What pay increase do you get for putting “UX” on the top of your resume? Will you gain much by becoming “senior”? What about transitioning to a director role? Based on data from payscale.com, I made this chart to show designers’ median pay, based on title:
Of course, the humble old “Graphic Designer” is the last in the pack. Making your designs move grants you an extra $7k per year, while making them “visual” commands a good $22k bonus. Interfaces, interactions, and experiences are better still, but not as good as products. Beyond that, you have to start directing to rake in more cash — no surprise.
Should you pick your specialty based on median earnings nationally? I doubt it. But maybe it’s good to be aware, nonetheless. Because next year, there’s sure to be another buzz word that will leave all these others in the dust.