Salary data is the most sought-after category of labor market statistics. Let’s look at the average level of earnings in the industry, compare it with other industries, with the median salary in a country or region – let us draw conclusions about the position of a representative of the profession on the salary scale. And if we add information about expenses to the data on income, we will get an idea of the ability to pay and the budget of a specialist in a particular area. The Trud.com team has compared statistics on salaries and expenses of graphic designers in 6 countries of the world, including Russia. The data allow us to assess the level of monetary remuneration of Russian specialists in comparison with the earnings of colleagues from the USA, Japan, Great Britain, Poland and China.
When compiling a list of expenditure items, the key needs were taken into account: for accommodation, food, treatment, entertainment, buying clothes and equipment. The daily grocery package includes: 1 lb each of white bread, cheese, chicken fillets, apples, tomatoes, potatoes and 1.5 L of water. Some mandatory items were excluded from the calculations due to their insignificant “weight”, for example, mobile communications.
The result of the calculations was the so-called “well-being coefficient”: the ratio of the amount of expenses to earnings. The figure shows what proportion of wages remains after payments on the main items of expenditure, and characterizes the level of welfare.
Ranking of countries according to the well-being of graphic designers
If we rank the countries according to the “well-being coefficient”, then the TOP will look like this (Table 1):
USA – 31%,
China – 18%,
Japan – (-3%),
UK – (-8%),
Poland – (-58%).
In 4 out of 6 countries studied (Poland, Russia, UK, Japan), the salary of a graphic designer is not enough to cover basic expenses. Salaries in the UK are in 3rd place in the overall ranking, the level of expenses is in 1st place, so not the highest level of well-being is associated with a high cost of living. In Russia, wages are the lowest, but the level of expenses is not as high as in Poland, which ranks next to last in terms of earnings, so the level of well-being of Russians is higher than that of Poles.
Main items of expenditure
Home rentals and groceries are predictably the most costly areas of life. If we calculate the amount of expenses for these two items (including utility bills), then the rating of the countries will look like this:
To correlate salaries with the cost of housing and food, you can calculate how many times a specialist is able to make these payments (within one salary) and still remain in the black. The result looks like this:
That is, a graphic designer in America can pay for rent and food more than three times from one salary, while a Russian can only pay once.
Prospects for relocation
Considering that in all respects Russia is in the penultimate place in terms of the level of provision of graphic designers, relocation looks like a tempting prospect. The most coveted target turns out to be the United States. China has a relatively decent life. Poland turns out to be an unambiguously unpromising option. In Japan and the UK, a graphic designer would have had to tighten his belt thoroughly given the high cost of living in these countries.