Ask DN: How much should I be paid?

almost 8 years ago from

This is mainly a question for UK based designers, but I’d also be keen to learn about wages in other parts of the world. Please forgive my naivety; I'm a recent design graduate so don't have that much experience when it comes to pay.

I’m currently about half way through a paid internship in a small design studio (staff of 6). At the moment, I’m being paid £15k per annum (roughly $24k USD). My bosses have said they want to keep me on and have offered me a full position once my internship is finished. This is great, but they've asked what kind of wage I would be looking for and I have no idea what to say. I don't want to undersell myself but also don't want to say a figure which is too high. My title is just ’designer’ and there is one other person at my level (though they've had the position for years). Together we share most of the designing - other members of the team deal with web, clients etc.

So DN, what do you think? What is a fair wage for a relatively new designer, but one who is also doing a lot of the heavy lifting, so to speak.

Thanks in advance for the advice!


  • Andrew Longsden, almost 8 years ago

    There are a number of sites that can help you with this. here is one of them.


    Congrats on the job by the way!

    3 points
    • Dan B, almost 8 years ago

      Thanks Andrew and cheers for the link, very useful to see a comparison like that.

      1 point
    • Will Hitchcock, almost 8 years ago

      Ya, I would definitely take a look at something like this. Something like glassdoor or AngelList might be good as well to get an idea of what other designers in your area are getting.

      I wouldn't be too afraid to ask for too much. You will be better off in the end if you shoot too high and have to negotiate down rather than ask for a low number and have them enthusiastically say yes to a great deal.

      1 point
  • Jon DarkeJon Darke, almost 8 years ago

    Hi Dan, what kind of design does the studio do? Sound silly but there are great differences in pay between graphic designs and interactive designers, mostly due to demand.

    A graphic designer starting at in a small studio might hope to earn about £18k today, while someone working interactive, UX or UI design might hope to get £20-21k. Does depend on abilities and prior experience.

    Good luck, and if it doesn't work out give us a call. If we can't take you on am sure we can find someone awesome who can.

    2 points
    • Dan B, almost 8 years ago

      Thanks for the helpful reply. I had a feeling there may be differences between disciplines. The studio does a mixture of print and digital. I'm mostly doing print graphic design at the moment, with other bits and pieces as well.

      Thanks for that Jon, your new portfolio is looking great.

      1 point
  • Felipe RochaFelipe Rocha, almost 8 years ago

    Is it me, or are design salaries a lot lower in the uk compared to in the us?

    1 point
  • Jessica PaoliJessica Paoli, almost 8 years ago

    As an intern I got paid just about what you're making now. I was hired on full-time (as a 19-yr-old junior designer) at the same rate after graduating. My next job (dropping the "junior" title) a year and a half later, my wage nearly doubled. Check out http://designsalaries.aiga.org for info from the US.

    1 point