"How much do I make?" is a question I usually get asked a lot. How much do designers really make? That really all depends on a few factors. One, your location. So people that live, not even necessarily work, but that live in New York, San Francisco, L.A. are going to make more money than people that say that they live in Oklahoma. Why? Because of the cost of living and because if they're from New York then they're getting all the talented skills that they need and it's definitely going to show in their work which is why I'm going to pay them $100 an hour.
It's really hard to always determine also without knowing your level. Are you a junior, are you a mid-level, are you a senior? In one agency you can be a senior designer and in another one you can be a junior designer and your salaries will fluctuate as such.
The best websites I think I've ever seen in breaking that down is freelanceswitch.com which actually did a report on how much money freelancers were making in general ranges. As well as looking up the titles that you are interested in like on Glass Door or any other salary comparison site. Of course, with all the technology that's out there the production designer will make significantly less than the UX designer. So a production designer, for instance, may make like $20-$30 an hour where as a UX is going to make $60-$80. It's a big difference and that's why it's always important to know what's in demand because also a lot of people are looking for people that there's a lot of them of. So it's like okay, well I'm going to get a website from you and I can get one for $200 from the high-schooler down the street.
So you have to know how to position yourself, where you market yourself, and then compare your rates to others. If you ask a designer, sometimes they'll tell you how much they make, sometimes they won't. But it's just good to keep raising your rate until you don't have any clients anymore. No, it's good to keep raising your rates so then that way you can kind of get a feel as to exactly what your worth.