2023 Career Report

Where are service design professionals in their careers today? How did they get there? And where do they want to go next? This report gives you a sense of what’s possible and can hopefully guide you in taking the right steps.

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This report is made possible by:

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Welcome to the global service design career track report.

** This report is being built in the open and is a work in progress (details below).

Yes, it’s an exciting time to be part of the service design community. A lot is happening, and things are evolving quickly. This unavoidably leads to many career-related questions, both from professionals who are just getting started and from professionals who want to progress to the next level.

So we reached out to the community to get some much-needed clarity. With responses from almost 300 participants, this is the most in-depth and rich study done into the career paths of service design professionals to date.

What can I find in this report?

In this final report, you’ll be able to find clues that help you answer questions like:
  • How do you land your next job?
  • What's the ideal work environment?
  • How do you keep growing?
  • What are common career paths?
  • And many, many more...

Future updates

Rather than using the traditional approach of locking ourselves up in a basement to analyze all the data we decided to take a different route.

We’re going to eat our own design dog food and build the report using an iterative process. This means that we’ll share small but regular updates with the community as we go along.

We believe that by taking this approach the final report will be more relevant and valuable for everyone. And more fun to create.

If you’d like to be the first to know when a new update has been published, join the email list of the Service Design Show down below. Or check back in on this site now and then.

The Salary Report

We invite you to explore and navigate the lenses and visualizations below to get answers to the questions most relevant to you.

We’re curious what you’ll find, so let’s dig in!

High Level Overview


Glance at salaries and additional benefits by country. Then use the chapters that follow to investigate factors such as gender and work experience. Note that amounts are before taxes and don’t consider things like cost of living.

“Other” represents countries with fewer than five respondents (roughly 5% of total respondents).

Select countries to compare:

Who responded

Get to know the respondents by going through the following charts. You can select the country that you’re most interested in and find out different aspects of the respondents’ profiles such as gender, position, work experience, and job titles.
Select your country:



Ikigai is a Japanese term that means "reason for being" or finding one's life purpose. We introduced this question in the survey to gain a better understanding of what drives and motivates service design professionals. It provides a more detailed and nuanced answer compared to the Satisfaction Score.

Respondents were asked to select which of the following options applied to them: "I enjoy my work" (💚), "I am good at my work" (💪), "The world needs what I do" (🌍), and "I get paid fairly for my work" (💰). They could choose as many options as they wanted. The percentages in the chart indicate how many respondents selected each option.

Select your country:
Ikigai percentages

Gender bias


Just like previous years, we’ve seen similar struggles with the gender pay gap in the field. We are still a long way to providing inclusive compensation and equal opportunities for all SD professionals – no matter their gender. The truth is inclusivity goes beyond gender. Race, immigration status, and more also play a huge role in bias but we have not included those in this study. See below if it affects your country.

It is important to represent every person in this section of the survey. So, we have aggregated other data as “other responses” so that we can continue to be as accurate as possible while protecting the privacy of our participants.

Select your country:



SD professionals can work in many contexts. Namely, there are in-house SD professionals that are full-time or part-time employees in a certain company, others who work at an agency, and some who are independent freelancers. Select your country to learn more about how each context can affect your salary.

Would working at an agency provide you with higher compensation? Or would the benefits outweigh compensation in a full-time in-house position?

Select your country:

Work experience

You would expect that having more work experience results in a higher salary. But is that the case? And if so, how big is that difference? The charts in this chapter help us to uncover the facts. The overview is broken down into overall work experience and service design related work experience.
Select your country:

Seniority level

What is the salary gap between junior and mid-level team members? How much do entry-level service designers get paid? And does career advancement increase your satisfaction score? Explore these charts to see how job level can affect your salary and happyness.
Select your country:

Job title & previous role

Our field is a mashup of different titles, roles, and job descriptions. Because of this, service designers go by many different job titles depending on the company you work for. How does that influence your salary? How will having “service design” in your official title have a positive impact your salary? Let’s find out!
Select your country:


Service design is (needed) everywhere and in every single business. As long as the business is interacting with humans, a service design professional can provide immense value. We asked you what industries you work in. And of course how that impacts your salary and satisfaction. These charts also give us an indication of the industries who are more eager to hire service design talent. Useful for you next job hunt!
Select your country:

Company size

Another important question we asked you is about the size of the company you work in. Is it helpful to look for a job in a large tech firm or would a small agency compensate fairly too? Find your answers below.
Select your country:

Work hours


Who works the most? We asked you to share how many hours, on average, you work per week. Not what’s in your contract but the hours you actually clock in. You can explore the data by country and then break it down in different dimensions. Play around it and see what you uncover.

