Revealed: The Best State in America to be a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer
Photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash.
Graphic Designer
Photo: Pexels/Mikechie Esparagoza.

New research has revealed that Nebraska is the best state in the US to work as a graphic designer.

The study by, the web-based photo editor used by ten million monthly users, analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data on industry job opportunities, average salary, and cost of living in each U.S. state and Washington, D.C., to discover where is best to work as a graphic designer. (Note: All data sourced from U.S. Census Bureau.)

Nebraska topped the list as graphic designers can earn considerably more than the state’s average salary. The median annual salary for people working as graphic designers in Nebraska is $48,930, a full $10,000 more than the median across all jobs in state, which is $38,780.

In addition, Nebraska has a considerably higher than average number of people working in the profession, with two graphic designer jobs per 1,000 overall jobs in the state—the second highest rate of employment in the country (behind only Washington, D.C). That, combined with the thirteenth lowest cost of living in the United States, means that Nebraska is the best place for graphic designers in the country.

Kansas ranks as the second-best place to be a graphic designer, thanks to the fourth lowest cost of living in the country and a median salary of $47,090 for the job (which is 23 percent higher than the state-wide median of $38,050). It also offers good employment opportunities, with 1.69 of every 1,000 jobs in the state being a graphic designer—above the national average of 1.33 per 1,000.

Minnesota places third on the list as it performs strongly across the board, with a median salary for graphic designers 26 percent higher than the state median ($60,110 vs $47,590), a cost of living just below the national average, and 1.81 graphic designer jobs per 1,000.

In fourth place, Rhode Island has the nation’s fifth highest median salary for graphic designers, at $62,800, which is a full 31 percent higher than the state’s median wage of $47,780. In addition, Rhode Island has a respectable 1.34 graphic designer roles per 1,000 overall jobs.  

Fifth-place Georgia has the biggest difference between the median salary for graphic designers and for the state’s general population. The median graphic designer salary stands at $53,500, which is nearly 40 percent more than Georgia’s median of $38,340 across all occupations. However the Peach State misses out on top spot as graphic designer jobs are harder to come by—just 1.31 jobs per 1,000 are for graphic designers, which is below the national average rate.

Graphic Designer
Photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash.

At the other end of the scale, Hawaii ranks in last place, with only 0.66 graphic designer jobs per 1,000 and a cost of living that is nearly double the U.S. national average.

Alaska ranks fiftieth out of fifty-one, as it has similarly low numbers of jobs in the profession, and the median salary is barely above the state’s media salary.

Rounding out the bottom five, Maine ranks in forty-ninth place, Delaware in forty-eighth, and Vermont in forty-seventh. 

Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for said, “Graphic design can be a very attractive career for those who are passionate about design and enjoy using their creativity to solve problems and communicate ideas. As a result, it’s fascinating to see how job opportunities and pay vary for the profession across different states, and this data shows that perhaps some unexpected places rank very highly.” 

The Census data estimates that there are around 200,400 people working as graphic designers across the US, with the median annual salary standing at $48,940. release