Greeting card companies rely on greeting card designers to create a myriad of cards for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and even funerals. Greeting card designers help create concepts for cards with writers, and sketch rough illustrations for cards. They may use one of several computer graphics packages, including Microsoft Publisher, Adobe or CorelDraw, to create the greeting cards. If you want to become a greeting card designer, you'll probably need a bachelor's degree. You can expect to earn a salary averaging above $50,000.
Salary and Qualifications
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes greeting card designers as "illustrators." They earned average annual salaries of $54,000 as of May 2012, according to the BLS. In 2013, the job website Indeed reported an average annual salary of $49,000 for these professionals. If you are among the top 10 percent in earnings, you'd make over $93,030, based on BLS data. To become a greeting card designer, you will likely need at least a bachelor's degree in fine arts or graphics design. An associate's degree may suffice, coupled with two or more years of experience designing greeting cards. Other essential requirements include creativity and communication, team-working, time-management and computer skills.
Salary by State
In 2012, average salaries for greeting card designers varied considerably in some states. They earned the highest annual salaries of $69,830 in the state of Washington. They also made relatively high salaries in New York and California at $66,600 and $65,670 per year, respectively. You'd earn a salary closer to the national average for greeting card designers if you worked in Connecticut -- $56,790 annually. Your earnings in Illinois and Florida would be less at $49,400 or $32,490, respectively.
A greeting card designer's salary can vary by industry. For example, as of 2012, you'd earn a higher annual salary if you're self-employed than as an employee of a graphics design firm, according to the BLS -- $50,300 versus $42,980 per year, respectively. You'd also likely earn more in a larger company because they often have bigger budgets to support the higher salaries. Salaries for greeting card designers are higher in New York and California because housing and living costs are higher in those states.
Jobs for craft and fine artists, including greeting card designers, will increase 5 percent in the next decade, according to the BLS, which is much slower than the 14 percent growth rate for all jobs. You may find more job opportunities as a greeting card designer if you work for a graphics design company; graphic designers will experience a 13 percent increase in jobs through 2020, based on the latest BLS data. Jobs for graphic designers should increase as the economy improves. You may also find more job opportunities designing electronic greeting cards, as more companies -- including Hallmark and American -- start producing them in greater quantities.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Craft and Fine Artists Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
- Indeed: Greeting Card Designer Salary
- Academic Invest: How to Become a Greeting Card Designer
- College Foundation, Inc.: Greeting Card Designer
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Graphic Designers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Graphic Designers: Job Outlook
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images