How much can you expect to earn as a designer in Sweden?

How much can you expect to earn as a designer in Sweden?
Knowing the average salaries for your sector can help inform your job-hunt and pay negotiations. Photo: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se
Wondering about a career as a designer in Sweden, or are you already working in the area and want to know how your salary matches up to the average? We've broken down the numbers to look at what you could expect to earn as a designer, both before and after tax, depending on your situation.

The field of design covers a range of industries and companies, and many factors affect your compensation, such as your experience and level of responsibility. But it's always helpful to have an overall picture of the salary levels in your industry. 

Graphic designers earn an average of 35,200 kronor ($3,700) before tax each month, according to the latest national statistics. For comparison, the average salary in Sweden across all sectors was 34,600 kronor before tax in 2018, and the figure for 2019 is not yet available.

Women, on average, earned 34,200 per month as graphic designers while for men the figure was 35,800 kronor. The age group earning the most as graphic designers was the 45-55-year category, with an average monthly salary of 38,100 kronor. That compared to 32,300 kronor per month for those aged 25-34, 35,500 kronor for those aged 35-44, and 34,800 for those aged 55-64. 

Within the field of graphic design, workers with post-secondary education of under three years earned the most, 37,700 kronor per month on average. That was more than the average for those with upper secondary education of two years or less (32,100 kronor), upper secondary education of three years (34,500 kronor) and post-secondary education of more than three years (34,400 kronor).

For designers in the field of gaming and digital media, the overall average salary is 36,200 kronor per month before tax. There is a slight gender imbalance, so women earn 36,100 kronor on average while for men it's 36,300 kronor.

Salaries also differed depending on age, with the age group 35-44 bringing home the most each month at 39,100 kronor. That compared to 34,300 kronor for the age group 25-34, while average salary ranges for other individual age groups were not available at Statistics Sweden. 

And what about fashion? The average monthly pay for a fashion designer (and related professionals) was 40,500 kronor, although women received an average of only 38,000 kronor compared to 45,500 kronor for men.

For interior designers, a category that also included interior decorators and scenographers, average monthly pay was 31,900 kronor. And industrial product designers earned an average of 45,700 kronor per month.

As for how much of this salary you would actually take home, we looked into the numbers using Swedish tax office Skatteverket's calculator.

Your tax rate depends on a few factors, including where you live, so first we looked at the figures for a 35-year-old living in Stockholm. To calculate the rates, we also assumed that most of our readers who grew up outside of Sweden will not be paying members of the Swedish Church, so would not pay towards Sweden's church tax.

Other factors may play a role in your tax bill, so these calculations can be used as a guide but may not be exact.

Based on this, a 35-year-old graphic designer earning 35,200 kronor a month would take home 27,178 kronor after tax in 2020. For a gaming designer earning 36,200 kronor, the take-home sum would be 27,878 kronor, while an interior designer earning the average salary of 31,900 kronor a month in Stockholm could expect a net paycheck of 24,838 kronor per month in 2020.

For geographic comparison, in Malmö those average monthly take-home pay figures would be 26,397 kronor for the graphic designer, 27,067 kronor for the gaming designer, and 24,153 kronor for the interior designer. And in Umeå they would be 26,137 kronor, 26,797 kronor, and 23,925 kronor respectively. Again, these figures are approximate and based on the average monthly salary across all genders.

We used Statistics Sweden and Skatteverket as sources for this article. Did you find it useful? Please email [email protected] to let us know what you think or what industry you want us to look at next.


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