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A day in the life of a designer

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by rmaclucy, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. rmaclucy

    rmaclucy Member

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    I was hired as an experienced (over 30 years) designer. However, I have to say at $19.10 an hour, I feel taken advantage of. Here is my typical day. Feel free to let me know if I'm being unreasonable.

    upload_2019-10-31_12-28-58.png
     
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  2. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    So, you're also a project manager and production manager. Yes, you're being taken advantage of. Designers design and may occasionally lend a hand with production if there is nothing else on their plate. At least the way I see it.
     
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  3. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    sounds like your title needs to be changed.
    also sounds like you need to confirm what your role is with the boss.

    The more that gets dropped on your desk, and you handle it and "they" know you will handle it, the more it will happen.


    For us,
    * Sales does all aspects of the client, setting up their account, collecting/processing payments, Their commission happens AFTER payment in full
    * Design does the proofs AFTER deposit (unless approved for NET terms), makes edits as needed, creates the "permit" designs, preps files for production (all forms of production).
    * Production preflights the files, preps for production, orders material, QC the finished good against the approved proofs
    * Office Manager oversees all and handles calls. also assists whoever is bottlenecked.

    granted this is the PERFECT world example, and there is cross-over (when needed) in the real world.
     
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  4. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Quit!
     
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  5. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Yes, you might as well be the owner of the business too. I'm lead design/production asst. Our shop consists of 10 individuals
    1- Owner/Operator
    2- sales staff
    2- designers/plotters/production asst
    1 - accountant/sales asst/production asst
    2 - production/installers (1 full time & 1 pt)
    1 - site work/remote installer/shop work/production asst.
    1 - print tech/network and pc admin
     
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  6. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Frisco, TX
    Well, the real question is... how many people work there and what are your yearly sales????

    $150k/yr in sales...I'd say you're OK.
    $1 mil in sales and I'd say you're super woman.

    If you got 17 jobs waiting then something needs to be done... time to hire I would guess.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    How long ya been working at this particular place for $19.10 an hour and how long have ya been at that wage ??
     
  8. rmaclucy

    rmaclucy Member

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    2 owners. One does sales. The other is our accountant. 2 designers. One does installs too.
    One production girl, one installer/router. One head installer. Our sales were over $600,000 last year.
     
  9. rmaclucy

    rmaclucy Member

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    Cincinnati, OH
    Gino, 4 years. Started at $18 as "designer". Time to speak up or get out.
     
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  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    In my opinion, you should be further along in your wages. I don't know what kinda benefits you receive, but suffice it to say, you're being taken advantage of. Do not approach them with an ultimatum. That's the last thing you wanna do. If anyone ever came at me like that, which has happened over the years, they are gone in no time.... and on their own accord. That is insubordination. Write down your points and ask for a meeting with both of them and see if they can compensate you for what your job title suggests vs. what you are really doing. If they value you, they will immediately defend you and increase you at least $3 or $4 an hour, with at least a dollar raise a year with a review at the same time.

    If you like the place, don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Seriously, $19.10 is nothing to sneeze about today, but I believe you are doing more than your fair share for that amount.

    By the way.... sales don't mean a whole lot. It's the net which is the numbers they'll be working with for this.
     
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  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I think you need to have a sit-down with the owners and communicate your needs and concerns. If you are over-worked, let them know where you need help. Look around and try to see what systems you guys have in place that could be improved. Sounds like you have a lot of people VS the sales...7 people from what I counted in your post... there has got to be some inefficiencies there if 7 people are only generating $600k... and like Gino said.. NET is the real story.

    Ask them for a raise... if you went 4 years and only make $1 or so more, there should be room for improvement.... but $$ isn't everything if you are pressured everyday with too much work.

    I'm real big in systems analyst... look at every aspect of the shop and see what can be improved... where are ya'll wasting time? You shouldn't have to hound people for weeks to get a deposit wasting time. I give a customer a price and move on, if they want it they will order. I used to do follow up sales but it seemed like a waste of time. I don't do free designs, only do design AFTER payment.
     
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  12. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    So Cal
    Using your numbers, this is easy. Your sales and / or prices are too low. Seems the two owners are responsible for both.

    Ask them, "What can I do to make more pay?" Their answer will be telling.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    That's the general consensus? Keep doing what you're doing but at a higher rate of pay? It's okay that you're over taxed as long as you're paid well? The idea is to lessen the workload for one person. An increase in salary doesn't do that. I agree a sit down meeting needs to happen and maybe redistribute responsibilities.
     
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  14. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    sounds like a failure to communicate...
     
  15. Jun Lanon

    Jun Lanon Member

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    Might as well open your own business and become an owner / operator. Graphic designer starts at $25 per hour.
     
  16. MI Bearcat

    MI Bearcat Member

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    I guess I'm the outlier. I don't think the pay is bad for that size of company in the Cincinnati area, but I would agree your title shouldn't be designer. Do you have a degree in design? If you only did design, would you have 8 hours of work to do a day?

    Obviously none of us know what type of worker you are, but if you hired in at $18 four years ago and have taken on a lot more responsibility and are good at what you do, then you should have been given more of a raise then $1.10 an hour in 4 years.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    That all depends on location. You're not going to get that here unless you work for a government contractor.
     
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  18. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

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    IMHO you should be making at least $1.15 more an hour. Looking at an average raise of 4% per year. As Gino touched on, where are you benefit wise, that does come into play.
     
  19. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    Your wage seem too low for a major city, regardless, this would be my list of what would have to be changed &
    whose job title it falls under:

    upload_2019-10-31_15-27-8.png
     
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  20. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    That is very regional. $25/hr in Cali is about $15/hr here. Which is low end. Actual graphic designers (non-sign industry) can fetch $25-35/hr here....but the Sign business is so different than ad agencies/design firms so that wage is always lower. I'd say an average wage for sign shop designer only position is $18-19/hr, if experienced.
    Back to the OP...I've been in that SAME position before. Once I had a heart to heart with the owner, they knew what they were going to lose, and my pay went up about 30% that year (and Production Manager title, which I was all along without anyone acknowledging it). You have to take care of you, not your boss's company.

    EDIT: And as a production manager, I don't do half of what you listed, just like Andy D pointed out, half of those are OTHER positions.
     
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