1yr experience Industrial Design Salary

I was wondering how much should really an Industrial Design Major graduate should get paid.

I have already researched many other websites that offer average salary of an industrial designer

and was surprised that they are way higher than what I am getting paid. I have already talked to friends

and it seems my salary is way below average. It would be great if I could get some feedback from more people

in the field.

I work in an independent design studio in L.A. since one year ago and my salary is 30,000. I am soon going to ask

for a salary negotiation but I need to know how much I should ask for. My job title is Junior Designer.

I know I should really have done this work before I accepted this job offer. I love what is going on at my work and

I think there are great potential. However I just don’t think I am getting paid for what I do. I work overtime almost

everyday, often on weekends as well.

At this point I would appreciate any advise really, whether if I should walk away or ask for what I want and really

see the end to what I have already started.

That is very low. I have worked in the LA and SD area and for junior you should be at 40k starting. Lots of over time should get you a little more. Did they pay for relocation? If you like your projects and company that can mean something to.

Media Salary for Industrial Designer I in LA is $52,108, San Diego $50,210.

The following link has info on salary negotiation and links to openings in area:

Just be careful with those salary calculators. Sometimes they can be ridiculously high. Are you struggling to live right now? How much would it cost you to live safely (not the same as comfortably). Use that as a starting point for you negotiations.

That said, I also think that 30 seems a bit low.

Good negotiating information found in 51’s links. Take the time to read through it.

Good points to understand…

What is your power over the other side of the table?

Business climate factors

  • Overall state of the economy and the industry in which you compete
  • Overall unemployment rate and the general employment picture
  • Demand for industry- and profession-specific knowledge and skills

Company factors

  • Profitability
  • Position in the business cycle (startup, growing, stable, turnaround)

Hiring manager factors

  • Urgency of the company’s need to fill the position
  • Decision-making authority
  • Staffing budget

Applicant factors

  • Other opportunities in the job offer
  • Technical expertise, unique knowledge/skill set
  • Resources (financial depth, networks, etc.)
  • Level of competition/availability of other candidates
  • Career risk of the job offer

California’s economy is in the dumpster right now and unemployment is still over 11% so you will more than likely meet with stiff resistance to a pay raise, especially in a “small shop”. Everyone wants to be a “California Designer” it would seem. $30K is low, very low. Do you have any additional benefits?

Keep in mind that any negotiation has to be a win-win. Your employer needs to understand why paying you more is going to be a good thing, so you’d better do your homework (what have I accomplished; what are my responsibilities now vs. when I was originally hired; do I take the initiative and seek greater responsibilities (or do I just accept work directed to me). It may turn out that this first job is a learning experience in more than “design” and that the next time you seek a position you will have a better understanding of how to negotiate (and what you need). Not that you can spend that at the grocery right now… . . :confused:

Thanks Lew! Some nice summarized points.

this is really a difficult situation. Generally speaking…

your group will have a budget for staff, your boss will have spent time calculating daily to yearly costs for all staff in the group and discussed or submitted to management or owner(s) or whatever the chain of command is. Therefore they are operating on a somewhat known fixed salary-cost basis. Changes to this are very concerning to the managment and / or owner(s). In the case of a new potential big project, can they hire enough new designers to do the job; in the case of you asking your boss for more salary, where is the extra money going to come from?

There is most likely a valid reason why they started you at $30k junior designer, assuming it is a good company with reasonable management and owner(s). If you do request increase be prepared to negotiate, i.e. get less than you request, some increase now but no more for 2 years, giving up any bonus if your company gives them, or something like that. Unfortunately for you, junior designers are easy to replace, so reasonable negotiation is the only way.

Thank you all for your valuable advice. I really appreciate it.

Now that I have a good idea of beginning - average salary of designer in LA,

I will be able to do a fair negotiation with my boss. It is true that the economy is just very bad at this time

but my bosses have come to me and told me that I will get a raise since my salary is way too low to what I do.

Its now only a issue of how much.

I can make a living out of 30,000 since I am just going back and forth from work to home everyday. Hardly any social

life but I am looking forward to have more time for myself (save some for future also)and that is going to acquire some

more budget for myself. As a Junior Designer in the company I am involved in every design/production aspect of all

projects we are doing (or is it just me thinking this way??) which hopefully will lead to a decent raise.

Anyhow, I shall see how this negotiation goes and then should be able to decide my next move.

Thank you all.

way to low. i had that salary for about 1 month and after taxes its ridiculous. if you are still there after a year, i would ask for 45-50…

starting at 30k, to get your foot in the door to prove yourself, that’s fine. but since you have proven yourself, and you’re not an intern, you should ask for more. or simply apply to another job.

That’s pretty close to what I made at my first job, in Boston. In 1996.

I’d look elsewhere, so if you need to you can have other options. Also if it’s been a year and they don’t want to give you more cash they could just fire you, and get somebody else.

thing is that they sponsored me for a working visa since i am not a us citizen. Even though they only paid less than 50% of the total cost they are expecting me to stay longer. I got my visa just last week and hoping to have a talk about this after the trade show ends next week.

… thing is that they sponsored me for a working visa since i am not a us citizen.

The thot plickens… You didn’t sign any kind of contract of employment, or remuneration … did you?

How much is the Visa? You can factor that into your salary, I suppose, but still ask for a higher one minus the visa price.

no i didn’t sign any form of employee agreement which i think is weird… shouldn’t i have already signed one? or is it good that i haven’t had one yet? hm… visa costed me about $3,600. I paid $2,000 and my employer paid the rest. Good thing at least i got the visa now. otherwise it could have been more difficult…

The economy sucks, and in a city as huge as LA, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are out of work and would be glad to have 30k + benefits. Keep in mind health insurance is easily like 5k a year now. I think 30k is a bit low for such a large city though… I’d expect that more in the midwest… but not on the costs.