Like most of us, the thought probably crossed your mind that how much can you earn by drawing stuff digitally? Graphics designing has been around since the dawn of the internet days and over time, the demand has increased exponentially. From a simple poster design to full-scale web UI development, graphics design is involved in every aspect. So you might think it should pay well to be a graphics designer. But that’s not the case. From the perspective of Bangladesh and other developing countries, there are other factors as well that determine the pay of a graphics designer. So how much can you earn from graphic design? Let's dive into more details.
Factors that Impacts the Earning of a Graphic Designer
Experience is the first threshold that determines the highest pay gap between graphics designers. And this is true for freelancing as well as full-time employment. There is a drastic pay gap between a graphics designer with 0 to 2 years’ experience compared to someone with over 5 years of experience.
Looking at the popular salary site payscale, we saw that a graphics designer with less than 2 years of experience makes somewhere around 15 dollars per hour whereas someone with over 5 years of experience stands to earn between 25 to 30 dollars per hour.
Now, this is a rate that generally applies to graphics designers from developed countries like the UK and USA, and European regions. As you will see in the latter part of the article, the pay gap isn’t only determined by experience alone.
Another aspect that determines the pay scale of a graphics designer is the location. If you are someone from a developed country, your payment will be significantly higher compared to someone from a developing country. The economic, as well as lack of regulatory authority in the industry, means that a graphic designer from a developing country stands to earn over 5 times less compared to a designer from a developed country.
A detailed look into the Payoneer blog, which is one of the leading digital transaction platforms across the globe reveals that a beginner designer from India or Bangladesh stands to earn less than 5 dollars per hour for their work. For an experienced designer, the rate stands at around 15 dollars per hour. It's clear that there exists a pay gap no matter how you look at it.
Freelancing or Full-Time Graphics Designer: Which one is better?
Now you might be thinking, whether you should go for freelancing or should you get a full-time job as a graphics designer? The answer is a bit tricky. Freelancing pays much better compared to a full-time job as a graphics designer. And especially if you are someone from a developing country and have your gigs in platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and 99designs, the pay gap due to the geographical position gets grossly reduced.
There are other factors as well, often people from these platforms outsource the jobs acting as secondary media. They in turn end up paying starting designers much less compared to what they could be earning from these platforms.
To get back to our initial point, the answer is, it goes both ways. You can earn significantly higher through freelancing in the established platforms but works aren’t always guaranteed. You won't is making a stable income. In contrast, the pay from a full-time job might be significantly less, but you will earn a stable income.
How Much Can You Earn from Graphic Design on the Freelancing Platforms?
With all the pros and cons out of the way, now let us look at how much can you earn from platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and 99designs.
Logo design costs around 30 to 50 dollars per hour on Upwork depending on the complexity of the logo a well as the experience of the designer. In Fiverr, the rate has significant variance with starting price at 10 dollars and going all the way up to 200 dollars. In general, you can expect to earn an average of 40 dollars per design. 99designs however pays much better but here, your entry has to win the competitions. A winning entry can earn more than 500 dollars depending on the buyer.
UI UX designing also pays similar to logo design. It might be something a low as 20 dollars per hour or as high as 150 dollars per hour. It all depends on the details and experience of the designer. However, the problem with the freelancing platforms is that a significant amount gets deducted by the platform and tax. So if you can curb the fact that almost half of your earnings will be gone before it reaches your pocket, you can sign up any day.
How are Bangladeshis Doing as Graphics Designer?
You will be surprised to know that there are quite a few top-rated Bangladeshi designers on platforms like Upwork and 99designs.
Mahadi Hasan is a top-rated designer in Upwork with over 124 completed projects. He charges 50 dollars per hour. His expertise and access to the freelancing platform allow him to get past the price gap that we talked about earlier.
The story is the same for AHM Mahmudur who has over 380 completed projects in his name. He charges around 45 dollars per hour in Upwork. The story of Bangladeshi graphics designers is one of success. However, very few break into the top category to earn as much as they are earning. Most are still bound by intermediary hire or low-cost labor.
Compared to the international platforms, Bangladeshi platforms like Belancer aren’t doing enough. The competition is comparatively low as it is centered around Bangladeshi designers but the pay is significantly less compared to Upwork or 99designs. Prices hardly break through the 10-dollar mark with the majority in the 5 dollars bracket.
To sum it up, graphics design can be a great career option. You have the flexibility of earning from graphic design or doing something you like and that in itself is a huge gain. However, the pay disparity is something you should keep in mind. With the market becoming more and more saturated with each passing day, the best approach would be to develop your skills and put your entries in various competitions to break into the top margin.