If there is one thing that gets more opinions than titles in UX & design roles, its the money!

To solve this title to salary to experience riddle, the team at DesignX surveyed more than 450+ Toronto based designers of varied backgrounds, experiences, and roles. The goal of the survey is to highlight the factors contributing to salary distribution in the community. However, we also uncovered data that speaks to the overarching state of designers in Toronto.

The data in this report is here to help inform your decisions, but not make them for you.

We’ve spent close to 3 months collecting the data, synthesizing it, drawing correlations with a data scientist, and bringing it all together in this report. Much like any data set, we will leave it up to you to draw your own inferences. The research is based specifically on designers within the DesignX community and may not always speak for every single designer in Toronto (yet!).

Labels on our sleeves

Should I be called a UX designer or UX/UI designer or a Product designer or an Interaction designer or a Design Ninja?
Ya, Ninja didn’t get many votes but not surprisingly – UX/UI designer and Product designer seems to be our label of choice.

Labels on our sleeves

Should I be called a UX designer or UX/UI designer or a Product designer or an Interaction designer or a Design Ninja?
Ya, Ninja didn’t get many votes but not surprisingly – UX/UI designer and Product designer seems to be our label of choice.

Not bad, but we can do better

Among the 463 respondents, females hold a higher percentage of Product designer and the majority of Service designer positions. Of note, men tend to receive higher compensation than women. Gender diversity in design leadership also needs more work, with less than a third of leaders being female.

Not bad, but we can do better

Among the 463 respondents, females hold a higher percentage of Product designer and the majority of Service designer positions. Of note, men tend to receive higher compensation than women. Gender diversity in design leadership also needs more work, with less than a third of leaders being female.

Average designer salaries look like…

Based on salary figures shared by intermediate designers

ART DIRECTOR

$85K-$90K

UX/UI Designer

$63K-$75K

UX Researcher

$65K-$70K

Service Designer

$68K-$72K

Graphic Designer

$55K-$60K

Experience means ca$h money!

On average, salaries range between $51,000 to $102,000 with which appears to be commensurate with work experience. The biggest jump, as noted earlier, apparers to occur around year 7. This appears to reinforce the idea that having more experience makes you a more effective and valuable member of the team.

With experience comes money!

Experience means ca$h money!

On average, salaries range between $51,000 to $102,000 with which appears to be commensurate with work experience. The biggest jump, as noted earlier, apparers to occur around year 7. This appears to reinforce the idea that having more experience makes you a more effective and valuable member of the team.

A Product Designer’s Journey

If you’re fresh off a UX bootcamp, salaries are generally lower; somewhere in the mid 40,000 mark. We do see a steady increase for designers moving from Junior to Intermediate; however the largest gains tend to be achieved when you’ve been in the field for approximately 7 years or more.

A Product Designer’s Journey

If you’re fresh off a UX bootcamp, salaries are generally lower; somewhere in the mid 40,000 mark. We do see a steady increase for designers moving from Junior to Intermediate; however the largest gains tend to be achieved when you’ve been in the field for approximately 7 years or more.

Titles don’t matter or do they?

Responsibility and impact usually matter more than the title alone. If you’re responsible for managing and leading a team, such as a Design Director, you might make as much as 30% more than an individual contributor though you have the same amount of experience .

Titles don’t matter or do they?

Responsibility and impact usually matter more than the title alone. If you’re responsible for managing and leading a team, such as a Design Director, you might make as much as 30% more than an individual contributor though you have the same amount of experience .

An expected path or a pinball journey?

Out of 335 designers who identified their educational background, 234 designers were found to be formally trained in design at a recognized institution. That’s more than double the number of designers who are self-taught (sitting at 101).

Formal or self taught?

Out of 335 designers who identified their educational background, 234 designers were found to be formally trained in design at a recognized institution. That’s more than double the number of designers who are self-taught (sitting at 101).

Mom said, go to school or you won’t find a job.

Aside from the difference in numbers, both formally trained and self-taught designers are quite proportionally spread out in work environments, with the highest numbers being represented in startups and corporate offices.

Ratios stay the same

Aside from the difference in numbers, both formally trained and self-taught designers are quite proportionally spread out in work environments, with the highest numbers being represented in startups and corporate offices.

Breaking the stereotypes

As Toronto’s tech ecosystem continues to mature and grow, it’s no surprise that the biggest chunk of our survey group is working in either a corporate or Startup environment. Working in an agency is a distant third.

Breaking the stereotypes

As Toronto’s tech ecosystem continues to mature and grow, it’s no surprise that the biggest chunk of our survey group is working in either a corporate or Startup environment. Working in an agency is a distant third.

Age is just another number

The majority of the designers in our Toronto community are between ages 25 and 34. We can’t help but wonder why designers over the age of 35 aren’t well represented; perhaps it’s that they move onto different roles not directly associated with design? Looks like we have some more digging to do in our next survey!

Age is just another number

The majority of the designers in our Toronto community are between ages 25 and 34. We can’t help but wonder why designers over the age of 35 aren’t well represented; perhaps it’s that they move onto different roles not directly associated with design? Looks like we have some more digging to do in our next survey!

How many are getting that sweet bonus cheque?

Beyond the usual vacation days (71.80%), medical and dental benefits (68.60%), and sick days (59.90%); some designers have some sweet extra benefits. More autonomy, timesheet flexibility, or working remotely seems to be influenced by the startup culture. Now, only if all of us could get those catered meals, we can better use our lunch prep time to catch up on the DesignX slack conversations.

Get a sweet bonus cheque?

Beyond the usual vacation days (71.80%), medical and dental benefits (68.60%), and sick days (59.90%); some designers have some sweet extra benefits. More autonomy, timesheet flexibility, or working remotely seems to be influenced by the startup culture. Now, only if all of us could get those catered meals, we can better use our lunch prep time to catch up on the DesignX slack conversations.

Mucho Gracias

These awesome individuals worked hard to help put together this report and share these insights with all of you. A big shout to all of our sponsors as well, for their ongoing support for our community. 

Also, a shoutout to Andrew Hegarty, Julianna Yang & Timothy Li for the team support

 

Shivani kohli

Community Research

akshay chauhan

Community Research

AMAR MOHABIR

Data Scientist

Victoria Whang

Visualization Lead

Leo wang

Community Research

Preet Singh

Project Lead