The Best Cities and Countries for Designers to start Career
The Best Cities and Countries for Designers to start Career
There is high demand for UX designers which is increasing with only 5% of the top 50 best design jobs in the United States related to UX design. For Ux designers, the US is the best country. A recent survey found that 25% of designers over the age of 40 have worked as freelancers for more than 20 years. With 34%, Millennials are the wide reaching group and 23% of Gen Z designers are also freelance. Read the blog to know The Best Cities and Countries for Designers to start Career are:
Below is a quick snapshot of some of the salary comparisons for best design jobs destinations and where can graphic designers find work around the world to help you negotiate a better salary.
US Design Industry Outlook
The US is one of the top global locations for design work and is internationally known for high-quality design, generated both in-house for the world’s leading tech startups and on the agency side for some of the most respected firms. Even though the US design population faces a “threat” from cheaper outsourced labor, demand for quality and innovation in the increasingly competitive digital space helps keep jobs in the country. These are the major sectors in the design industry in the country:
In 2019, there were 281,500 graphic designers in the country. The states that hold the highest employment in the sector are:
- New York
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry employment is expected to slow down in the years to come. In fact, from 2019 to 2029 graphic design jobs will grow by only four percent. The stagnation in job growth will be driven mostly by the decline in opportunities in print media such as newspaper, magazine and book publishing. However, the good news is that graphic design within the digital space is projected to grow 20% during the same timeframe, which means that graphic designers should focus their professional development efforts in this area.
In 2021, the median salary for graphic designers is $45,677/year. Roughly 21% of these professionals are self-employed, which makes it one of the more freelance-heavy fields in the US.
[Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Multimedia Artists and Animators
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other forms of media.” In 2019, the employment stood at 67,500 positions and the median annual pay was $75,270. More than half of US multimedia artists and animators are self-employed. The employment in the sector is estimated to grow four percent between 2019 and 2029.
The growth in the field is expected to be driven by consumer expectations of increasingly sophisticated and realistic graphics in video games, apps and movies. Competition may increase as well mostly due to the widespread appeal of the industry among young students and graduates.
Website Design and Development
The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t track web design specifically, but it does track statistics for web development, which includes web design services. Their definition of the role of web developer notes that:
“Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.” In 2019, there were 67,500 web developers in the US.
The same source predicts that between 2019 and 2029, the number of professionals will increase by eight percent, which is higher than the average for all occupations or four percent. Much of the job growth in the field will be driven by the increased adoption and popularity of mobile devices and eCommerce, both of which necessitate additional investment on behalf of companies in design and development services. According to Glassdoor, the median annual salary of web developers is $68,524, whereas web designers earn $52,691/year on average.
The Best Countries Around The World For Design
If you’re looking to take a more global approach to your design career and situate yourself somewhere outside the US, then check the following best countries for designers:
1. United Kingdom
The design industry in the UK is thriving. In fact, in 2018, the gross value added (GVA) of the design and designer fashion sectors totaled £2.52 billion or $3.35 billion. The UK is one of the world’s major design hubs, with many top-tier agencies based out of London and Glasgow.
According to Design Council:
“The UK has transitioned from an economy powered by might and machine to one increasingly powered by services and technology. Design has played a key role in these developments, evolving with economic shifts, boosting productivity and instigating Innovation — from the industrial designers that pioneered post-war aviation to those designing robots and artificial intelligence today.”
There are a few reasons that make the UK one of the most enticing countries for US designers. On the one hand, there are no language barriers. On the other hand, the UK has a cost of living that is 12.21% lower than in the US. It means that living there is less expensive.
Yet, the United Kingdom is one of the countries with the highest graphic design salaries. The average annual salary is $72,500, and larger cities like London are the best paying.
Although Canada has a relatively small population of such a geographically large country, it does boast a lively design scene. The average graphic designer salary in the country is $48,750/year. In Canada, as elsewhere, the need to streamline brand assets across many different media has put designers, particularly those with skills in multiple design disciplines, in demand.
According to eTalent Canada, the biggest employers of graphic designers and illustrators in the country are:
- British Columbia
In terms of future job prospects by province, British Columbia offers the highest number of possibilities. As Job Bank states, over the period 2019–2028, the number of new job openings in the field is expected to total 21,500. So, the strong job growth is one of the key reasons that make Canada a welcoming place for graphic designers. There are the best jobs in Canada for Graphic designers.
