Salary: Are these facts correct?

Have any of you ever been on this site or one similar?

For your position, whether it is an Industrial Designer I or Industrial Designer II on this site and your zip code do the figures match your base salary?

Notice the three tabs “Base Salary, Bounses, and Benefits” on the top once you get to the page with the line graph with the 25% percentile, median, and 75% percentile Base Salaries. Click over to the third tab “Benefits”, does this gross salary correspond to your actual gross salary in your zip code?

Please be honest.

The reason I am asking is because I started below what they are stating for a Industrial Designer I in my area/zip code and I have annual pay raise coming soon or I outty 5000!

I sure know that my salary did not reflect the scale this salary calculator is projecting for my area. I hate to say it, but my annual income is beneath these figures. Maybe I should be asking for a raise as well. Good luck with your negotiations!

For the SF area I am just under the 25% mark. But I am paid better than a lot of others I know. When you add in bonus and other compensation I am seriously under the amount stated in the results but I am working and I do have other concerns besides pay. If I can work doing what I like and grow as a person both mentally and in quality of lifestyle than I am ok with that.

It does upset me that I make less than 10% of what I make the company but there are a lot of other factors involved with running a business. It also upsets me that the owners make 5 times my salary. This just gives me more strength to start my own thing in the future.

My salary is spot on with the Median for my area for Industrial Designer III. I have 6 years of experience.


You mean to tell me that you are at 76K for your base salary and 105K with benefits? If you are, great job man! I am impressed!

OK… 1 more time.

NY is right on the money. If you are not making that after 6 years you are either under paid or not very skilled.


I’m not in NYC - username is from a previous life in upstate NY.

We’ll be putting up links to salary surverys from monster, etc …, as well as somewhat more reliable sources like AIUG (autodesk international user group) on our site at later this week to early next week. Stop by and take a look. My experience with this is the Salary calculators are not very precise. AIUG does great work, however. To read more about the woman who does the surveys take a look at

another outstanding place to find Salary info for designers is at Note its in PDF format.


another outstanding place to find Salary info for designers is at >> . Note its in PDF format.

Isn’t this site geared toward Graphic Designers? So the salaries might not compare to an Industrial Designer’s salary. Or would they?

Yes… graphic design - and those salaries pale in comparison to average ID salaries.

ID pay scale is dead nuts on a mechanical engineers pay scale… taking into account experience, company, position, etc…

“ID pay scale is dead nuts on a mechanical engineers pay scale… taking into account experience, company, position, etc…”

You mean ID salary is very close to ME salary??? Maybe you are talking about a big corp.

People come to these forums to find out real answers about what they should ask for in job interviews. Honestly, there’s too much mystery around salaries in design generally. Designers also feel that they’re undervalued. Sales and marketing people often make much more–because a marketing person could accept a job outside of design for higher wages. Whereas designers have nowhere else to go.

That said, on all the salary posts here, the salary range for designers just out of school veers from $30,000 to $70,000, according to the posters here. That’s quite a range, and I have to believe that anyone on the high end of that range has exceptional talents. I’m an architect with 5 years’ experience (who wants to work for a big product design company). In my profession, where I live (smaller west coast city), anyone with my experience will be getting mid-40s. Not very high. In NY, that goes up by about $10,000, with a few people higher than that. But I’m in the dark about what salary to ask for at a product design firm.

I’m hoping that there’s someone here with actual knowledge of salaries, who’s not either a) disgruntled about their own low salary, therefore making bitter remarks about other peoples’ posts, or b) stating the ONE case they know where someone makes a stratospheric salary in NY, thus skewing the mean.

Can anyone post an honest range for the Bay Area and Los Angeles, with five-years’ experience? On Archinect, they’ve posted a salary poll with specific details (location, experience level, firm size, salary), which hundreds have replied to, and it gives a great average. It’s a useful tool.

Mine was dead on. Starting ID monkey in Los Angeles.

The benefits tab would be better described as the cost of employment from the standpoint of an employer. If you read in the help section it actually says something to that effect. Many people do not realize the additional costs associated with having an employee above and beyond salary, health insurance, and bonuses. For example, companies pay half your social security taxes; about 7% of your salary. When you are an independent contractor or freelancer you pay that amount in the form of the self employment tax. As a fulltime employee, you have that additional 7% of your salary as take home pay because your employer is required to pay that portion for you. Additionally, who counts a 401k, Simple IRA or whatever retirement savings program your company may have as part of their income? Yet companies still pay to match your contributions…usually up to 3%… another cost of having an employee.

I am not saying that employers are already paying us too much and we should be happy with what we have. (I actually think we should stop working for free, but that is for another thread.) My point is that when is comes to compensation there is a lot more to consider than just the salary amount for both parties. People earn more by establishing their worth, not by telling potential employers or their current boss, “I want to make as much as the average designer in this zipcode.”

I realize you got to start somewhere though. I would say the salaries on the monster survey are high for Chicago.

The salaries shown on Monster may be a touch on the high side for the greater Boston area, though I know the range can be pretty broad. I knew before I checked monster that I am about 10% below what I should be making, but that is due to factors that go beyond my performance and skills.

The IDSA Salary Compenation Report seems to be pretty accurate, last time I checked it. Of course, you have to pay for it!

What a great question. Are the salary charts correct?

I bet there is some grad student looking for a thesis in the field of statistics. She / he could go hog wild with this.

Years ago a friend of mine recieved his Phd from the University of Chicago. Some of his professors had won Nobel prizes. He tried to find out how skewed the results of a survey are if “I don’t know” was one of the choices.

Most salary surveys usually have limits /boundaries in a scan-tron data gathering format ($0-15k; $16-45k; 46-100k)

Maybe the results of salary surveys are incorrect because the choices favor a higher average answer due to the survey sampling format?

personally, I think people lie on the surveys and answer higher than they actually make. --Again!! another Phd topic ready for the statistics professors.