13 Best Jobs in Design (With Salaries and Job Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 23, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated September 23, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As a creative person, you can leverage your understanding of visual principles into a full-time career that's lucrative and exciting. You can combine your creativity with any medium to work as a designer in a variety of industries. If you are interested in a career in design, understanding which jobs interest you and suit your unique skill set can help you get started on the perfect career path. In this article, we explore 13 of the best jobs in design and discuss the primary duties and average salaries of each.

Related: 10 Outstanding Careers for Creative People

What are jobs in design?

Jobs in design are jobs that rely on the principles of art and usability to create cohesive visual products. These jobs can use elements like typography, illustration, photography, and spatial relation to create products that are appealing and intuitive to use. They work closely with these teams to construct their vision of the product. Designers contribute to the construction and ideation of every product, so there are a variety of jobs involving this skill.

Related: 11 of the Most Fun Jobs in the World

13 jobs in design

Here are some common and lucrative jobs you can find when following a career in design:

1. Floral designer

National average salary: $39,700 per year

Primary duties: a floral designer designs floral arrangements for a variety of occasions. They use their knowledge of gardening, floral care, colour theory, and spatial awareness to create floral arrangements for weddings or events. Florists use skills like creativity and customer service, organization, and accounting to create, market, and sell their arrangements and to keep track of sales records. To become a florist, you can take special floristry classes or get on-the-job experience at a florist shop.

2. Web designer

National average salary: $47,388 per year

Primary duties: a web designer plans and helps build a website, using creative and technical skills to design what users see, and the back end of how the website works. Clients hire web designers to plan site architecture, including how to group different links on a webpage and what paths users follow to different pages of the website.

Web designers use a variety of skills to cover the broad demands of the job. They use fonts and graphics on the page to create a cohesive look throughout all pages. Web designers can also benefit from technical skills like coding and search engine optimization. Web designers can get a bachelor's degree in web design or computer programming, though many designers are self-taught.

Read more: 13 Interview Questions for a Web Designer With Sample Answers

3. Jewelry designer

National average salary: $48,729 per year

Primary duties: a jewellery designer uses their understanding of design principles and applies them to gemstones and precious metals to create jewellery. They also sell their jewellery and often run their own businesses. Many jewellery designers have bachelor's degrees in fine arts or jewellery design, but most have one or two years of apprenticeship experience, learning the delicate and intricate work of creating jewellery from experienced professionals.

4. Digital designer

National average salary: $55,280 per year

Primary duties: a digital designer creates designs for digital products like websites, product graphics, email templates, social media graphics, and brand campaigns. They use their understanding of design software and design principles to create digital assets according to their client's specifications. To become a digital designer, many people get a bachelor's degree in graphic design, digital design, or digital art. However, many digital designers are eligible for entry-level jobs if they have a portfolio that showcases their skills instead of a degree.

5. Interior designer

National average salary: $55,941 per year

Primary duties: interior designers make indoor spaces functional and beautiful for the inhabitants. They use textiles, spatial awareness skills, colour and decorative elements to direct light and change the perception of space to create welcoming visual atmospheres for homes and commercial spaces. Interior designers can freelance, but they typically work for interior design firms. They use skills like communication, organization, budgeting and attention to detail to create spaces according to their client's needs. To become an interior designer you can get a degree in interior design or architecture and pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam.

6. Graphic designer

National average salary: $57,643 per year

Primary duties: graphic designers use visual concepts and digital software to create visual images that communicate ideas to consumers. They design advertisements, brochures, magazine layouts, and reports. They use skills like photo editing, organization, and attention to detail when designing graphics. Many graphic designers have degrees in graphic design, but the most important part of a graphic design resume is their portfolio, which shows their skills and creativity. Once a graphic designer has the experience, they can work for a brand on an in-house marketing team, an advertising or design agency, or for themselves as freelancers.

Related: How to Become a Graphic Designer

7. User interface designer

National average salary: $59,734 per year

Primary duties: a user interface designer or a UI designer focuses on designing the layout of a website or an application by focusing solely on the interface, or the aesthetic elements that allow regular people to interact with technology. There are four types of user interface:

  • Command-line interface: the original computer interface, where users type commands into a line to be completed by the computer.

  • Menu-driven interface: a series of screens that you can navigate through choosing listed options. Examples of this interface are ATMs or walk-up kiosks.

  • Graphical interface: this interface uses icons and cursers to navigate.

  • Touchscreen graphical interface: commonly used on smartphones, using icons to navigate but without cursers.

UI designers use their understanding of user flows, interfaces and customer behaviour to construct interfaces that serve the product's purpose while being easy to use from the user's point of view. Employers are typically interested in portfolios that show relevant skills rather than a specific academic background.

Related: How To Make a Portfolio

8. Industrial designer

National average salary: $63,024 per year

Primary duties: an industrial designer develops design concepts for manufactured products using their understanding of engineering, mechanics, and three-dimensional design. They work on products like furniture, cars, appliances, and toys. They design, test, build models of their designs and work with production teams to create products that incorporate their design elements. Industrial designers use problem-solving to develop products that provide solutions to consumers. They typically have a bachelor's degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering, which can teach them skills like drafting, computer-aided design, and three-dimensional modelling.

9. Fashion designer

National average salary: $64,347 per year

Primary duties: a fashion designer uses their understanding of textiles, design elements, and sewing to design clothes that are functional and beautiful. They draw designs of clothes, source materials, create mock-ups, and work with production teams to create lines of clothing, accessories, and footwear. Many fashion designers work for clothing companies or luxury labels, though some designers choose to start their own companies. To become a fashion designer, you need an understanding of sewing and clothing construction, which you can learn through experience. However, many fashion designers also have formal training with a bachelor's degree in fashion design.

10. User experience designer

National average salary: $64,543 per year

Primary duties: a user experience designer, also known as a UX designer, focuses on a product's design, usability, and function to improve the customer's interaction with the product. This field is growing in popularity as companies that focus on design first become more successful. UX designers use skills like market research, collaboration, prototyping, and communication to work with various departments to create an effective product. Most UX designers have a bachelor's degree in design or product design. However, the most important qualification for a UX designer is experience developing or software and technology.

11. Product designer

National average salary: $65,735 per year

Primary duties: product designers consider user needs with business goals to develop successful products for brands. They can work with digital products or physical products like packaging design. Product designers use their creativity and understanding of the commercial market to develop products that are appealing to customers. To become a product designer, people typically have a degree in product design or industrial design to develop creative skills and technical abilities they need to understand production methods.

12. Animation

National average salary: $68,927 per year

Primary duties: animation designers design visual effects and animation for video games, movies, tv shows, social platforms, and websites. They use graphic design skills, drawing, and digital animation to create moving images for commercial or creative purposes. They can work for advertising agencies or large movie production companies, depending on their skill set and desired field. Animators typically have a bachelor's degree in animation, computer graphics or fine art. However, if they have the technical skills necessary, they're eligible for entry-level jobs without a degree.

13. Video game designer

National average salary: $71,568 per year

Primary duties: a video game designer is a creative who designs the look and layout of video games. They also work on the storylines, the characters, and the video game levels and scenarios. They design video games for consoles, computers, mobile designers, and websites. Video game designers use skills like coding, testing, writing, and graphic design to develop visually pleasing effects and storylines that appeal to consumers. Many video game designers have a bachelor's degree in software design, computer graphics, or animation.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing.

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