A Service Design career offers competitive, liveable wages vis-a-vis similar fields, two independent studies of service designers around the world find.
Service Design is a non-aesthetic design practice that helps service providers offer a benefit to users. Skilled service designers fulfill service provider goals with new services or by improving existing ones. Service designers employ user-centric tools and techniques to achieve more predictable, successful outcomes for users. A successful service delivers a satisfying, desired outcome.
Service design salaries reach $135,000 with an even distribution through most salary jumps. These findings suggest there are opportunities for advancement and pay throughout the service designer’s career. By comparison, UX Design salaries reach $114,000.
The study results here are based on a survey conducted by the International Service Design Institute in 2021, and a separate study conducted by Service Design Jobs posted here courtesy of Marc Fonteijn. Service Design Jobs publishes salaries along with corresponding benefits and satisfaction scores. ISDI takes a deep dive into salaries by service sectors along with skill requirements. Both sectors compile data by service sectors, experience, and employer types.
Meanwhile, the average service design salary globally is $68K, according to Service Design Jobs, roughly the same as last year, it reports. In comparison to other fields, graphic designers in New York City average $67,641; in the UK design directors earn on average £61,266; and, the average salary of industrial designers is $61,000. These numbers should be considered a rough benchmark since they were accumulated from different sources.
Overall, service designers are paid more in the U.S. than elsewhere.
Both studies look at gender pay equity. The ISDI survey shows a decent distribution until $100,000 in pay. However, this sensitive issue requires looking deeply into who responded, which would skew. ISDI has an even distribution of gender representation, but these numbers could reflect less well-compensated respondents. Even senior service designers reported salaries among the median salaries reported. The overall finding, however, reflects pay growth opportunities throughout a service design career.
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Steven J. Slater, co-founder International Service Design Institute, an online, self-paced service design training organization, is a master service designer and a Master’s matriculated market researcher.