Industrial Design Salaries in the U.S.?

Is anyone aware of any statistically valid surveys of industrial design salaries. I’m aware of the Coroflot survey (Design Salary Guide | Coroflot). The problem with this survey is that it’s based on Coroflot’s readership, and voluntary, and hence not statistically reliable.

I’m most interested in Junior/entry-level jobs, since that’s what I’m looking into right now. Any websites, info, or even suggestions as to what you believe is the going rate for these sorts of jobs will be a big help.

Also, is there a big difference in pay between corporate in-house and industrial design firms?

Thanks everyone! :slight_smile:

You might try looking on businessweek site but I think the coroflot survery is pretty good, any reason to think its unreliable? Basically it says the average in-house entry level designer is making $34,445 vs. $36,330 for consultancy firm. In my experince that is right on but will vary more based on where your located then anything.

So you are in it for the money then? :mrgreen:

Seriously I would advise you to look for opportunities and workplaces where you can learn a lot rather than thinking about the check at the end of the month.

With time comes money. I am a firm believer of gathering experience over the paycheck. The more you know now the more money you can achieve in the long run.

Out of my experience, I would say Coroflot was actually the most accurate. I used several different salary calculations in order to better educate myself through the hiring process. When I got an offer, I was almost let down considering most were almost 10k more than my offer. However, one was within 1k…Coroflot. Even now when I look at it, it seems pretty accurate. I know it may be ‘unreliable’ but it is probably the closest you will get in the ID category (where they arent throwing in engineering, CAD, illustrators, graphic, ect…)

It varies greatly depending on where you are working. NYC and SF Bay Area I imagine would be much higher but then again cost of living is high too.


I certainly agree with you about trying to grab those experiences that can teach you the most. It’d be boring to work at a place where you weren’t learning (which I have done in the past, and it sucks).

On the other hand, there is the non-negotiable reality of bills and other expenses. It’s only prudent to try to get the most compensation for your work, and to do that it helps to be well informed (hence my post).

I hear many places are using free interns.
I’ve heard on the news they are going to start cracking down on these in Calif.
It’s supposedly OK if a firm is trading for school credit but if not, they may soon make it illegal or something to do this.

Now that you mention it, I came across this article the other day:

It’s not that the federal government may soon make it illegal, it HAS been illegal. It’s actually a violation of minimum wage laws to hire interns and have them do work that benefits the employer without being paid. I didn’t know that California was going to start cracking down on these though.

It’s a problem in many fields. One of the issues (and I know about this firsthand) is that the system benefits well-to-do students that don’t need to get paid to make it through school or the summer. That’s simply not the case for many low income or middle income students. These students often have to pass up unpaid internship opportunities in order to make the money they need for school, which puts them at a competitive disadvantage after graduation.