Sunday, February 13, 2011

Many designers freelance on the side: survey

There's a good deal of moonlighting going on in the art and design sector, according to a new study of national salaries and billing practices in graphic design. On average, 48% of designers who are not full time freelancers work in addition to their regular job, averaging 7 hours of outside work a week. The median part-time income for freelance work in 2009 was $9,200.
The 2010/2011 salary survey, conducted online last summer, was published by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) and Creative Niche, a staffing agency in the graphics and communications industry. The survey can be accessed at RGD Ontario (registration is required.)
Among some of the other findings:
  • Sole proprietors and freelancers account for one-quarter of respondents; the largest proportion (35%) were employees of a design or communications firm (magazines were not broken out.)
  • Sole proprietor hour billing rates nationally for art direction of photography and illustration was $82, for graphic design $73.
  • National average salaries
    • for art directors was $64,049; in Ontario $67,436.
    • for senior graphic designers, $53,665; in Ontario $55,395
    • for junior graphic designers, $34,375; in Ontario $34,329
The survey found that there is a continuing and escalating switch from investment in traditional media to new media. It found that 53% of respondents to the survey have worked in web and user interface design and 16% in social media. Speaking with Design Edge Canada magazine, Creative Niche president Stephen Hodges said "[Designers] need to be , as much as possible, media independent and able to design whether for print, interface or device." He also said: "If five years ago you were a print-only designer I would have some concerns and I would say today, it would be disastrous."

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