Are Mobile Designer Salaries Catching Up to Developers?

There's always been some friction between mobile developers and mobile designers, with the latter often being grouped into the "creative" side of things and not enjoying the same prestige and salaries of their more technical developer brethren.

However, according to salary guides from career firms Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group, mobile designers rank near the top of tech professions expected to see significant salary increases in 2017.

In fact, mobile designers clock in at No. 2 on a list of the top eight such professions, the firms announced this week. Mobile designers are included in The Creative Group's 2017 salary guide, a counterpart to Robert Half's guide, which we covered last month.

Here are the top eight jobs expected to see substantial increases in average starting pay this year (noting that actual projected salary ranges may vary depending on location):

Job Title

% Increase from 2016

Average Starting Salary


Front-End Web Developer (1-3 years of experience)


$56,500 - $80,500


Mobile Designer


$80,000 - $121,500


Data Scientist


$116,000 - $163,500


User Experience (UX) Designer (3-5 years of experience)


$75,750 - $103,000


Big Data Engineer


$135,000 - $196,000


Network Security Engineer


$115,500 - $162,500


Content Strategist


$81,250 - $115,250


Software Engineer


$108,250 - $164,500

And here's the direct comparison of mobile applications developers (listed in the Robert Half report) and mobile designers (listed in The Creative Group report):

Job Title

% Increase from 2016

Average Starting Salary

Mobile Designer


$80,000 - $121,500

Mobile Developer


$118,750 - $182,250

Obviously, designers have some work to do to catch up with mobile developers, but with almost a 2x edge in the percentage salary bump, they appear to be on the way.

Just how much work they have to do to achieve total equality, however, is shown by another new report -- from CNNMoney -- that named mobile development as "the best job in America." Taking into account quality-of-life considerations in addition to salaries, that report concluded that mobile developers ranked No. 1 among all jobs in the country, even some in the medical field that sport more than 3x the salaries of mobile coders. You can read more about that report here.

Overall, the Robert Half/The Creative Group research shows base compensation in the technology and creative fields is projected to increase 3.8 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, in the new year.

"Companies continue to seek out highly skilled professionals who can drive digital initiatives that will help them meet business goals and increase revenue," said exec John Reed. "Although employers are taking a measured approach to hiring, they're moving quickly and paying competitively when they identify tech and creative candidates who are a good fit for their organization, given the tight labor market with low unemployment rates."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.