graphic designer on duty

Graphic Designer Salary Guide 2022

Table of Contents

Perhaps you are an aspiring graphic designer or looking to hire one, and you are curious about their pay scale. Whatever your motivation is, knowing how much salaries graphic designers earn is enlightening.

Several factors influence salary. In this subject, things like experience, education background, and level of expertise all play a significant role. 

Without further ado, let’s dive right into the article to learn everything there is to know about this subject!

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make in Singapore?

Payscale.com mentioned that a graphic designer with a decent skill set commonly earns about $30,791 per year. The number will vary depending on the company’s salary policy or the expected working hours. A graphic designer with less than one year of experience has a different pay rate than one with five years of experience.

The salary ranges from $3,000 to $46,000 per year, as informed by Payscale. However, those figures do not include benefits, bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions. As a result, you may be able to earn more take-home pay than the stated salary.

It is also crucial that you negotiate your salary before you start working. Who knows, maybe you will get a little more than the bare minimum.

Graphic Designer Salary Range

Since you already know that the average salary for a graphic designer in Singapore is $30,791 a year, it is also essential for you to see the wage range. The classification is taken from lowest to highest income and analyzed by salary survey websites.

These income sample sites mostly ask their users to submit an anonymous inquiry regarding their profession and the number of earnings they make. They will use this data to estimate the salary range for any specific job.


The lowest wage for a graphic designer in Singapore is $2,400. It is often the amount of money received by an entry-level employee. As your experience and expertise grow, the number will change.


The median income for graphic designers in Singapore is $5,640/month. This figure becomes the middle ground between lowest and highest earnings. Ensure you receive a monthly salary higher than the median number by honing your skill and expanding your network.


The highest pay for graphic designers in Singapore is $8,300. Generally, this is the amount that senior graphic designers with many years of experience would receive.

Graphic Designer Job Types

Graphic design, like all other occupations, has categories. They based these categories on each graphic designer’s level of responsibility, working hours, and final remuneration.

Regardless of which of these four categories you fall into, the main job remains the same. It conveys information through visual communication that includes aesthetic qualities as a work of art.

Types of Employment


Freelance graphic designers are those who are self-employed. Although they work for a client, they will set their own working time as well as their fees. The freelancers also have rate cards, which dictate how much their service fees are and will usually get paid once they have done the project.


Graphic design interns are primarily students and fresh graduates who seek hands-on practice working as graphic designers. Since interns are looking for experience, it is common that they will get an allowance lower than the standards.

An internship is an excellent opportunity for you to be a full-time graphic designer. If you perform well and once your internship ends, they can recruit you.  


Part-time graphic designers usually work fewer hours than full-time graphic designers. They often work 30 to 35 hours a week and could change depending on the company’s work hour policies.

Full Time

Full-time graphic designers work at least 40 hours a week. The total hours will vary depending on the working environment. Do they work as an in-house employee or as an agency graphic designer?

Both in-house and agency graphic designers have their pros and cons. Those hired by a company become in-house designers, and their work is solely on the company’s business needs. They tend to have precise working hours compared to agencies who work overtime.

But agency designers have more freedom and aren’t glued to the limited creative space that in-house designers usually face.

Junior Graphic Designer

A junior graphic designer is an entry-level position for someone new to the industry or company. The company recruit these designers after their internship ends or just recently graduated from design school.  With 0 to 2 years of experience, many junior graphic designers still need guidance from their supervisors. 

As they build their portfolios, these employees who fill this position can be considered junior for up to 2 years. However, it is not always necessary for everyone to go through this step to become a graphic designer.

Senior Graphic Designer

Senior graphic designers typically have 3 – 5 years of working experience. They’re responsible for leading the graphic design team as well as creating the big picture for the company’s visual campaigns.

Suppose you want to become a senior graphic designer. In that case, you need to have an excellent grasp of the whole concept because senior graphic designers are those who are responsible from the concept stage to the execution of the requested design itself. 

Graphic Designer Salary Ratio by Gender

Unfortunately, the gender salary gap still exists in the work environment; the graphic design industry is not an exemption. Although more women than men occupy graphic design in Singapore, as Payscale.com mentioned, 71.2% of females work in graphic design fields compared to males with a 27.9% percentage. 

Salary Difference Between Male and Female

Women working as graphic designers earn 7% less than men in the same field on average. Salaryexplorer.com shows the statistics that explain standard income for male graphic designers is $5,390 per month, whereas females with similar expertise moderately earn $5,050 per month.

Authorities must address matters like these to create an equal pay circumstance, as gender differences should not be a factor that causes unfair wages for any job.

