Artistic Skill in High Demand in Tech Industry
Having design chops means being able to write your own ticket. Craft the front end to one fantastic web or mobile app and you can count on follow on work indefinitely. It's not just startups and tech companies who are desperately seeking designers. I've communicated with blog designers who were booked for months in advance, and charge a healthy premium for their page layouts.
I gathered the following stats on varied design salaries from Indeed.com.
The average falls in the 85-90k bracket which isn't too shabby, and is in the ballpark of salaries for back end (database, systems) engineers. Top designers can negotiate much more than the average. Founder of Flipboard and popular entrepreneur Mike McCue mentions that a top end designer is nearly a requirement for successful web or mobile apps. The upper bound on design income is limited only by negotiated equity in a successful venture.