Design Manager Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Design Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Design Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Design Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How to Become a design manager

If you're considering starting your Design Manager career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Design Manager and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Design Manager career.
Contents

1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Design Manager career path, a Graduate Degree in architecture or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Design Manager internship may be required to earn your Graduate Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Design Manager?

67% of people working as a Design Manager earned a Graduate Degree

Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Design Manager in the United States.

2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Design Manager, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Design Manager field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Design Manager specialty.

3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Design Manager

Once you've acquired a Graduate Degree in architecture or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Design Manager. In general, you can become a Design Manager after completing your 2 year Graduate Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Design Manager role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified b corporation.

4

Advance in Your Design Manager Career

Following entry-level, there are several Design Manager career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Design Manager to progress to the senior design manager position. Each advanced Design Manager position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Design Manager career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Design Manager career path.

5

Continued Education for Your Design Manager Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Design Manager career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Graduate Degree in architecture can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Graduate Degree typically make $174,147 compared to $64,554 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels

L2

Design Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
£53,200 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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46% advanced to

L3

Senior Design Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
£69,834 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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L4

Lead Design Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
£71,865 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Salary Trajectory

Design Manager Career Path

£90K
£78K
£65K
£53K
£40K
L2
L4
L6
L8
L12
Seniority Levels

Related careers in the Arts & Design Industry

Interested in other Arts & Design careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Design Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Design Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.