What SHOULD I be earning?

As a one-year-from-graduation industrial design student, I was wondering what to expect as a first-job salary.

Do any of you remember what you were earning when you first started out? I really have no clue on what to look/ask for.

Let me know, it could be interesting to compare different countries/jobtypes.

Just came across the Coroflot Design Salary Survey :slight_smile:

Interesting stuff.

about the core salary survey. i definitely think it’s skewed towards the higher range.
having polled friends about their salary range 1,5 yrs since graduation i would put the range from from high 30s to low-mid 40s. with a couple being in the very lwo 30s and high 20s as well as some having reached mid 50s.

After graduation my first job was mid-30’s. I did get full relocation paid for and benefits. Thankfully, 4 years later I make significantly more than that.

The coroflot survey seemed a bit awkward with averages for some countries at 70+.

Somewhere in the 30 range doesn’t seem too bad, but the problem is I’m in a euro country :unamused: chopping it back to 20

obviously you have to take into consideration foreign exchange rates and so forth, but the survey will give you a rough guide as to what you should be asking/expecting from a firm.
keep in mind that if you work in a consultancy you should expect a significantly lower salary then in a corp. job. and even more so if you are in a “big” city - for the US that would be nyc, boston, chicago, san fran and la. in europe i would say paris, london, berlin, amsterdam, maybe barcelona and stockholm or copenhagen for scandinavia and maybe milan but that would mostly be for fashion related industries.

you might have noticed i keep going on and on… i’m procrastinating. another perk of going corporate :wink:

I am about to gradute myself, and got the first job I applied for. Its in the mid 30’s full benefits, possibility for bonus, full relocation package, and there is lots of room for growth inside this company. What do you guys think? On one hand I was hoping for 40’s but I also know how hard it is to get a FIRST ID job and I really have no professional experience.

What do you guys think about counter offering, do employers expect it, or loath it?

I think my plumber makes more than most ID guys. Oh well at least I’m not bailing Sh*t out of a bowl.

Should of gone to ITT Tech.

The plumber definately does make more. But the difference is he’s in a field where the salary he earns at age 20 won’t differ much from the salary they earn at age 50.

I have plenty of blue collar friends who with overtime are making $20k+ more then me - and I’m in the very high end of the salary range for a junior designer. The flip side is in 5-10 years they’ll be making the same amount (or less because they won’t be as young and able to work as many hours) while I’ll have passed that mark.

It’s the reason so many designers take jobs that pay very little just to break in. Once you’re in, youre in.

Thanks, thats good advice, and a lot of senior designers have been saying the same thing. Just get in, get the experience and things will progress. Not to mention it’s not the best economy to jump into.

If you’re good, you can double your salary within the first 5 years (as a Senior), then double that in the next 5. (as a director.)


you will make what the market will bear with considerations for level of experience and industry.

Just came across the Coroflot Design Salary Survey

That survey seems pretty accurate.


Salary.com should help, even down to Zip Code, or State/Metro region of job location:
Personal Salary Reports and Small Business Compensation Solutions | Salary.com
National average is between $41K and $52 for entry level Industrial Designer. Talent, hiring company, location are just some of the factors that go into the salary equation. The first step is to get the interview, and, of course, graduate.
Good luck!

Had to make your 666th post an evil one eh? :smiling_imp:

Sad but true. If only when kids asked in school “how much will I make as a designer when I graduate?” “Well Billy, $0 - because you’re not good enough. Good luck in your future career in human resources” :laughing:

I totally agree. You can tell who’s good, who works hard and who does not. I wonder, and worry for the kids who are graduating with nothing good to show.

Move anywhere other than NYC and your salary will most likely double!
California’s where the money’s at…

It’s just my personal experience, but I don’t think you should be expecting a smaller number because your in europe. I think that pretty much the same numbers apply to europe jobs as well as american jobs, as prices are different. For example, beginning business consultants in europe make the same number amount in europe as in america (60-80k dollars or euros). Low waged jobs are the same way, I don’t know about ID, but it seems like it’s the same number although each currency is differently valued in most everything (living expenses, wages, cost of a movie, etc.)