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Salary, Wages, Pay: Designers




Median annual earnings for commercial and industrial designers were $52,260 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,240 and $67,430. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,130. Median annual earnings were $61,530 in architectural, engineering, and related services.

Median annual earnings for fashion designers were $51,290 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,550 and $75,970. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $105,280.

Median annual earnings for floral designers were $19,480 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $15,880 and $23,560. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $13,440, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $29,830. Median annual earnings were $21,610 in grocery stores and $18,950 in florists.

Median annual earnings for graphic designers were $36,680 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,140 and $48,820. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $64,160. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of graphic designers were as follows:

Advertising and related services $39,510
Specialized design services 38,710
Printing and related support activities 31,800
Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers 31,670

Median annual earnings for interior designers were $39,180 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,070 and $53,060. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,640. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of interior designers were as follows:

Architectural, engineering, and related services $41,680
Specialized design services 39,870
Furniture stores 36,320

Median annual earnings of merchandise displayers and window dressers were $22,550 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,320 and $29,070. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,100, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $40,020. Median annual earnings were $22,130 in department stores.

Median annual earnings for set and exhibit designers were $33,870 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,780 and $46,350. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,280.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts reported 2002 median annual earnings for graphic designers with increasing levels of responsibility. Staff-level graphic designers earned $40,000, while senior designers, who may supervise junior staff or have some decisionmaking authority that reflects their knowledge of graphic design, earned $55,000. Solo designers, who freelanced or worked under contract to another company, reported median earnings of $55,000. Design directors, the creative heads of design firms or in-house corporate design departments, earned $85,000. Graphic designers with ownership or partnership interests in a firm or who were principals of the firm in some other capacity earned $93,000.