Another reason is the fact that the cost of living in the country is lower than in the US. In fact, according to Numbeo when compared to Canada, US’:
- Consumer prices are 5.54% higher (without rent)
- Rent prices are 30.15% higher
- Restaurant prices are 11.43% higher
- Groceries Prices are 6.14% higher
[Source: e-Talent Canada]
An interesting fact says that China was the leading country in terms of smartphone users in 2020. With a penetration of 60.75%, it outranks India, United States and Indonesia. China has a great population of devoted mobile users. This is why one of the main priorities in the country are mobile design and development. Shenzhen, especially, is one of the leading centers and design capital widely recognized for its achievement in the innovation and creative industries.
With funding to support startups in the area, it holds the status as a City of Design. (Creative Cities Network) Roughly 100,000 people are employed by 6,000 design firms in Shenzhen. According to Payscale, graphic designers in China earn $1276/year on average. When compared to the US graphic design earning, salaries in China are lower.
However, The Red Dragon has a lower cost of living and in fact, it is 34.1% cheaper than America. So, moving to the country, for you it would mean a high salary and a cheap life. In addition, China has the biggest number of 500 Fortune companies in the world. So, it means that it offers great opportunities for employment by huge brands like:
- Sinopec Group
- HBIS Group
Sweden is a country known for design prowess, and it boasts many top-tier design schools and firms. Urban areas are home to many tech companies that provide opportunities for employment for those in the design field. The country is known for entrepreneurship and innovation as well as a tolerant and peaceful place with a high quality of living.
In fact, it ranks third on US News listing for Best Countries for Quality of Life after Canada and Denmark. According to Payscale, graphic designers in Sweden earn $34,927/year on average. Web designers get $47,610 and UX designers get $48,281.
Japan has long since been known as a leader in technology, science and innovation. And with the country readying itself for the upcoming 2021 Olympics, it’s full-steam ahead. With its intricate culture and slightly out-of-the-box adoption of design trends and technologies, Japan is certainly a country industry that is both exciting and unique for designers looking to grow their talents and learn new ways of design. A hub for creativity and technological advancement, there is major room for exploration in the design industry in Japan.
US News ranks Japan as:
- The best country in the world in terms of forward-thinking
- The 14th best country in the world for starting a career
- The 14th best country in the world regarding quality of life
Graphic designers in Japan earn $34,229/year on average, web designers earn $39,200/year and UX designers get $36,903. (Payscale)
The startup location in Israel is thriving. In fact, Tel Aviv ranks sixth in the top 30 global startup ecosystems and runner-up. Some of the factors that have made the city top the list are:
- Business performance and development
According to Payscale, in Israel:
- Graphic Designers charge $30,829/year
- Web designers earn $47,944/year
- UX designers get $75,558/year
7 Best Cities for Designers to Start a Career
Here are some of the best cities for product designers looking for both career opportunities and living standards:
Berlin is widely known as a modern cultural hub, and those qualities make it one of the best cities for designers. The city makes a huge effort to promote its creative community. According to MoveHub, Berlin is home to:
- Over 1500 theaters
- Over 300 Art Galleries
- 250 Public Libraries
- 175+ Museums
- 130 Cinema
- 3 Opera House
As one of Europe’s biggest cultural hotspots, you will never lack inspiration. Berlin has a solid startup scene and a high density of coworking spaces for designers hoping to lead an independent life. A small apartment here will run you around $1,199 on average. According to PayScale, graphic designers can expect a median salary of $37,535, while web designers and UX designers can expect an average salary of $41,385 and $52,839, respectively.
Although the winters can be cold, Toronto is still one of the best cities for graphic designers to live in. It has a vibrant startup scene and many large companies are headquartered there, making employment with exciting brands easily available.
According to Forbes, Toronto’s best employers include:
- Cisco Systems
Toronto is home to many ethnic neighborhoods. The city’s diverse population of 6,196,731 people helps make it a vibrant cultural center. What’s more, Canada’s universal health care system eliminates the financial burden health care can place on freelancers. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for designers in Toronto is suitable, ranging from $34,273 for graphic designers to $42,842 for web designers and $68,547 for UX designers.
Another Canadian axis makes its list of the best cities for designers. Montreal is a cultural capital and home to some of the major festivals in the globe, involving the Montreal Jazz Fest, Montreal Completion Cirque, and en Lumiere. The surprisingly reasonable range of living in Montreal is 66.51%. Compared to NYC, The Big Apple is 33.49% more costly. (numbeo).
