High-paying design jobs in Singapore


If you’re an artsy person, chances are you’ve been discouraged from going down a creative career route because there’s “no money” to be made. While there is some truth to the “starving artist” narrative, there are also lucrative design careers that can fetch five-figure monthly salaries to rival those of lawyers and bankers. But you have to be strategic and work in specific industries.

Some of the companies that pay well include those from the tech, home interior design and video games industry. Here are 7 high-paying design jobs in Singapore, based on salaries posted on job sites like JobStreet, mycareersfuture and Glassdoor, that show the salary ranges for these positions.

Note: The salaries reflected on job sites are higher-range ones posted publicly by companies hiring to attract candidates. As with any industry, it takes hard work and years of progression to hit certain salaries. 


1. Interior design


interior designImage credit: Raffles College of Higher Education

Ask anyone who’s ever gone through a home renovation in Singapore and they’d agree that having a good interior designer is a godsend. Envisioning clever layouts and eye-catching abodes is one thing, but bringing these to life is another – that’s why designers who choose to work in this industry can rake in the big bucks.

Besides designing spaces and meeting homeowners’ demands, interior designers have a pretty large scope of work, from engaging reliable contractors, to overseeing on-site projects. You’ll have to be savvy in sales too, in order to score more clients which will translate into larger commissions for you. 

All that hard work’s not wasted, of course. Experienced designers can earn a hefty five-figure salary, with an attractive entry-level pay from as high as $5,500/month.   

Interior Designer: $5,500 – $6,500 for fresh grads
Senior Interior Designer: $6,500 – $9,000 with 8 years of experience
Interior Design Consultant: $10,000 – $20,000 with 15 years of experience


2. Game designer


game design, halo infiiniteThe conceptualised designs from popular first-person shooter Halo Infinite
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Gamers will agree that video games have some of the most beautiful fantasy worlds. This is all thanks to a team of creatives who work in the game design arm of gaming companies. If you’re someone with a ton of imagination and an eye for what makes video games tick, you’ll probably find yourself right at home in this industry

Several top-tier gaming companies such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts (EA) and Bandai Namco have branches right here in Singapore. You can dabble in everything from console and PC video games, to mobile and internet gaming, so your possibilities are endless.

Those more tuned towards artistic aspects of gaming can explore game art design which involves the visual conceptualisation of video games. From here, you can work your way up towards eventually being an art director with a five-figure salary.

Junior Designer: $3,000 – $5,000 with 1 year of experience
Lead Game Designer: $8,000 – $12,000 with 7 years of experience
Senior Art Director: $12,000 – $18,000 with 10 years of experience


3. UI/UX design


ux/ui designPlatforms Singaporeans use everyday like Grab, banking and shopping apps, and social media all require UI/UX designers to come to life.

We practically live on the Internet, our phones and our computers in this digital age, so it’s high time for designers to milk this. Being a User Interface (UI) or User Experience (UX) designer means you’ll be responsible for coming up with aesthetic yet user-friendly designs for both web and tech devices.

Everything we use these days – whether it’s banking sites, touchscreen mall directories, or even our cool smartwatches – requires some form of UI/UX design. With pretty much every industry from tech firms to financial sectors constantly seeking UI/UX designers, it’s safe to say you’ve got tons of options to run with. 

UI/UX Designer: $4,000 – $6,000 with 1 year of experience
Senior UX Designer: $5,000 – $12,000 with 2-5 years of experience
Head UI/UX Designer: $19,000 – $31,000 with 10 years of experience


4. Animation


frozen animationImage credit: Disney

If there’s one thing adults and kids have in common, it’s that we universally enjoy cartoons, animated films and video games. That said, the animation industry is massive, and with animators now being a part of the corporate world in industries like advertising and tech, there are a ton of prospects for those who can wield the brush… or fancy animation software. 

Creatives with a talent for anatomical drawings and even physics, would excel as an animator: think realistic player models in the latest FIFA game, or smooth life-like movements in your favourite Disney animation. 

animator, motion graphicsHigh-level animators can even work with motion-capture
Image credit: Skywell Software

Junior Animator: $3,500 – $5,500 with 2 years of experience
Animator: $5,000 – $8,500 with 5 years of experience
Animation Lead: $11,500 – $22,000 with 7 years of experience


5. Product design


Everything we use daily is probably the result of product design – whether it’s the bed you sleep on, your favourite cup of bubble tea, or even your toothbrush. 

product design
Product design jobs are often plentiful on job sites
Image credit: Raffles College of Higher Education

Product designers aren’t just limited to a life in creative industries. Having other interests such as web design or social media can land you jobs in sought-after companies like Facebook and Twitter. If you’re financially savvy, you could even land a role in finance, designing products like credit card or insurance plans. 

