Design salaries up across the board

Design groups are paying staff significantly more across the board, according to Design Week’s latest salary survey, with senior staff outside of London reaping the greatest rewards.

But the pay increases come as recruitment agencies and management advisors continue to warn consultancy bosses against increasing overheads by boosting pay in tough trading times.

Rates of increase over the past 12 months include 31 per cent for a managing director in London to around 15 per cent for account executives and production and project managers based outside the capital.

Rises for senior staff include 12 per cent for a London creative director and senior designers and 8-9 per cent for creative directors working outside London. Even junior designers have seen above-inflation rises of 4 per cent.

Increases are across all design disciplines, but exhibition design has seen the highest increases, with junior and middleweight designers experiencing rises of 10 per cent and senior designers earning 14 to 18 per cent more than before.

However, recruitment agencies – the source of the data – are urging consultancy bosses not to overstretch themselves by raising their staff’s salaries.

Marc Ansell, managing director of recruitment consultancy Devonshire, says many of this year’s rises are to reward staff who have remained loyal in tough times. ‘But,’ he adds, ‘this can lead to unrealistic expectations of reward and compensation against market performance and profitability.’

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