Designers working for corporations like McDonalds and Apple are getting paid well.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by design consultancy Bowman Consulting, design consulting has become an industry worth more than $20bn for the last three years.
The survey, conducted by Bowman in conjunction with the consulting firm Wurtschauen, found that in the last year, the top six industries that employ the most designers were the top three, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the overall work force.
The top six also accounted for about 15 per cent in the total amount of work done by designers, and about one-quarter of the total pay.
The study said design work for the top companies was the highest paid in the industry.
The survey found that the average hourly rate paid by a designer was about $15,400.
The most lucrative category for designers was the financial services industry, with the median hourly rate at $14,700.
Designers working in finance also made up more than half of the work force, with 57 per cent making $30,000 to $45,000 a year.
The second most lucrative group of design professionals were healthcare professionals, who made up almost one-third of the industry, and healthcare software developers, who were paid about 30 per cent.
Bowman also found that designers were increasingly becoming corporate directors, with more than one-fifth of them working for one of the top seven companies, with nearly two-thirds making more than a million dollars a year and more than four-fifths of them in leadership positions.
Design and development was the next highest pay category, accounting a little over 10 per cent, and the survey found the average annual pay for a designer at the top of the hierarchy was about double the median wage of the rest of the workforce.
Bowmen found that as more people started working in design and development, they began to see their wages increase.
“The number of designers earning more than the median designer has gone up dramatically over the last decade,” said Bowman chief executive, Mark Poynton.
“It’s a very good sign for us that the demand for design has increased in the same period.”
Poynton said there were now more than 600,000 designers employed worldwide, which represents more than two-fifth of the global workforce.
“That’s a huge number, and it shows how many designers are working in the design industry and how much demand there is for design in this business,” he said.
The Bowman survey was conducted in partnership with consultancy Wurterschauens Pecunet.