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How Much Does A Graphic Designer Make?

3d Graphic design

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),  graphic designers made an annual median wage  of  $48,690 per year as of May 2011. To clarify what BLS’ salary rate means “the median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than the base amount quoted  and half earned less.”

So, using the above quoted figure half of the graphic designers in the United States made less than $48,690 (that works out to $23.41 hourly rate) per year in 2011 and 50% made more.   The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,200, and the top 10 percent earned more than $77,370. In 2010, about 29 percent of graphic designers were self-employed. Read the rest of this entry

The Tax Man Cometh– Managing Your Finances as a Freelance Graphic Designer

Piggy Bank MoneyWhen  April 15th rolls around, there are many citizens (in the United States)that are probably breaking out in a cold sweat just about now, since April 15th represents the deadline for filing your income taxes.  If this syndrome occurs for the regular employee at a regular 9 to 5 job, you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended) that  you might be developing additional symptoms , if you are a freelance graphic designer or independent contractor.   Why?  Simply, because independent contractors and/ or freelance graphic designers are indicative of a new and growing type of workforce that earn their money via clients, contracts, customers and assignments and other variable income and not a set weekly paycheck.

In fact, according to the Freelancers Union, an advocacy group for America’s independent work force, freelancers, part-timers, consultants and similar jobs constitute about 30% percent of the nation’s workforce.   And that number is likely to grow,  in the wake of new communication technologies and the down-sizing and right-sizing  that is occurring at  many corporations during this global economic downturn.  While these changes are creating  new opportunities or job descriptions for many people, managing your finances as a freelance graphic designer or independent contractor becomes doubly challenging and sometimes problematic.  And it is especially challenging when most of the financial books available at the bookstore or online at Amazon are geared for designers or others working at a traditional 9 to 5 job.

This was a problem I encountered in my own experience. Although I had always done freelance work, even as a fulltime employee, I wasn’t prepared for the financial management challenges ahead when I was laid off and fulltime freelance graphic design became my primary source of income.   There are a whole host of new financial activities, tasks and present and future budget planning that one needs to know as a freelance graphic designer and are rarely taught or I should mention these financial tasks are rarely addressed at design school.

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