Research reveals graphic designers earn £3,000 less than average UK salary

The Office for National Statistics have revealed their Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings research for 2017, showing graphic designers earn £3,000 less than the average UK salary.

Published in October 2017, the ONS’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for 2017 has revealed that full-time graphic designers earn, on average, £25,900 annually – which is £3,000 less than the UK average, including being below salaries for musicians, journalists and architects.

The BBC has used data taken originally taken from the ONS Annual Survey to create a salary tracker, which looks into how wages vary across different professions, as well as investigating how salaries have changed over the last six years, in line with inflation in the UK. Though the tracker does not take into account the salaries of those who are self-employed or freelancing, the BBC’s investigation does include data from full-time workers across 332 different occupations.

The average annual salary within the UK is currently at £28,800 – for the average UK graphic designer, this is £3,000 more than their annual earnings, making graphic design a sector that is worse paid than advertising or journalism.

In contrast, other designers – including those working in products, fashion or web design – tend to earn above the national average; product and fashion designer average salaries rest at £29,700, whilst web designer salaries sit at £30,300 per annum. Furthermore, the average salary for architects is around £38,200 – almost a full £10,000 above the average UK salary.

The BBC salary calculator also looks into the gender pay gap faced by different professions; though unequal pay for men and women within the same position has been illegal for over 40 years, it is still a prominent problem in many sectors. For instance, women designers in the product or fashion industry can expect to be paid 18% less than their male counterparts – even though women make up half of the disciplines’ full-time employees.

Additionally, within both architecture and graphic design, women are paid 7% less than their male colleges. The data also shows that women make up one third of graphic designers nationally, whilst only 28% of architects are female.

To find out more, please visit the BBC Tracker or click here to read the original ONS’ Annual Survey in full.

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