,000 -
$160,000
Principal Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 13, 2013 $129,792
Principal Designer One and Company Design Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 02, 2011 $129,125
Principal Designer-Piping KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 15, 2013 $128,731
Principal/Design Director M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Associates, Inc. Washington, DC Aug 04, 2009 $126,009
Principal Systems Design Eningeer CDI Corporation Webster, TX Jan 05, 2015 $125,867
Principal Designer-Piping KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 20, 2011 $125,590
Principal Designer Euro-Pro Operating LLC Newton, MA Aug 15, 2014 $116,800 -
$180,800
Principal Designer IHI E&C International Corporation Houston, TX Aug 27, 2013 $116,581
Principal Designer KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 03, 2010 $114,400
Principal Designer KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 30, 2010 $114,400
Principal Designer Frog Design, Inc. Austin, TX Nov 09, 2012 $113,558
Principal Designer Chermayeff & Geismar Studio LLC New York, NY Nov 09, 2009 $112,000
Principal Designer Chermayeff & Geismar Studio, LLC New York, NY Nov 09, 2009 $112,000

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

See More Salaries

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Principal Designer?

Have you worked as a Principal Designer? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Principal Designer.

Top Skills for A Principal Designer

  1. CAD
  2. Company Website
  3. Design Concepts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supplied CAD information to manufacturing engineering to create work instructions.
  • Planned & executed feasibility studies & competitive product analysis of new design concepts.
  • Demonstrated successful collaboration with architects, builders and contractors during the construction process.
  • Design Principal of a full-service Interior Design firm, specializing in Project Management residential renovations and custom design.
  • Work with Registered Representatives to achieve annual Gross dealer concession targets while maintaining a compliance and customer service relationship.

Rank:

Average Salary:

Embed On Your Website

Top 10 Best States for Principal Designers

  1. Washington
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Texas
  6. Alaska
  7. Arizona
  8. New Mexico
  9. New Jersey
  10. District of Columbia
  • (278 jobs)
  • (292 jobs)
  • (63 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (684 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (197 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (206 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)

Principal Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

60.7%

Female

31.5%

Unknown

7.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

10.5%

Unknown

4.3%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.1%

French

13.9%

German

11.1%

Chinese

5.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Korean

5.6%

Carrier

5.6%

Italian

5.6%

Portuguese

2.8%

Persian

2.8%

Hindi

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%
Show More

Principal Designer Education

Schools

University of Houston

7.5%

University of California - Berkeley

6.5%

University of Washington

6.5%

Academy of Art University

5.9%

Houston Community College

5.9%

Pratt Institute-Main

5.4%

Boston University

5.4%

Parsons the New School for Design

4.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.8%

University of Phoenix

4.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.8%

Fashion Institute of Technology

4.8%

Art Center College of Design

4.3%

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

4.3%

University of Cincinnati

4.3%

Rhode Island School of Design

4.3%

University of Oregon

4.3%

New York University

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%
Show More
Majors

Graphic Design

23.9%

Interior Design

12.4%

Architecture

10.2%

Drafting And Design

7.8%

Business

6.7%

Fine Arts

6.0%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.1%

Design And Visual Communication

2.9%

Civil Engineering

2.5%

Communication

2.4%

Interior Architecture

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Computer Science

2.0%

Engineering

2.0%

Marketing

1.8%

Project Management

1.6%

Landscape Architecture

1.6%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

40.7%

Other

21.5%

Masters

17.7%

Associate

11.6%

Certificate

5.6%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.2%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate Working As a Principal Designer?

Are you working as a Principal Designer? Help us rate Principal Designer as a Career.

Top Principal Designer Employers

Jobs From Top Principal Designer Employers

Principal Designer Videos

CDM 2015: Will the Change from CDM-C to Principal Designer be effective?

A Conversation with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer, Adobe // Design Driven NYC

How To Become a UX Designer

Related to your recently viewed content