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The Salary for an Entry-level UX Designer in 2021

Your starting salary as an entry-level UX designer is important. It pays the bills and enables you to do the things you like best. UX designers are in demand. Because of this, there's a lot to keep in mind when negotiating your new salary.
UX designer entry level salary

You could be looking at a new job or maybe a promotion within your current role as a UX designer. When these moments pass, you need to have done your research in terms of average salaries, UX salaries per country, and salaries for different levels of UX design experience.

In general, an entry-level UX designer is a designer with around 0 to 2 years of working experience. This level of experience is also known as a junior position. The salary we will discuss later applies to both entry-level and junior UX designers.

Here’s what you should keep in mind.

Table of Contents

Salary and cost of living

Keep in mind that your starting salary as a UX designer isn’t the only number you need to keep in mind. The cost of living is very important as well. When we talk about the cost of living, we mean the amount of money it requires to live according to a certain standard of living. The cost of living is calculated on a monthly basis.

When we talk about entry-level UX designer salaries we have to subtract the cost of living. The result is the amount of money you can spend on nice things, invest, or save for later. In this case, higher is better, of course.

You can see a cost-of-living-index per country over on Numbeo. Use this index when you calculate the actual value of UX designer salary.

Entry-level UX salary per country

Your starting UX salary can differ a lot depending on the country you work in. For example, the United States has a lot of big cities where large well-known companies have their headquarters. These companies generally pay very well.

Keep in mind that the cost-of-living is higher in these countries as well.  Your net takeaway might be lower because of this.

UX salary per country

Careerfoundry has a great post on average UX salaries. The image, as shown above, shows an overview of low, average, and high UX design salaries in some of the most popular countries. These include Canada, the UK, the USA, China, and Australia. Here’s the list.

  • Canada: CA$51,000
  • USA: $59,000
  • UK: $33,000
  • Germany: $39,000
  • China: $14,000
  • Australia: A$69,000

This image does not include another popular region. We’re talking about India. In India, the junior UX designer salaries are quite diverse. They range from ₹240.000 to ₹1.200.000. Take a look at this image from the LinkedIn Salaries page to have more of an in-depth view.

In addition to Careerfoundry, there are a lot of great resources available to check the average junior UX designer salaries in any given country or city. In fact, we wrote a post on what UX designers can make ourselves. 

Other great resources include Glassdoor and LinkedIn.

Negotiating your entry-level UX designer salary

Salary negotiations can be difficult. Especially as a designer that is just starting out, these talks can be daunting. You might not yet have the confidence to show your worth to your manager. This is where you leave money on the table. Literally.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your salary negotiations.

  • As an entry-level UX designer, you have to keep in mind that you will go for the ‘low’ salary numbers in the image above. When negotiating your salary, aim for a salary that is about 10% above what is normal for a UX designer of your skill and experience.
  • Start your negotiation another 10% above that number. Negotiations usually end up somewhere in the middle. That’s why it is a smart move to start a bit higher.
  • Come prepared. Know what you’re worth. What impact have you made previously? What did you bring to the table? How have you helped the company? These are great points to bring up during a salary negotiation.

Further reading

The entry-level salary is just your first step as a UX designer. There will be a time when you are looking to either switch jobs or go for a promotion. When that happens, it is time to look at your new salary possibilities.

We wrote a post on how much UX designers make that can help you guide through this process.

Nick Groeneveld

About the author

Nick Groeneveld is a designer from the Netherlands with over 5 years of UX, visual design, and consultancy experience. He has worked in many different industries, including retail, finance, and sports.

Take a look at Nick’s LinkedIn and Medium for more.

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