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Best Paying Cities for Graphic Designers

Should you relocate to make more money as a graphic designer? Or even look for graphic design colleges in specific cities to improve your employment prospects? Certain cities do pay significantly more than others.

If a high salary is your primary goal, then you should know the five highest paying metropolitan areas for graphic designers in 2009 were:

  1. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California: $74,660 average annual salary
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California: $68,810
  3. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut: $67,610
  4. Framingham, Massachusetts: $61,350
  5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $60,160

All of those salaries are considerably higher than the 2009 U.S. average annual salary of $47,820. Yet you do have to weigh that against the cost of living in some of those cities. For instance, San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in America, which means high salary may not get you as much.

That’s why it’s worth thinking outside the box a bit and looking at other factors before moving anywhere. Austin, Texas may not spring to mind as a graphic design mecca, but 36.8% of the city’s workforce is in the creative class. The recent boom in high-tech entrepreneurism has also generated a demand for workers. Or go slightly further southwest to San Antonio and you have a city with the most solid salary to cost of living ratio in the country. San Antonio also boasts the lowest change in its unemployment rate since the recession began.

The contacts you make at graphic design colleges, especially if you do an internship, can open doors to future employment. So you may want consider a school’s location before applying.

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One Comment

  1. Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I wish I could write like you as Margaret Laurence once said “When I say “work” I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”

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