UX design is the best paid profession among junior creatives, research shows

New research shows that the average salary of an entry-level UX designer is £37,500, compared to £26,440 across graphics, packaging and product designers.

Courtesy of scyther5

Junior user experience (UX) designers earn £11,000 more than other designers at the same level, according to a recent creative salary survey.

Aquent and Vitamin T, two recruitment agencies for creative, digital and marketing jobs, collectively complete an annual report, surveying 2,000 people working in the three industries across the UK.

Graphic designers get £25,000

This year’s research found that entry-level UX designers have seen their salaries rise by a fifth, making them the highest-earning design profession at junior level, with an average salary of £37,500 per year.

The average salary for junior-level digital and integrated (mixed) designers was found to be £24,000, while the average for graphic, presentation, packaging, motions graphics and 3D animation designers is £25,000.

Entry-levels product designers earn slightly more at £27,500, but junior UX designers top them all at £37,500 per year, roughly £11,000 more than the average salary of all design fields, which comes to £26,440.

UX designers saw pay rise by a fifth

Junior UX designers’ salaries saw the biggest pay rise over the last year across all disciplines, at a 21% increase on last year.

UX design also sees the highest salary for midweight roles (those with more than four years’ worth of experience but less than 10) at £52,500, compared to an average across other disciplines of £37,500. UX also tops senior roles (more than 10 years’ experience) at £70,000, compared to an average salary of £46,700.

Despite the large discrepancy between UX design and other disciplines, many areas have seen pay rises, with junior graphic designers witnessing a 11% rise on last year and midweight packaging designers seeing a 15% increase.

Is Brexit forcing creative companies to up their game?

Aliza Sweiry, managing director UK at Aquent, says the pay rises across disciplines could be part of a recruitment push by creative and marketing companies, in a bid to secure new employees amid Brexit. Brexit could widen skills gaps, as European nationals who do not meet a certain salary threshold may not be able to live and work in the UK in the future. The Government has recognised that there is a digital skills gap in the UK.

“While marketing and creative careers are still an attractive destination for youngsters, the industry is contending against the salaries and fashionable nature of big tech,” says Sweiry. “Beyond this, the short supply of qualified candidates, and with Brexit on the horizon, Britain is no longer the attractive destination to launch a marketing [or creative] career. This has meant employers have had to raise salaries to attract talent.”

To read Aquent and Vitamin T’s salary guide in full, head here.

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