Which Designer Job is the Best? (Infographic)

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs teaches us that food, safety and a roof over our heads all come before "self actualization". In other words, it’s hard to tap into your inner-unicorn if you can’t afford to pay the rent. To help you designers out there, we’ve researched different design sectors to see which one has the most fulfilling, unicorn-friendly jobs. And it turns out, you can’t have it all. When it comes to design jobs, you can be well-paid, well-employed, or love your job — but not all three.

Here is an infographic comparing the different types of design professions.

Click to enlarge.

Infographic by Shane Snow. Shane Snow is an entrepreneur, writer, and recent Columbia MS/Digital Media graduate. Visit his personal site and follow him on Twitter @shanesnow.

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This was published on Dec 7, 2010


Rich S Dec 07 2010

Ha ha…reality bites.

Jenny Dec 07 2010

Interesting, wish web/graphic designers salary were #1.

Since there are 5 types of designers listed, shouldn’t the stats for all five be shown in each comparison? It’s nice knowing there are lots of graphic and web design jobs, but how much do they make and how happy are they? As it stands, I only really learn about industrial designers.

Though, these stats are always so far off anyway, it doesn’t matter. I’ve never met a single designer who makes near the annual salary listed in reports. I’d really like to see a breakdown of salary versus cost-of-living for designers in multiple areas. You can find the information separately, but I’ve yet to see it broken down together, giving a realistic idea of how much more or less the industry is earning in a particular area.

Super cute though. :)

Vitor Dec 07 2010

Hahaha, really good!
And I just wish we (web/graphic designers) earned more…

felipe Dec 07 2010

“Your mommy uses drop shadows” LOL

Arshad Cini Dec 07 2010

A totally true info


Galen Gidman Dec 07 2010

Very funny. I love that it’s a follow-up to the last one.

Elena Dec 07 2010

Haha, I think it’s really nice to work for Google, doing any type of work ;)

Josué Dec 07 2010

Being a graphic design student, it’s nice to know getting a job will be the least of worries… But as June said, I wish it showed the rankings for all the fields instead of just the top three. Just so I had something to ballpark my future on, haha

The first one was nice, this one is ok.

trent reker Dec 07 2010

i couldn’t get past the first paragraph.

the article was written by a jewish grandmother telling her granddaughter to settle for less than she dreams.

i have had perfect jobs. they were creative (a word you don’t mention once and therefore you should expect me to be less than kind following this ellipsis), i made great scratch, and i dug it.

besides, how can one “love your job” if they feel underpaid or um, what is “well-employed?”


Imran Khan Dec 07 2010

yeah good info!!! Web/Graphics Designer FTW!!!!

Richie Dec 08 2010

Nice infographic but can you please cite your sources?? Without a reference to the actual source, I am forced not to believe the statitistics.


Accelerant Dec 08 2010

why are graphic/web designers left off the first salary graph, but on all the others?

Daquan Wright Dec 08 2010

Interesting, I put a lot of time into researching what fields pay and WHY.

Web design jobs are closer to teaching jobs in terms of demand, in other words the supply outweighs the demand.

Something like engineering or computer science fields are closely linked and because of the technical/mathematical substance of these fields, supply isn’t nearly as high I find. This is backed by the fact that CS people get payed a lot more money, sometimes twice as much.

Like…I see a lot of web design jobs pay between 35k – 55k. Then I see CS jobs that pay 50k – 100k (sometimes going as high as 135k).

It’s all about supply and demand. The harder a job is, the more you’ll get paid for it since less people would want to do it (or be capable).

Of course you don’t have to take anything I say as being written in stone, but these are just some of my thoughts after researching.

I think teachers should get paid more, they do a ton of work doing many things.

maggiey Dec 08 2010


sanji Dec 08 2010

nice info graphic! maybe in the near future we (designer/developers) can earn more than people think.

Tom Bradshaw Dec 08 2010

Web Designers rule!!!

Designers X Dec 08 2010

HAHA – Designers are designers. Anyone can be paid better or recognized better. Just like Shane Mielke, I like that guy

omvaishnav Dec 09 2010

Wow….Graphics/Web designers Job Is Best… :)

Aidan Boyle Dec 09 2010

Awesome. These infographics are great. I really like the web designer vs web developer one too.

Robert Baughan Dec 10 2010

haha, this made me laugh! :)

Sammy Dec 13 2010

haha:) I made the right choice – web designer…

Curtis Scott Dec 13 2010

I love these info graphics, very engaging.

Oh, and it looks like I’ve made the right choice, I’m currently the Senior New Media Producer & Architect at my 9-5 =)

Web- graphic designers -job is the best.
Photographers – earns about $100.00 an hour.Both are in the same field but different market segment.
The guy who draws the Google LOGOS – good illustration.

Steven Dec 19 2010

haha, made me laugh. Especially the bit about wishing he had health insurance. Doesnt apply to people in the UK though :p

Very Informative yet hilarious. :) Still thinking the best job after this.

Solara Apr 23 2011

Cool, though the text are a bit hard to read even in full size.

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