Desktop Publishers: Salary Overview
Desktop publishers design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or published online.
Their job responsibilities typically include reviewing text and materials created by designers, editing graphics, importing graphics into publishing software, creating cohesive pages using text and images, revising layouts, making revisions, and submitting the files for printing or online publishing.
They may also correct spelling punctuation and grammar in the text.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for desktop publishers was $45,390 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this and half earned more.
As a desktop publisher, you may earn anywhere between less than $23,850 and more than $78,190.
The report published by BLS shows that 25 percent for all desktop publishers earned more than $33,060 but only 25 percent of them made more than $60,720.
Salaries in this profession vary depending on a variety of factors, including the worker’s experience level, education, region, and industry of employment.
Desktop Publisher Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, desktop publishers held approximately 12,600 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them being employed by newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, by companies in the field of professional, scientific, and technical services, or were self-employed workers.
Wages for salaried desktop publishers vary depending on the industry of employment.
Those who worked for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers reportedly earned $44,850 a year, on average, as of May 2019.
The average annual wage reported by desktop publishers in the field of printing and related support activities was $50,860 while those who worked in the field of management, scientific, and technical consulting services earned approximately $41,450 a year, on average.
The average annual wage was $50,870 for desktop publishers employed in advertising, public relations, and related services and $53,810 for those who worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools.
According to the BLS report, the highest average annual wage was reported by desktop publishers in the field of navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing.
In this sector, this profession was remunerated, on average, with $67,910- an average salary of about 50 percent higher than the median across all industries.
Another field where you have better chances of earning a higher-than-average salary as a desktop publisher in the sector of business, professional, labor, political, and similar organization.
Companies that provide business support services paid desktop publishers, on average, with $62,040 a year, on average.
Desktop publishers in this sector reported an average annual wage of $64,230.
However, we should mention that these higher-paying sectors offer only a few jobs for this profession so job openings may not occur very often.
Salaries for this profession also vary based on the region of employment and some states offer better earning opportunities for desktop publishers.
According to the report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying states for desktop publishers were Maryland and California, states where the average wage for this profession was higher than $60,000.
Desktop publishers in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana, and Maine, reportedly earned less than $40,000 a year, on average.
Employment opportunities are expected to be fewer for desktop publishers in the next decade.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for this profession is projected to decline 16 percent from 2018 to 2028.
This decline is explained, in part, by the fact that other professionals, such as graphic designers, editors, and web designers, are beginning to take over desktop publishing tasks.
Another factor that will contribute to the decline of this profession is the fact that organizations start to publish their materials mostly online.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Desktop Publishers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.