What are the best cities for graphic designers to work in the United States?
Weighing in on this question with a brand new study is ValuePenguin a consumer research and finance website. Based on several metrics — most notably median salary, cost of living and location quotient/job opportunities — the website has declared its ranking of best cities for designers to live. San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles are joined by a couple of surprises among the top five. The full study ranks up to 30 cities, and also notes that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 197,540 designers employed in the U.S. in 2014 earning an average of $50,670.
The motivation for the study? A founder, Brian Quinn, says: “ValuePenguin is all about data and using it to help others make better decisions. To that end, we wanted to take a quantitative look into different career paths and what cities were best to live in for those respective professions.” As you will see, the research focuses on hard data rather than more subjective measures of what might be the “best” environment for a creative person.
The following are excerpts from the ValuePenguin report:
1. San Francisco, CA
For graphic designers, this is the city of extremes. The highest annual average salary ($77,940) and the highest cost of living – and it’s not even close. In fact, the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City is approached only by its sister cities of the Silicon Valley in these categories; the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara triumvirate, home to some of the country’s most imposing companies and promising start-ups, ranked seventh overall (see below). But the more-north Bay Area is alone at the top, where there are also 3,030 jobs, plus countless freelance opportunities. A handful of the world’s best firms operate at least a satellite office in San Francisco. In the Bay Area, it’s also clear that employers, from small to the likes of Adobe, are in the hunt versatile designers, those that are also trained or experienced in the emerging fields of mobile products and user experience.Read More