The city is home to variousCanadian startup companies and has a strong game design and development presence. The average design salary in Montreal is moderately lower than in other comparable North American cities, but the low cost of living bridges the gap. According to PayScale, graphic designers can expect to earn an average salary of $34,923, web designers $35,390, and UX designers $46,398.
4. New York
New York City is an internationally recognized hub of design jobs and talent. Most of the top US design agencies are located here and the city has made attracting the best tech companies to work as graphic designers in the area a top priority. Jobs are abundant in New York, making it an attractive destination for some of the best design talent.
The range of living in New York is very high, with the median rental cost of a one bedroom apartment being all over $2,683/month. But prices vary depending on the neighborhood. So, how much can you expect on average in the following areas:
- Tribeca (7,524)
- Lower East Side (3,891)
- Bushwick (2,528)
- High Bridge (1,720)
However, according to US News, New York is one of the top highest-paid cities in America. In other words, to compensate for the high cost of living, New York’s salaries are among the highest in the country. This is a big reason why NYC is one of the best cities for designers. According to glassdoor, the average salary of a graphic designer is $54,916. For a web designer, this is $63,196 and goes up to $94,498 for UX designers.
In recent years, it has emerged as a startup capital through partnerships with IBM and the success of startups such as Wayfair and Drizzly. Boston ranks as the third best city for startup success. The city is also home to 16 Fortune 500 companies. Some of the important employers in the area are:
These facts merged with the potential for immense technological advancement make Boston one of the best cities for graphic design jobs to dive into head first and renew their careers. According to Glassdoor, the average salary in the city is:
- $49,975 for graphic designers
- $57,843 for web designers
- $83,920 for UX designers
6. San Francisco Bay Area
It’s impractical to write a catalogue of the best cities for UX designers without mentioning the Bay Area. Even though the skyrocketing cost of living has made living in the city difficult, the area still attracts some of the world’s top design talent.
Silicon Valley is full of companies in need of design talent, and many designers desire to work for the nation’s most respected tech giants.where can graphic designers fin The median salary in the Bay Area blows other cities out of the water, so designers taking home big salaries may find this an attractive option.
Along with NYC, San Francisco is one of the highest paid cities. (US News), According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a UX designer is upwards of $104,843/year, while it is $69,125 for web designers. The median salary for graphic designers is $64,53.
London is home to many extremely appreciated best design firms, and best jobs for designers building their professions in the UK, it is certainly a top destination. The city is a cultural hub full of art, music, literature and history — plenty of inspiration to feed the creative minds of designers.
London is costly but not as expensive as NYC. In fact, according to Numbeo, when differentiate to The Big Apple:
- Rent charges 43.13% higher than in London
- Consumer charges are 19.16% excessive than in London (without rent)
- Grocery charges are 60.34% costly than in London
- Restaurant charges are 15.47% higher than in London
- Local purchasing power is 21.27% higher than in London
Additionally, research shows that the capital of England is one of the cities where people get paid the highest. The average salary in London is very reasonable for those in the design fields. According to Glassdoor, Graphic Designers earn an average salary of $37,866/year, Web Designers earn $39,548 and UX Designers earn $54,218.
Information about the largest hub for design work worldwide
The vision of being a designer is that in most instances your skills are highly demanded. It gives you affability in where you live and who you work for. And if you want to settle down, look for a city that has a healthy stability of inspiring culture, job opportunities, and liveable pay. If your target is to be self-employed, you can live effectively anywhere and get going relationships with companies in the top design markets.
If you’re looking more widely, some of the best countries to satisfy in as a designer involves:
- United Kingdom
- United States
These landing place are centers of creativity, innovation and technological advancement and they are home to some of the best cities for graphic design jobs including:
- New York
- San Francisco Bay Area
It is guaranteed that in each of these cities, you will develop into a designer living your best life. Whether you are a freelancer, or a full-time salaried employee working in the office day in and day out, you need to know your qualifications and rely on your experiences.
These tips can be helpful for new or experienced freelancers:
- Write a contract and stick to it with each client
- Keep developing your portfolio and make sure it’s attractive
- Figure out Your Value and Don’t Forget It
- Continue networking
- Don’t be afraid to take a stand and say no
With the help of these points and statistics, you’ll be one step direct to completing your next design job in the city of your dreams.