Can Graphic Designers Make a Lot of Money?

When deciding what career to pursue, you should look for something that pays you well and that you enjoy. If you like graphic design, becoming a graphic designer could be a great idea. But you should consider if you’ll be able to make a lot of money from it.

Graphic designers can make a lot of money. New designers will make less, but they can still make more than people in some professions. Designers can make more with more experience, by choosing a niche, or moving somewhere with a high cost of living. Consider how these can affect one’s career.

Whether you’re in graphic design school already or are just looking into being a graphic designer, you should learn what you can about the career. And unless you know you’ll come into a massive inheritance, money is part of that. Read on to learn about making money as a designer.

1. Get Experience

One of the simplest ways to make a lot of money as a graphic designer is to get experience. This will take time, and you may not make a ton at first. You may even have to do a few free projects, such as in school, to build your portfolio.

However, once you have experience and a portfolio that proves your skills, you may be able to get people to pay you a higher amount for a project. As you get even more experience, you can continue to update your portfolio to account for those changes. Then, you may be able to raise your rates even more.

After a few years or decades in the industry, you could make a lot of money, especially if you work for yourself. Even if you want to be an employee, having experience can help you negotiate for a higher salary. Then, you’ll earn the money you need to support yourself.

2. Take on More Work

A quick way to make a lot of money as a graphic designer is to work more. You can take on an extra client project so that you can earn money soon. Of course, this requires you to have the time and energy to complete the extra work.

It also may not be sustainable over the long term. You can burn yourself out, especially if you find yourself working from when you wake up to when you go to bed. But taking on a client or two outside of your design job or regular business can help.

When you work as a freelancer, you can continue the schedule you have or change it. That way, if you don’t need to earn as much money, you can take time off. But working more for a short period can help you add to your portfolio so that you can charge more for less work.

3. Choose a Niche

If you’re still struggling to make a lot of money, consider choosing a specific niche. A business niche is a small area of focus. For example, maybe you want to work with massive corporations because they usually have a bigger budget for graphic design.

Maybe you work with companies in a particular industry, such as beauty or education. Then, you can learn about design trends for those types of companies.

Another option is to focus on a specific type of design like logo design. You can learn how to design an effective logo, and you can only offer that service. That will help clients see you as an expert, so you can use that to help market yourself and compete against a general designer.

4. Move Somewhere Expensive

You may also want to move to a place with a high cost of living to help make a lot of money. This strategy is the best when you focus on working with local businesses. It’s also a great option if you want to work as an employee because you may get a higher salary.

Of course, you also need to account for the increase in your expenses. You’ll probably need to pay more for food, housing, and transportation. The move itself can also cost a lot of money, and those costs may not even out for a while when you start earning more.

On the flip side, you could move somewhere cheaper. If you work remotely with clients, you can still charge them what you would in a higher-cost city. But your money will go further, so you can save more of it or reach other financial goals.

5. Sell Digital Goods

If you still find it hard to make a lot of money, consider creating digital goods to sell. You can design templates and similar digital downloads. Add them to your website or a third-party marketplace so that people can download the files when they purchase them.

Then, you just have to spend time marketing the products. After a while, the products may get traction without you needing to do anything. In that case, you can make a lot of money without doing a lot of work, and you won’t have to do the design over and over.

Use a tool like to develop some templates for logos, social media posts, and other types of content. Then, you can promote the designs to current or potential clients.

6. Start an Agency

You can also start a graphic design agency and hire other designers to help you with your client work. Hire the designers for a flat rate or an hourly rate that’s less than what you charge clients, so you can keep the difference.

That way, you can do as much graphic design as you want. But you won’t have to turn potential clients away, and you can earn more money in the same amount of time.

Final Thoughts

Graphic designers may not get rich quickly, but they can make a lot of money over time. If you keep up with your design career, you may be able to ask for a raise. Or if you prefer to work for yourself, you can build an agency to take on more work and increase your earnings.