How Much Can I Make as a UX Designer? [2021 Salary Guide]

Learn how much you can expect to make as a UX professional with this 2021 salary guide.
A female UX designer sketches on a tablet while drinking a cup of coffee in a to-go cup

Working as a user experience designer typically involves leveraging a wide range of technical and soft skills. And UX designers are often compensated well for their expertise. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how much UX designers and other UX professionals earn in the US, as well as what factors can influence salaries in the world of user experience.

What is an average UX designer salary?

The average base salary for UX designers in the US is $102,928 as of June 2021, according to job listing site Glassdoor [1]. The role was also included in Glassdoor’s list of 25 Highest Paying Entry Level Jobs, coming in at number six [2]. 

Human resources consulting firm Robert Half reports a median annual salary for US-based UX designers of $98,250, while the survey from UX Designer Salaries reports that they earn an average salary of $97,153 in the US [3,4]. Compare this to $56,310, the mean annual salary across all occupations in the United States [5].

Factors that impact UX salaries

How much you make as a UX professional will vary depending on where you work, how much experience you have, what skills you possess, and your specific job role. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that may influence your salary.

Job title

As technology becomes more user-centric, UX design teams are expanding to include more specialized roles. These different job titles often require different skill sets, and come with different compensation amounts. 

Job titleGlassdoorRobert Half
UX designer$102,057$98,250
UI designer$95,360$82,000
UX researcher$124,894$89,000
Product designer$103,680$89,250
Information architect$103,941$97,500
UX writer$108,831Not listed
UX engineer$101,881Not listed

Average or median salary in the US in June 2021 by UX job title

Years of experience

Generally, the longer you’ve been working as a UX designer, the more you can expect to earn. According to Glassdoor, UX designers with four to six years of experience earn more than $5,000 more per year than the average. That jumps to $16,000 more per year for UX designers with seven to nine years of experience and $20,000 for those with ten or more years [1].

Moving into a management position can often lead to an even bigger salary increase. Robert Half reports that UX directors earn a median annual salary of $130,500. Recruiting and consulting company Creative Circle reports a similar salary for UX leads of $132,800 [6].

UX skills

Working as a UX designer typically requires a variety of technical and soft skills. Having proficiency in some of these skills could mean taking home a bigger paycheck. Team leadership, content management, product management, and design skills correlate to the biggest percentage increase in pay for UX designers, according to PayScale [7].

Read more: 9 Essential Skills for UX Designers in 2021

Location

Another big factor that influences salaries across many jobs and industries is location. UX professionals living in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles areas tend to see the highest salaries. Keep in mind that these cities are also among the most expensive to live [3,7].

Other benefits and compensation

Salary may be the primary form of compensation in the field of UX, but it’s not the only one. The most common benefits tend to include:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance

  • Paid time off

  • Stock options

  • Retirement savings plan

  • Cash bonus

Are UX designers in demand?

UX professionals typically earn significantly more than the national average. The good news is that skilled UX professionals are also in demand. LinkedIn listed UX design as one of 15 jobs on the rise in 2021 [8]. With user experience set to become a factor in what sites rank well on Google this year, the demand for UX designers could very well continue to grow.

Get started in UX design

If you’re ready to start building the job-ready skills you need for a role in UX design, consider earning your Google UX Design Professional Certificate on Coursera. You don’t need a degree or any previous experience, and you can get started for free.

Related articles

Article sources

1. Glassdoor. "UX Designer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/ux-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,11.htm." Accessed June 4, 2021.

2. Glassdoor. "25 Highest Paying Entry Level Jobs, https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/highest-paying-entry-level-jobs-19/." Accessed June 4, 2021.

3. Robert Half. "Salary Guide 2021, https://www.roberthalf.com/salary-guide." Accessed June 4, 2021.

4. UX Designer Salaries. "UX Designer Salaries, https://uxdesignersalaries.com/." Accessed June 4, 2021.

5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "May 2020 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States , https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000." Accessed June 4, 2021.

6. Creative Circle. "National UX Lead, https://www.creativecircle.com/salary-guide/search-salary/ux-lead/national/." Accessed June 4, 2021.

7. PayScale. "Average UX Designer Salary, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=UX_Designer/Salary." Accessed June 4, 2021.

8. LinkedIn. "LinkedIn Jobs on the Rise: 15 opportunities that are in demand and hiring now, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-jobs-rise-15-opportunities-demand-hiring-now-andrew-seaman/." Accessed June 4, 2021.

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