We’re solely focussing on work hours in this chapter and not salary as there are too many factors at play to make a meaningful apples to apples comparison.

Select your country:
Select area of interest:
Average number of work hours per week

Remote work


Remote work was a big thing in last year's report. This year we asked you again which percentage of your work happens remotely. A lot of interesting insights emerge from these charts. Take a guess: Are in-house service designers or agency folks more in the office? The answer is in the charts below.

In a future update we’ll add last year's data to the chart so you can a year over year comparison.

Select your country:
Select area of interest:
Percentage of work done remotely


Who holds a formal service design degree? Are you more likely to find SD professionals with a degree in the US or Finland? And what is the difference between genders? You can even look at the salary ranges to find the one with the highest percentage of service design graduates.
Select your country:
Select area of interest:
Percentage of respondents with a formal service design degree


Who negotiates their salary? Discover which industries are more open to negotiation and explore the cultural differences between countries. You can also see whether juniors or seniors tend to come up with a counter offer. This is a fun one!
Select your country:
Select area of interest:
Who negotiates their salary the most?


Why this report?

We hope that this report will help to:

  1. Empower service design professionals to make smarter career decisions.

  2. Educate employers on how to get the most out of their service designer.

Ultimately, by making this data publicly available we want to contribute to a more mature service design field.

Survey setup

To try and keep this report as accurate as possible, we’d like to add a few comments about data bias and limitations:
  1. How old is the data?

    All the data represented in this report was collected in March 2022.

  2. How accurate is this data?

    If anything this report represents a snapshot in time of a portion of the service design field. With a sample size of about 300 respondents, it’s not wise to draw any definitive conclusions. Treat it as a compass rather than a map.

  3. Was this anonymous?

    Yes. Our respondents’ privacy is very important to us, and we don’t collect any personally identifiable information such as names or email addresses. Where appropriate, the data have been aggregated to protect the privacy of participants.

Important points to consider

This report represents a continual effort toward building a more mature service design field. Done for and mostly with the service design community. We’re proud of the information presented here and the valuable insights available, but please note that the data has limitations and aspects you’ll want to keep in mind.

  • We did our best to reach as many people from diverse backgrounds as possible, but the respondents still only represent a subsection of our global community. We also understand that some professionals prefer not to fill out surveys or share information about their careers, so the data doesn’t accurately represent every service design community.
  • In some cases, where there wasn’t enough data to create comparable categories, and data sets were aggregated in order to protect the privacy of participants. For example, countries with fewer than five responses are presented under the category “Other countries” in some data visualizations.
  • We included questions that we found significant but that are subjective and can have imprecise answers, for example, the things people seek in an employer or the most frustrating aspect of the hiring process. As a result, this data is open to interpretation based on each situation.
  • Some countries and regions have very few data points or even none at all. It would be impossible to identify patterns or draw conclusions based on the information available. We’re committed to expanding our reach to those who would like to participate, and we welcome you to leave a comment if you have ideas on how to better involve these communities next year.

Need a different format?

Google Data Studio (the platform used to visualize the data) does have some accessibility limitations. Please let us know if you would like specific parts of the report in another format in order to easily explore the data (such as PDF or CSV export).

Requests are reviewed case by case and we’ll do our best to provide it for you.


This report wouldn’t be here without the generous input from the service design community. So if you’ve participated or helped spread the word about it, thank you!

A special thanks goes out to our partners. It’s the support from respected organizations such as these, that see the importance of this topic and rally around it, that bring this report to life.

Many others contributed to making the report happen. Thank you for all your help and support along the way.

marc fonteijn

About the Author

The Service Design Career Track report is an initiative from Service Design Jobs. Service Design Jobs is the only place providing a daily updated list of true service design positions from companies across the globe.

The initiative is led by Marc Fonteijn, founder of Service Design Jobs and the Service Design Show.

Your turn

We created this report to serve our community, and we rely on feedback from you. If the data inspired new questions that you’d like us to investigate, or you didn’t find what you were looking for, we want to know!

Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to us via team@servicedesignjobs.com with any suggestions, feedback or ideas for perspectives we missed.

This report is carefully crafted, but if you spot a mistake, we’d be grateful if you let us know.

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