Level of Education’s Impact on Salary

As a graphic designer, your level of education influences how much you will earn. If you are someone with a high school diploma, you will be paid differently  than someone who has a postgraduate degree specializing in visual communication design.

Salaryexplorer.com explains how your background might impact your salary as a graphic designer. Let’s take a look at the explanation below!

High school

A graphic designer with a high school diploma typically would earn $3,350 as their monthly pay. Yes, a high school graduate can be a graphic designer as you don’t need to hold any degree to build your career in Singapore. This is because the design itself is a creative field that doesn’t require any academic credentials, but it depends on the job requirements. 

However, statistically speaking, someone who only holds a high school diploma gets  paid lower – in the hope of getting better opportunities, many people take graphic design courses. 

Certificate or Diploma

The amount of salary you might receive by having the certificate is usually $3,930 per month. You will gain a certificate through 3 months to 12 months of graphic design courses. You may benefit by having this type of certification if you prefer not to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor Degree

It is more common for graphic designers with bachelor’s degrees to earn $5,700 as their monthly stipend. They tend to have a better network in this field, so they benefit from a chance of making more.

Master Degree

Someone who holds a master’s degree in graphic design could get up to $7,470 as their monthly allowance. Usually, if a person is passionate enough, they will take this postgraduate degree. Having a master’s degree will help them reach the top of the salary scale. However, employers have significant expectations and responsibilities from employees after obtaining higher degrees. 

After all, education is not the only thing that matters. You still need to hone your skill and craft your portfolios to be an outstanding showcase of your previous projects. That way, you will be acknowledged and get better opportunities. 

The Importance of Salary Survey

Assuming you are a graphic designer looking for a job, you need to review other salary surveys so that you know how much you should be receiving. It is also beneficial if you want to get better income from other companies that might be offering you a similar job. 

If you are an employer, conducting a salary survey might assist you in ensuring you pay your employees equally. 

Base Salary

Base salary is the minimum payment each graphic designer can expect to receive in return for the amount of time and effort they have put into delivering a design service. There are still other benefits that employees could take advantage of. Your medical insurance and other health benefits usually come with the package depending on company policies, thus not included in the base salary. 

The minimum base salary for a graphic designer in Singapore ranges quite widely from $3,000 to the maximum number of $46,000 per year. Therefore, leaving $31,000 as the average salary or the middle ground between the lowest and highest base wage.

Rate Card System

Freelancers will typically use rate cards. They decide the price themselves and provide the fee details of their services. If you opt to become a freelance graphic designer, you might benefit from setting the charge yourself.

However, it would be best if you did some research before setting up your rate. Look for similar job salaries on the internet, or maybe talking to a friend who has experience might help you build your rate.

Incentives and Bonuses

Incentives and bonuses are not part of your salary. Say you’ve been working overtime due to finishing the upcoming design campaigns. Your company may take the initiative in giving you incentives and bonuses. 

Incentives and bonuses include medical insurance, dental health, and vision well-being coverage. 

Understand Clients’ Expectations

Understanding clients or employers’ expectations is one of many essential things to note. As you are trying to offer a service that may help them succeed in their brand campaigns, of course, you want to give the best that you can. If you keep doing your best, you have a higher chance of getting promoted, which effectively increases your salary.

Business Goals

As a graphic designer, you need to understand your client(s) or company’s business goals and marketing objectives. This is because you will be the one who is responsible for the brand’s communication. If you fail to deliver the message precisely, then it can cause problems for your company’s credibility.

That way, there should be clear communication between you and the brands you are working with to prevent any unclear information. 

Clients’ Preferences

From a business and marketing perspective, it’s essential to understand what your client’s goals and preferences are to create an effective design.

For starters, you can learn design psychology. There are elements like choosing the right colours , picking up the niche, thinking of the audience’s gender, and opting for accessibility. You would also love to improve your design by providing relevance, including the vital website elements, and the most crucial thing, complementing your brand’s identity. 

Improve Your Skill

Having marketable skills is essential if you want to grow as a graphic designer. These employable skills that you have might make you stand out in the eyes of employers. For example, having soft skills such as communication, conflict resolution, creativity, active listening, time management, and persistence. Being proficient at using photo-editing and design software is also essential because it is considered a hard skill. 

Usually, employers will check the skills they expect candidates to have in the job portals. By having these valuable skills, you have a chance of landing a job quickly. 

Other than that, having these skills mean you will be perceived as having decent expertise. Therefore, it could also help you increase your salary. So it’s ideal for honing your skills and developing them further to exemplify your skillset in the workplace.

Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

Mastering these three powerful tools is a no-brainer for graphic designers out there. It’s not a requirement, though, as each graphic designer will prefer using one tool over the other. But having adequate competence for all three is vital as most graphic designers’ job vacancies will require you to have the capability to operate these tools.

Basic HTML

Design and technology are inseparable, and you need to understand basic HTML or HyperText Markup Language. As a graphic designer, you will benefit quite a lot by staying updated with current technological advancements. 

By using HTML, it is possible to access content with a simple click, especially if you want to focus on web page design. Other than that, it will let you know how you deliver your mockups on the web page.  You can also communicate with developers for pixel-perfect websites.


Branding and visual identity are two connected elements. It is the focus of any artist aiming to be a graphic designer.  If you pay attention to your surroundings, you will find them on various types of advertising like websites and product packaging. Even everyday items like business cards or brand guides carry some form of brand identity. 

To understand visual identity, you need to think like consumers. Based on your audience’s perspective, you’ll be able to gauge if your design will deliver the impact you’re aiming for. Therefore it starts influencing your line of thinking through your techniques, and you’ll become thoughtful in your decision.

After all, you will be the one who presents your brand through visual communication. That being said, you need to understand layers in branding and treat it as an essential part of becoming a graphic designer.

Build Your Graphic Design Career

Craft Your portfolio

If you’re aiming to apply as a graphic designer, it’s crucial to have a portfolio on hand! A portfolio is a compilation of all your previous works relevant to your job application. 

By using a portfolio, you could showcase your style to your prospective clients or employers. Through this, you set expectations clearly, and your prospective clients or employers could decide whether they want to work with you. 


Acquiring a decent graphic design skill is possible through self-study, especially if you are passionate about drawing and the visual aspect of it. There are hundreds of online videos available for you to watch and learn to design yourself. 

There are also design courses that are accessible on the internet. Soon after, you can start by creating your simple designs using tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe InDesign. Later on, you can ask for your friends’ reviews about your design and ask for feedback to improve it.

Let your inspiration be your drive for improvement and be up-to-date with the latest graphic design trends. Following great graphic designers on their social media will also help. Other than that, paying attention to the current pop culture could ease your idea-gathering process. Usually, big brands use this strategy as well. 

Enrolling in Design School

Although self-study itself could be enough, enrolling in design school will hone your graphic design skills more effectively. You will meet other great soon-to-be designers and be taught about graphic designs by professionals.

Attending design school might cost you money, but it is worth the investment if you wish to take your graphic design skills to the next level. Other than that, you will make beneficial relationships and hopefully build a long-term network with people who share the same interest as you.

Open to Other Opportunities

As one of the high-demand jobs, most companies nowadays need graphic designers on the team. Nevertheless, it would help if you upgraded yourself constantly, so you don’t get stuck in the same place. Educating yourself by reading books or asking for guidance about graphic design might help.

At present, graphic design is a job that not only includes visual communication. It also consists of other elements such as technology and marketing. That way, it is possible for you to expand your skill to other jobs related to graphic design like the lists below:

  • UI/UX Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Multimedia Artist or Animator
  • Creative Director
  • Production Artist
  • Product Developer
  • Art Director
  • Marketing Specialist


Let’s review what we’ve discussed regarding graphic designer salaries!

A graphic designer in Singapore typically earns $5220 as their monthly income. Many factors result in different salaries. Factors such as job types, stage of expertise, years of experience, gender differences, and level of education could have an impact on salary disparity.

However, you don’t need to worry because various ways could help you elevate your skill and increase your income as a graphic designer. Furthermore, being open to other opportunities related to graphic design might help you boost your chance of landing a high-paying job. 

It is also important to note that graphic design doesn’t stand alone. Diving into other fields like technology and marketing will have a positive impact on your journey as a graphic designer. Improvement only happens if you are willing to invest your time and energy to keep learning and hone your artistry competence.

So, are you ready to build your career in graphic design?

About Orita Sinclair

Founded in 2002, Orita Sinclair is one of the oldest music and design schools in Singapore. We are committed to fostering a love of design and music in our students by encouraging them to be bold and imaginative in their endeavours.

Here at Orita Sinclair, we believe that theoretical and practical foundations are equally important with the music and graphic design courses that we offer. For that reason, we have put in place a forward-looking curriculum that grounds students in key principles before being guided by field practitioners in applying theory and technical craft in authentic, industry-oriented projects. One of our best programme is Diploma in Interaction Design.

Our supportive learning environment prepares students for the demands and challenges of the music and design industries. At the end of their graphic design courses or music courses, our students are ready to step out into successful careers or pursue degrees at renowned universities.

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