Are Designers truly appreciated in London Ontario?
As a freelancer just starting out in London I’m starting to get discouraged about the career prospects of designers in the local area. As I’ve been searching for jobs in the past weeks I’ve noticed that the salary expectations on the various employment websites are lower than in any other part of the country by almost 30%. That means that any designer working in London is making $14.48 an hour versus a designer from another part of the country earning $18.53 as an hourly rate. I’ve also spoken to Professionals in other Industries and they’ve said the same thing; in London you just don’t earn as much as you do elsewhere.
Additionally, I know designers who are working for the basic minimum wage. I don’t know if I can begin to explain how wrong I feel that is.
How is this acceptable for a profession that requires a financial investment of at least $30,000 to $40,000 for a formal education? I know people who went to school for two years or so, graduated, then proceeded to get a job that wasn’t even in their field of study making $40,000 a year. There is a factory in a community close to London that is offering $14.75 per hour for General laborers and the sad thing is that this is an appealing option at the moment. A factory job should not even be in the running.
This problem does not exclusively affect designers but they do suffer from it because of a number of reasons. Some people just don’t understand the value of the work that a designer can do and so they think the designer should not charge very much. Others seem to think that websites or other creative endeavors are quick and easy to do and again, should not charge much. Some people think everyone is out to get them and their wallet and a designer is no different. This is on top of the fact that designers can have a tough time when trying to figure out how to value their work. If a someone does not know the value of what they are making, it is a lot harder to sell it to someone else.
I don’t know if this is a London problem, something larger, or perhaps a perception problem. Maybe I’m simply looking at it the wrong way. I’ve only just begun my journey into freelancing so it’s certain that I have a lot to learn and a long way to go.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
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