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New Graphic Design Job Advice


CS85

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For those of you who work in the field or have worked, I have a weird question.

I just got an interview for a graphic design position at a local graphics printing facility. It services several counties across Illinois, but it's by no means a HUGE place. It's a great opportunity however, and I was very excited to get the interview. I'm sure the guy will lay an hourly rate on me, but I was wondering what a design position usually gets paid. I understand many of you professionals set your own standards for your work, but if anyone has worked a similar position as mine at some point just starting out, if you had any advice for me regarding pay or other simple bits of wisdom, it'd be much appreciated.

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Are you just starting out? How old are you? What is your cost of living?

The last time I got paid an hourly rate as a designer in a print shop, I was making $16.75/hour. That was more than five years ago and I had about ten years experience at the time.

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Are you just starting out? How old are you? What is your cost of living?

The last time I got paid an hourly rate as a designer in a print shop, I was making $16.75/hour. That was more than five years ago and I had about ten years experience at the time.

I'm just starting out, I'm 25, my cost of living is fair I guess. I've been barely scraping by bringing in around $1000/mo, I'd like to get at least a little more comfortable. Based on prior work of previous designers I'd be replacing, I'm a pretty massive upgrade. Not to toot my own horn too much (especially around here, you guys are insanely talented, I'm a speck in comparison), but I know I'm capable of pretty respectable stuff.

I've been doing graphic design casually for 13 years, on an intense level for the last 7 years. I've got a passable portfolio, and work quickly, but all the same I'm not going to swagger in there and ask for a ton right out the gates. I'd hope that $10-12 would be in the works for starting out, any more than that and I'd be extremely pleased. I'm currently making $9 working in a virtual temp job at a tech support call center, so anything in double figures for doing something I love to do would be fantastic.

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Ahh I am so underpaid. Hopefully you get something closer to 15 hr as start out at the minimum.

Trying not to highjack his thread but what have some of you done for sending in samples when a employer is asking for them with your resume.?

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Of course, you are talking about pay in different areas of the country, so what someone pays you there is going to be different than what someone pays you elsewhere in the country. Honestly, what do you think you're worth? Of course, you could just ask what they paid the last guy and then explain what you can bring to the job that the last guy couldn't for a few more dollars more. The question is, are you going to fight for what you're worth, or just take what they give you? Trust me, if you take what they give you, you won't get more out of them. Just be honest with what you need to make, and what you can make to live. If you say that you need such and such a salary to live and pay the bills and it's more than what they are willing to pay, but you can back it up by saying, "This is what makes me unique and this is what I will bring to the table for that amount." You just might get what you are looking for. Companies are always looking to do things at their price, the cheapest they can get it.

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Back in '07 when i started out as a prepress editor, I was offered a starting salary of $10.20/hr, but with optional overtime, a 401k, and a costshare on optional medical and dental benefits. Now, that hourly rate might not seem like too too much, but this was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which, for a city its size, has one of the lowest costs of living in the country (or did when I was still there). I have no clue as to the cost of living in central Illinois, but if it's anything like it is here in central Indiana (as bast as I can tell), tha hourly rate should do you just fine, provided your commute to work isn't too terribly far. (Oh I should add that at the time I was also living in my own apartment and owned my own car, though mostly I used the bus.)

Also, I'm presuming this is your first interview. I'll just tell you my experience: I know usually some printing/graphic design companies interview prospects two or three times; I was offered my job after only one interview, and about a week after being interviewed at that. During that interview, salary wasn't brought up one time, by me or by the boss.

Best of luck to you in your interview, guy.

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My first design job, part time, straight out of college (2 years ago) at a private design shop was $10/hour.

It seems like nothing, now that I'm working a corporate design gig, but at the time I was living at home, driving my parent's car, paying minimal room & board. There's no way I could survive on that now.

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I had my interview, and it's not looking too optimistic. I interviewed well, and they were pretty impressed with my work, however my lack of professional experience and lack of experience in Illustrator were major drawbacks.

I felt like an ass because I've had illustrator for years and use it sparingly. I kind of tag-team it with photoshop depending on what I'm working on. If I don't get the job it's ok, but I'm going to dedicate myself to learning illustrator through and through and doing more individual work involving logo design, as well as more concepts. For as long as I've been at CCSLC I've only made a small handful of semi-respectable concepts. Using the tutorials and cornucopia of wisdom and resources that this forum offers, I'll get back on the horse and hope to grow as a designer.

I appreciate all the advice you guys shared in this thread!

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