Graphic Artist Salaries
By Jimmy Sturo
Artists are considered to be poorly paid, but with the turnaround in the media and the explosion of dotcom companies, graphic artists are fast becoming hot commodities and are earning big money. Most traditional graphic artists created print products such as packaging, promotional displays, marketing brochures or books, designed logos for products and businesses, or worked on the visual designs of annual reports and other corporate propaganda. However, modern graphic artists are steadily entering into the lucrative and fast-evolving profession of web design to earn quick riches.
According to a 2005 survey by the American Institute of Graphic Artists, entry-level designers at graphic design firms earned a median annual salary of $30,000 and a median total compensation of $32,000, while a print production artist earned $40,000 in median annual pay and total compensation. The Creative Group, a staffing firm in Menlo Park, California, also projected the annual salary ranges for designers for the year 2005. The group calculated the average annual figures for illustrators from $31,000 to $42,000, for graphic designers from $29,000 to $41,000, for production artists between $28,500 to $37,750, and so on. On the other hand, according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage in 2002 for graphic designers across the US was $41,380.
Graphic artists often work on a freelance basis, selling their skills and pitching their designs to advertising agencies, retailers, design firms, magazines, newspapers and Internet companies. Although to become an established freelance designer might be a difficult task, successful freelance artists can earn good salaries while enjoying their freedom to work according to their choice. In-house graphic artists can also have lucrative careers and, through their hard work and creativity, can become art directors and command high salaries.
Graphic artists are gaining command in the fast-growing media industry, and a good artist with skill and talent can easily earn a comfortable living.
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