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As a senior graphic designer, you are in charge of all design operations in the company. It is your duty not just to function as a graphic designer but to head the design team and mentor other junior graphic designers. A large part of your responsibility includes generating fresh concepts for every project, managing the design process from conceptualization to delivery, and overseeing the collaboration between your team and other teams like the marketing and sales team to ensure quality delivery. It is your job to ensure that deadlines are met and that the clients are completely satisfied.

To work as a senior graphic designer, you must have a minimum qualification of a bachelor's degree in graphic design, design and visual communications, or other related fields. An eye for detail, proficiency in tools like adobe creative suite, ability to generate creative ideas, and great communication skills are needed to function as a good senior graphic designer.

The average senior graphic designer makes about $$33.69 an hour and $70,085 a year.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior graphic designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $33.2 an hour? That's $69,057 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 Graphic Designer Do

There are certain skills that many senior 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.

Learn more about what a Senior Graphic Designer does

How To Become a Senior Graphic Designer

If you're interested in becoming a senior graphic designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 72.5% of senior graphic designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.1% of senior graphic designers have master's degrees. Even though most senior 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 senior graphic designer. When we researched the most common majors for a senior graphic designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior graphic designer resumes include master's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

Senior Graphic Designer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Senior Graphic Designer

Senior Graphic Designers in America make an average salary of $69,057 per year or $33 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $99,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $47,000 per year.
Average Senior Graphic Designer Salary
$69,057 Yearly
$33.20 hourly
$47,000
10 %
$69,000
Median
$99,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Senior Graphic Designer Education

Senior Graphic Designer Majors

10.7 %

Senior Graphic Designer Degrees

Bachelors

72.5 %

Associate

19.8 %

Masters

4.1 %

Top Colleges for Senior 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 • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

Top Skills For a Senior 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, 9.2% of senior graphic designers listed adobe creative suite on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and artistic ability are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Graphic Designer Resume templates

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

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Senior Graphic Designer Demographics

Senior Graphic Designer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
53%
Female
Female
47%

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

  • Among senior graphic designers, 46.8% of them are women, while 53.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among senior graphic designers is White, which makes up 76.1% of all senior graphic designers.

  • The most common foreign language among senior graphic designers is Spanish at 48.4%.

Online Courses For Senior Graphic Designer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Graphic Design MasterClass- Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign
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4.5
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Graphic design for beginners including Graphic Design Theories, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, CC & Creative Thinking...

Graphic Design Mastery: The FULL Branding & Design Process
udemy
4.6
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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
(34,049)

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

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Best States For a Senior Graphic Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior graphic designer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Alaska, and New York. Senior graphic designers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $94,690. Whereas in California and Alaska, they would average $81,987 and $80,312, respectively. While senior graphic designers would only make an average of $79,627 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. Washington

Total Senior Graphic Designer Jobs:
875
Highest 10% Earn:
$135,000
Location Quotient:
1.87 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. District of Columbia

Total Senior Graphic Designer Jobs:
225
Highest 10% Earn:
$128,000
Location Quotient:
2.1 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. New York

Total Senior Graphic Designer Jobs:
1,477
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
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 Graphic Designers

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Top Senior Graphic 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 graphic designers and discovered their number of senior graphic designer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that CBRE Group was the best, especially with an average salary of $75,248. Robert Half follows up with an average salary of $74,167, and then comes Aquent with an average of $91,962. 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 graphic designer. The employers include Broadridge, Cree, and Verizon Communications

Most Common Employers For Senior Graphic Designer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Aquent$91,962$44.2125
2Abercrombie & Fitch Co$84,755$40.7520
3Lockheed Martin$84,544$40.6516
4Fastsigns International$81,869$39.3612
5Hasbro$81,179$39.0319
6Computer Science Corporation$78,977$37.9715
7CBRE Group$75,248$36.1870
8General Dynamics$75,046$36.0812
9Minuteman Press$74,914$36.0215
10Parigi Group$74,880$36.0011

Becoming a Senior Graphic Designer FAQs

How long does it take to become a senior graphic designer?

It takes three to five years of work experience to become a senior graphic designer. A person can start a career in graphic design either by learning graphic design principles themselves or by enrolling in a graphic design course.

How much does a senior graphic designer charge per hour?

A senior graphic designer will charge about $50 an hour, on average. This means the average salary for freelance senior graphic designers is around $100,000 in a year.

However, it can be difficult to estimate salaries for freelance or crowdsource senior graphic designers because they get paid job to job rather than a set salary. There are many variables, such as time input versus output and opportunity.

Is graphic design a dying career?

No, graphic design is not a dying career. However, it is a rapidly changing industry that will require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

The biggest area of growth in graphic design is in digital graphic design. As businesses transition from print advertising and publishing to digital and online marketing, this will increase.

What can I do after being a senior graphic designer?

There are many roles a person can move into after being a senior graphic designer, including the art director and UX designer.

Since graphic design is a rapidly changing industry, there are numerous opportunities for graphic designers to pivot in their careers, but this does require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

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.

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