Meanwhile, tons of app and web-based companies like Shopee, Grab and Singtel are also constantly on the lookout for product designers to create useful solutions for consumers.

Product Designer: $3,000 – $5,000 with 2 years of experience
Senior Product Designer: $6,000 – $9,000 with 5 years of experience
Senior Product Designer, International: $10,000 – $20,000 with 7 years of experience


6. Architecture


jewel changi airport

Singapore’s city skyline has constantly been praised by locals and visitors alike, so it’s only natural that many would aspire to be a part of creating icons of the city like Jewel Changi and Marina Bay Sands. Creatives with an appreciation for these icons can delve into architecture.

As an architect, you’ll get to channel your inner Ted Mosby by conceptualising the design of buildings and city infrastructures. Design skills are core, of course, and you’ll need to be a bit of a puzzle solver when it comes to doing calculations for safe and functional buildings. 

Another closely related field that can earn you a decent salary is architectural design. This is a role where you’ll carry out design plans and bring these concepts to life. 

Junior Architect: $2,500 – $4,500 for fresh grads
Senior Architect: $5,000 – $7,500 with 5 years of experience
Principal Architect: up to $10,000 with 7 years of experience


7. Graphic design 


graphic design mockupsA graphic design mockup which received the Wood Pencil Award, a prestigious award recognising the best works in advertising and design.
Image credit: Raffles College of Higher Education

Graphic design is one of the most straightforward routes all artsy people can consider. It’s a competitive industry, but a few years of hard work can pay off as you progress up the ranks – after all, not every Tom, Dick and Harry has the know-how of design software and hacks that make visuals pop. 

You’ll be able to find plenty of opportunities in the advertising industry, but you can also branch out to merchandising, publications, and even consumer brands like fashion and retail. 

A little bit of hustling is required when you’re a fresh grad, with lower starting pays that average around the $3,000/month mark. But after 5-10 years in the industry, you can expect to take in a five-figure salary as a Creative Director. These are the people who make the final call on what the public eventually sees, so there’s a sense of responsibility – and pride – that comes with that paycheck. 

Junior Graphic Designer: $2,500 – $3,000 for fresh grads
Graphic Designer: $5,000 – $7,000 with 5 years of experience
Creative Director: $12,000 – $16,000 with 7 years of experience


Study design courses at Raffles College of Higher Education


Truth is, you are rewarded a pretty sum if you choose to go down a career path in a creative industry – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Years of hard work will eventually earn you decent money, it’s just that these design jobs that require specialised skill sets can give your bank account an earlier head start.

unleash creativity
Design jobs are plentiful in various industries from tech to finance

Creative folk who are looking for a way into these industries can check out a slew of design courses at Raffles College of Higher Education. Below are some of the related diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees to consider: 

If you’re undecided on what route to take, tune into their Online Open House on 7th November 2020. There’ll be interactive sharing sessions with industry professionals where aspiring creatives can learn more about their career potential paths. 

raffles college of higher education open houseThe sharing sessions also include talks with industry leaders like Mr Ken Goh, Entrepreneur and partner of Eight Four Digital, a UX and Interactive Design Agency and Mr Francis Lau, Film Director of Story.Merchant.
Image credit: Raffles College of Higher Education

Check out the schedule to find out what’s happening:

Sharing Session 1: 10.30AM

  • Fashion Marketing and Fashion Communication & Journalism
  • Interior Design and Product Design

Sharing Session 2: 1PM

  • Graphics Design and Digital Media Design
  • Fashion Design and Jewellery Design

Sharing Session 3: 3PM

  • Animation Design and Games Design

Those who are already eyeing courses at Raffles College of Higher Education can go right ahead and sign up from 2nd – 27th November 2020. You’ll get a 5% discount off your total course fees, along with a waiver of application fees. If you happen to be among the first 30 sign-ups you’ll also get a Designer Kit worth $300 to begin your design journey. 

starbucks drink$25 Starbucks gift cards are up for grabs 

Additionally, the first 30 students to sign up for a new course will get to participate in a Sure Win Lucky Dip. Free vouchers and gift cards from the likes of Starbucks and Zalora make up a bulk of the prizes, but one lucky winner will walk away with an AirPods Pro worth $379*. Sign up for a dialogue session with their Education Consultant to find out more on admissions. 

These are just a few of the perks you’ll get when starting your journey in the field of design at Raffles College of Higher Education. Then, ease into it by learning the ropes to eventually take home a five-figure salary pursuing design jobs you love. 

Check out Raffles College of Higher Education’s Online Open House


Date:
7th November 2020
Time: 10AM – 5.30PM
Register for the Online Open House

*Terms and conditions apply.


This post was brought to you by Raffles College.
Cover image adapted from: Rock Paper Shotgun & AGCDesign