How much do UX designers make?

If you’re going to work somewhere, you want to know your salary. A career in UX design is no exception. If you consider working in UX design, you want to know how much UX designers can make. Makes sense! Here’s your answer.

How much do UX designers make?

If you’re considering a career in a certain field, one of the things you want to know is how much you will earn at your new job.

That’s fair since you not only do your job because you like it but also because your paycheck enables you to chase your dreams and do the things you like to do best.

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How much do UX designers make?

According to Glassdoor, UX designers can make around $97,000 annually in the US.

That’s more than the annual mean salary in the United States, which is just over $58,000, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Now, just taking this number as a given can be a mistake. There are a few factors that can have an impact on the paycheck you’re going to receive.

  • Experience
  • Company type
  • Location

Let’s look at all three and how they influence how much you can make as a UX designer.

UX design salaries for entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level jobs

There’s a difference in salary for UX designers depending on your position within a company. To keep things clear, I will focus on three levels. These are entry-level jobs, mid-level jobs, and senior-level jobs.

In general, entry-level UX designers make an above-average amount of money compared to other entry-level jobs. According to LinkedIn, entry-level UX designers earn around $70,000 a year. That’s more than the salary of an average entry-level job in the United States (according to Glassdoor).

When you get to a senior-level job, your average salary will increase to around $110,000. That’s a six-figure salary. Not too bad, right?

Company type

How much you can make as a UX designer depends on the type of company you work for.

In most cases, you either work at the agency-side or the client-side. UX designers generally will earn more at a client-side company.

These companies include big players like Apple, Google, and your Silicon Valley startups. If you’re a consultant, your salary will likely fall somewhere between these two groups.

If the average entry-level UX design salary is $70,000, you can expect to be just below that amount at an agency. Client-side jobs pay better but are more challenging to come by.

Keep this in mind when applying for your next UX design job. Of course, you can make more on the client-side, but it is harder to get a job there.

Location

How much you earn as a UX designer also depends on your location. Popular places, big cities, and expensive countries all have higher salaries.

However, a big downside is that the cost of living is also higher. The trick is to compare your income to your expenses and see where you will find the best ratio.

Here are some popular examples and what you can earn as a UX designer in each location.

NYC

According to LinkedIn, UX designers in NYC make $84,000 a year on average.

  • Entry-level: $75,000
  • Mid-level: $84,000
  • Senior-level: $108,000

As you can see, UX design salaries are about on par with the average wages for UX designers in the United States.

However, keep in mind that living in NYC is very expensive. That cost of living I mentioned is very important to consider here.

San Francisco

Ah, Silicon Valley, the center of high-tech in the US. It’s the dream of every startup to make it in Silicon Valley.

LinkedIn says UX designers in San Francisco make $113,000 a year on average. Here’s that number broken down based on experience.

  • Entry-level: $92,000
  • Mid-level: $107,000 
  • Senior-level: $150,000

As you can see, UX designers can make a lot of money in San Francisco. The annual salary is the highest I have seen so far.

Here’s an overview of how much UX designers can make at some of the biggest companies in San Francisco. Take a look.

  • Google: $149,000
  • LinkedIn: $138,000
  • Apple: $137,000
  • Amazon: $140,000
  • Adobe: $111,000
  • Microsoft: $143,00

Top companies pay top dollar for good UX. That’s for sure. The demand for UX design jobs is very high, so getting a job in Silicon Valley can be challenging. 

Canada

I don’t have specific information on salaries at certain Canadian companies. Instead, Here’s an overview of how much UX designers can make in some of the bigger Canadian cities.

  • Calgary: CA$72,600
  • Vancouver: CA$66,000
  • Toronto: CA$65,000
  • Greater Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo area: CA$62,700
  • Montreal: CA$65,000

Unlike in the United States, UX salaries in Canada are pretty stable, with only the average wage in Calgary being significantly above the Canadian average.

India

Mid-level UX designers in India have an average salary of ₹500,000 a year. Here’s the complete overview.

  • Entry-level: ₹341,000
  • Mid-level: ₹550,000
  • Senior-level: ₹900,000

One of the exceptions to this is Microsoft, with an average UX salary of ₹1,900,000 per year in India. This further show that client-side companies generally pay higher salaries for UX designers.

Freelance UX designer hourly rate

The average hourly rate of a freelance UX designer in the US is between $90 and $150 an hour. Of course, that hourly rate depends on the location, skill set, and experience of the designer in question.

You can hire a UX designer for a lot less on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, but there’s a lot of competition. It will take more time to find a designer of your liking because of that.

As a designer, you might consider doing freelance UX design work if full-time employment isn’t for you. You’d be in demand since there are many requests for freelance UX designers on job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and the platforms mentioned earlier.

Further reading

UX designers can make an excellent living. Of course, how much you make as a UX designer is up to the factors mentioned before.

  • Location
  • Company type
  • Experience

Some of them are not up to you, but what you can control are your skills and how you approach the job hunt. Read everything we have on UX jobs in our guide to getting hired in UX in 2022.

Useful resources to boost your UX career 👇

Or check out all UX resources on Gumroad.
Profile picture of author Nick Groeneveld, a senior UX designer and mentor for The Designer's Toolbox

About the author

Hi! I'm Nick Groeneveld, a senior designer from the Netherlands with experience in UX, visual design, and research. I have completed a wide range of projects in finance, tech, and the public sector.

Take a look at my LinkedIn and Medium for more.