In this modern age of saturated media, where brands desperately seek to differentiate themselves from their competitors, the need for design professionals has never been stronger.
Design professionals have many different skills, utilising various design tools, software, and techniques to bring ideas to life. At the heart of every good design is a person whose creativity and understanding can help drive success, target new customer bases or further please current clients.
Design spans various industries and disciplines including; art, advertising, marketing, fashion, user experience (UX), editorial to name a few. The profession offers a wide array of job opportunities which vary based on the niche but can include; graphic designers, art directors, textile designers, architects and animators.
Businesses around Europe are hiring designers in all fields, with jobs ranging from the most junior to the highest-ranking creatives in a company. With the need for skilled creatives ever increasing, we decided to analyse all of the designer jobs available on the leading employment site LinkedIn to see which European country is best suited those in the design industry.
The top 10 European countries for design professionals
To rank the European nations, we crafted an index score for each country. Do this we analysed the cost of living, the average net wage and the number of design jobs available. We then gave each figure a unique score and ranked them accordingly.
In first place on our ranking is Germany, with a score of 65 out of a possible 100. The nation scores highly in all sectors, boasting a moderate cost of living and a mostly positive average net wage. Alongside this, Housing Anywhere lists Germany in the top 20 safest nations globally, with violent crime levels far lower than comparable EU nations. However, where Germany really wins out is in its availability of design jobs: scoring 22 out of 25, they currently have a huge 180 design jobs listed on LinkedIn alone. Almost half (48%) of the jobs available were on-site and the majority were located in Berlin (38%). 30% were hybrid roles and 18% were remote. This means Germany is the perfect place for budding designers to be.
Switzerland ranks as the second-best nation for designer roles, achieving a score of 63/100. Currently on LinkedIn, there are 50 design jobs available in the Western European country, considerably more than neighbouring Austria (11) but under half seen in nearby Germany (180). 44% of the jobs listed are hybrid, and over a third (36%) are on site with the majority being in Zurich. Only 12% were fully remote. Switzerland scores a perfect 50 for its high income level with an average net monthly wage of €2,960. However, the cost of living score is just 3 out of 25, highlighting just how expensive it is to live there. Regardless of that, the nation finishes in second place in our ranking.
Third place is shared by two countries: the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with both countries scoring 60 out of 100. The United Kingdom scores a perfect 25 for job availability, with the nation having a remarkable 328 design occupations listed on LinkedIn (the most in our ranking). However, the Netherlands has a slightly better cost of living score (13, as opposed to the UK’s 12), as well as a superior average net wage score (29 for the Netherlands and just 23 for the UK). Because of this, the countries came a joint third in our index.
The top 10 is mostly restricted to Western Europe and Scandinavia, apart from the nation in 10th place: Armenia. The country far undercuts rivals by offering a significantly lower cost of living, with an index score of 21 out of 25. Whilst wages remain extremely low, scoring just 2 from 25, Armenia offers a surprisingly large quantity of occupations, with 122 design jobs listed on LinkedIn alone. So, Armenia is cheaper than rivals, and has more available design jobs than nations like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway combined. What’s not to like?
The bottom five European nations for design professionals
Not every European nation can offer the wealth or opportunity to designers that countries such as Germany or Switzerland do. Here’s the bottom five nations in our index:
Remarkably, of the bottom five nations, four all share the same score: North Macedonia, Moldova, Czechia, and Malta. Whilst they have identical placements on the index, each country achieved this in different ways:
North Macedonia scores a perfect 25 for cost of living, highlighting just how little it costs to live there. However, it’s tempered by one of the worst wage scores on the index (just 3 out of 50). With very few design jobs available, North Macedonia makes for a poor place for designers to work in.
Moldova, meanwhile, sees a similar index score to North Macedonia, with a low wage score of 3 out of 50 being aided by the low cost of living (24 from 25). Moldova, however, yields more design jobs than North Macedonia (scoring 3 and 2 respectively), bringing the two nations in line.
Both the Czech Republic and Malta score identically in every section, from cost of living (11 out of 25) to available jobs (2 out of 50). For designers, both nations offer poor opportunities for work, and therefore score lowly in our index.
In 31st and last place is Georgia, with a final index result of 28 out of 100. The nation has a marginally higher cost of living than North Macedonia and Moldova, earning a score of 22 out of 25, and yet offers worse wages (a score of 2 out of 50 overall). Coupled with the low total design job count, Georgia earns its place as the worst nation for designers to work from.
The top five European countries for design professionals
According to a recent Deloitte survey analysing working habits in 2023, 56% of salaried full-time employees work at least some of their job at home, with 34% indicating it’s a permanent employer policy. A career in design offers the flexibility to work from home if desired, and so we analysed LinkedIn to see which design jobs per nation indicate a hybrid working policy.
In first place is Turkey, with nearly half (47%) of design jobs offering hybrid working. The United Kingdom follows in second, at 31%, and third place Armenia comes a very close third, with 31.1%.
Of the top 5, the Netherlands has the least available hybrid design jobs, with 24 of the 88 advertised showing a hybrid policy, a ratio of 27.2%.
The information was scraped from leading job-seeker and professional employment website LinkedIn filtering under the following terms: ‘design’ and ‘European Union’ and all the countries outside of this were searched individually. The 452 jobs were then analysed, scored and ranked based on the average net monthly wage, cost of living and number of jobs available via LinkedIn in each country.
Countries with less than five jobs available, any that did not have the necessary data available and the Ukraine were excluded from the final ranking.