- The average salary for designers in the UK is £33,443
- Freelance designers earn more than those working for consultancies, while designers working in-house earn the least.
- Designers working for networked consultancies earn more than those working for independent groups
- Interior design is the best-paid sector, followed retail and branding. Editorial design is the lowest-paid sector
- Men earn more than women, while designers working overseas command the highest salaries. Salaries in London outstrip the rest of the UK.
How much does the average designer earn?
More than 1,500 designers from across the country working in a variety of sectors have been surveyed for the 2015 Design Week creative survey.
The results show that the average salary for a designer is £33,443. Men earn 17 per cent more than women, with the average male designer commanding a salary of £35,809 – while his female equivalent earns £30,733.
This far outstrips the average national gender pay gap, which currently stands at 9.4 per cent, according to the most recent Office for National Statistics figures.
Designers working overseas command the highest salaries – an average of £41,324. In the UK, salaries in London outstrip the rest of the country. The average designer in London earns £36,791. The lowest salaries are in Northern Ireland – an average of £21,818.
|Area||East Midlands||East of England||London||N. Ireland||North East||North West||Overseas||Scotland|
|Average salary (£)||30,599||27,653||36,791||21,818||24,766||27,279||41,324||29,643|
|Area||South East (excluding London)||South West||Wales||West Midlands||Yorkshire & Humberside|
|Average salary (£)||32,795||28,781||24,554||25,361||26,642|
Where should you work to get paid the most?
Freelance designers earn, on average, more than those on staff. The average salary for a freelance designer is £34,659. A designer working for a consultancy earns on average £33,680, while designers working in-house have the lowest average salaries – £31,587.
In the consultancy world, designers working for networked consultancies earn more than those at independent studios. The average salary for a designer at a networked consultancy is £35,480, while the average salary at an independent consultancy is £33,364.
Interior design is the highest-paid sector, with designers working in interiors earning an average of £37,817. Editorial design is the lowest-paid sector, with editorial designers earning an average of £27,237.
|Average salary (£)||30,833||28,333||36,998||32,123||31,905||27,237||36,667|
|Average salary (£)||30,500||30,078||37,817||33,836||29,771||35,038||37,550||35,430|
What will you earn at different stages of your career?
The spread of average salaries in the design sector ranges from junior art workers, who get paid an average salary of £18,000, to chief executives, who receive an average of £88,750.
|Job title||Junior artworker||Middleweight artworker||Senior artworker||Junior designer||Middleweight designer||Senior designer|
|Average salary (£)||18,000||26,167||31,400||19,727||26,766||36,281|
|Job title||Design director||Strategy director||Creative director||Executive creative director||Managing director||Chief executive|
|Average salary (£)||47,005||63,250||52,857||82,188||65,395||88,750|
How much should you be earning? Find out with the Design Week Salary Calculator here.