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What is a Senior Designer

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 $45.41 an hour? That's $94,447 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.

Learn more about what a Senior Designer does

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 66.8% of Senior Designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.5% 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 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.

What is the right job for my career path?

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

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (145)
  2. Ralph Lauren Jobs (40)
  3. J. C. Penney Jobs (68)
  4. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Jobs (60)
  5. Nike Jobs (43)
Average Salary
$94,447
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
55,330
Job Openings
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Senior Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Designer

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Average Salary for a Senior Designer

Senior Designers in America make an average salary of $94,447 per year or $45 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $138,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $64,000 per year.
Average Salary
$94,447
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How much should you be earning as an Senior Designer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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12 Senior Designer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Senior Designer Resume

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

View Senior Designer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (145)
  2. Ralph Lauren Jobs (40)
  3. J. C. Penney Jobs (68)
  4. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Jobs (60)
  5. Nike Jobs (43)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Designer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Senior Designer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Senior Designer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Senior Designer Resume
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Senior Designer Resume
Senior Designer Resume
Senior Designer Resume
Senior Designer Resume
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Senior Designer Resume
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Senior Designer Resume
Senior Designer Resume

Senior Designer Demographics

Senior Designer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
71%
Female
Female
29%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Senior Designers, 29.0% of them are women, while 71.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Senior Designers is White, which makes up 76.1% of all Senior Designers.

  • The most common foreign language among Senior Designers is Spanish at 35.1%.

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Senior Designer Education

Senior Designer Majors

Senior Designer Degrees

Bachelors

66.8 %

Associate

21.8 %

Masters

6.5 %

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 • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108
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Online Courses For Senior Designer That You May Like

Graphic Design Masterclass - Learn GREAT Design
udemy
4.7
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The Ultimate Graphic Design Course Which Covers Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Design Theory, Branding and Logo Design...

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

Digital Design Masterclass For Graphic Designers
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Icon Set Design, E-book cover, Digitizing Sketches, Social Media Design, Wordpress Web Design, Adobe Xd, GIFS and more!...

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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, California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Senior Designers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $129,175. Whereas in California and Nevada, they would average $122,423 and $115,330, respectively. While Senior Designers would only make an average of $107,314 in Hawaii, 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:
$195,000
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. California

Total Senior Designer Jobs:
3,311
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
1.7
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. Oregon

Total Senior Designer Jobs:
498
Highest 10% Earn:
$160,000
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
Full List Of Best States For Senior Designers

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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 $99,458. Microsoft follows up with an average salary of $163,858, and then comes Bechtel with an average of $99,711. 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 Salesforce, USAA, and Cigna

Most Common Employers For Senior Designer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Senior Designer SalaryAverage Salary
1$163,858
2$125,213
3$122,136
4$121,910
5$117,481
6$108,673

Senior Designer Videos

Becoming a Senior Designer FAQs

How do you get promoted to senior designer?

To get promoted to a senior designer position takes putting yourself out there, building your work portfolio, and going the extra mile. As many designers will tell you, there is no linear path towards becoming a senior designer.

How many years of experience do you need to become a senior designer?

It takes 5 to 8 years of experience to become a senior designer. Most senior designers work their way up into that role after several years of work experience.

To begin your career as a senior designer, you'll have to start from the bottom in a junior design position. The common responsibilities of a junior designer are to create layouts, redraw logos, correct typography, and create overall mock-ups of designs.

What do you need to be a senior designer?

You need the right educational background, extensive work portfolio, and several years of work experience to become a senior designer.

Most senior designers have a bachelor's degree and design or related fields. From there, prospective senior designers will need to put in at least five to eight years working as a designer. Usually, this is the time it takes to advance from a junior designer position into a mid-level designer and finally to a senior designer position.

What is the difference between a graphic designer and a senior graphic designer?

The difference between a graphic designer and a senior graphic designer comes down to experience and the rules and responsibilities of the position. These differences can be reflected in their craft, communication, planning, and problem-solving abilities.

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