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Senior Designer Careers

As opposed to a graphic designer, which is a role for creatives at the beginning of their career, a senior designer has more to do with management tasks than design. Taking marketing solutions and business goals into consideration, a senior designer manages the work of designers producing graphics that satisfy the demands of the market.

This, of course, does not mean that senior designers do not have ample experience and expertise in graphic design. At this point in their career, they focus on supervising creative solutions, both in print and digital. They delegate tasks to facilitate collaboration, in order to maintain high-quality standards of creative work.

Senior designers have an extensive portfolio of completed projects and hands-on experience in using image editing software. Apart from excelling in their craft, they are also great communicators who are able to give productive feedback, understand design needs, and negotiate with clients. Senior designers make around $78,400, with the higher half of the median reaching up to $87,600.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.6 an hour? That's $96,918 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 Senior Designer Do

There are certain skills that many senior 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 communication skills, time-management skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a senior designer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.0% of senior designers included user interface, while 7.5% of resumes included layout, and 7.2% 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 senior designer job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior designers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Senior Designer

If you're interested in becoming a senior designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 63.3% of senior designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.1% of senior designers have master's degrees. Even though most senior 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 senior designer. When we researched the most common majors for a senior designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior 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 senior designer. In fact, many senior designer jobs require experience in a role such as designer. Meanwhile, many senior designers also have previous career experience in roles such as graphic designer or art director.

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Average Salary
$96,918
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
21,865
Job Openings

Senior Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Designer

Designer
30.2 %

Top Careers After Senior Designer

Designer
12.5 %

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 Senior Designer

Senior Designers in America make an average salary of $96,918 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $139,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $67,000 per year.
Average Salary
$96,918

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Seattle, WA
Salary Range101k - 176k$134k$133,856
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range83k - 155k$114k$114,193
Beaverton, OR
Salary Range84k - 147k$111k$111,408
Boston, MA
Salary Range76k - 132k$100k$100,350
Denver, CO
Salary Range73k - 129k$98k$97,936
New York, NY
Salary Range72k - 125k$95k$95,049
$50k
$176k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Senior Designer
Senior Designer
Brainstorm Creative Resources
Brainstorm Creative Resources
01/22/2021
01/22/2021
$93,91501/22/2021
$93,915
Senior Designer-Marketing
Senior Designer-Marketing
Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$173,13801/21/2021
$173,138
Senior Designer/Motion Designer
Senior Designer/Motion Designer
Randstad
Randstad
12/22/2020
12/22/2020
$146,09012/22/2020
$146,090
Senior Designer
Senior Designer
Robert Half
Robert Half
12/22/2020
12/22/2020
$73,04512/22/2020
$73,045
SR. Designer
SR. Designer
Randstad
Randstad
11/05/2020
11/05/2020
$62,00011/05/2020
$62,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior 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 Senior 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 Senior Designer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Senior 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

Senior Designer Demographics

Gender

male

67.3 %

female

28.0 %

unknown

4.7 %

Ethnicity

White

75.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.3 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.1 %

French

12.5 %

Chinese

8.0 %
See More Demographics

Senior Designer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

63.3 %

Associate

16.8 %

Masters

10.1 %

Top Colleges for Senior 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. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

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

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

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

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

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

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

8. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

9. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Senior 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, 8.0% of senior designers listed user interface on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and time-management skills are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior designer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California. Senior designers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $130,149. Whereas in Oregon and Nevada, they would average $110,862 and $105,968, respectively. While senior designers would only make an average of $102,010 in California, 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. Washington

Total Senior Designer Jobs:
893
Highest 10% Earn:
$208,000
Location Quotient:
1.83
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 Senior Designer Jobs:
498
Highest 10% Earn:
$183,000
Location Quotient:
1.8
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. Massachusetts

Total Senior Designer Jobs:
710
Highest 10% Earn:
$166,000
Location Quotient:
1.16
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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Top Senior 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 senior designers and discovered their number of senior designer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that General Motors was the best, especially with an average salary of $117,933. Bechtel follows up with an average salary of $96,526, and then comes Microsoft with an average of $154,204. 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 senior designer. The employers include Johnson Controls, Activision Blizzard, and Zynga

1. General Motors
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$117,933
Senior Designers Hired: 
135+
2. Bechtel
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$96,526
Senior Designers Hired: 
104+
3. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$154,204
Senior Designers Hired: 
82+
4. CSC Holdings
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$84,299
Senior Designers Hired: 
81+
5. Northrop Grumman
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$106,936
Senior Designers Hired: 
79+
6. Jacobs Engineering Group
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$92,664
Senior Designers Hired: 
74+

Senior Designer Videos