Compensation by Company Type

Compensation by job titles is only one aspect of the landscape in the area. This section is also meant to help employers better understand what benefits look like across the area as they’re trying to attract talent.

We found that the experience of working somewhere can vary significantly based on the size and kind of company. Companies were defined in the following ways:

Company Size: startup or micro (5-10 people), small (11-50), mid-sized (51-250), large (251+)

Company Type: agency/consultancy (company sells design/technical services) or in-house (company makes/sells goods or sells non-design services)

We recognize that there is a lot of nuance here, including categories such as non-profit and education work that were not within the scope of this first survey.


Greater compensation closely aligned with size of company. We also saw greater compensation in in-house companies across the board, though there are still variances by role.

Compensation ranges by company size
Compensation ranges by company type

Opportunity for advancement

While compensation is important, it’s also important to understand if individuals feel they can advance in a company, ultimately leading to higher wages and career growth.

When asked, “Do you feel that you have opportunities for advancement at your current job?” we noticed the least ambiguity in mid-sized companies. In general, we saw more confidence in agency/consultancy companies, perhaps because billing requires more adherence to a junior/intermediate/senior structure.

Company Size Yes No Unsure
Small (11-50) 50% 29% 21%
Mid-sized (51-250) 64% 17% 19%
Large (251+) 47% 24% 29%
Company Type Yes No Unsure
Agency/Consultancy 57% 16% 27%
In-house 48% 27% 25%

Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy

We wanted a better understanding of the paid time off (“PTO”) policies, as PTO can represent a significant benefit.

We observed the largest instance of unlimited PTO policies, where the company has no set number of days for vacation, at the mid-sized tier. Large and In-house companies both represent the most policies with a set number of days.

PTO might be something worth some further exploration. Some respondents detailed that their policy is unlimited after hitting a certain threshold (number of years served), or unlimited with yearly requirements of hours. Several respondents wrote in that while their company’s PTO policy is “unlimited,” in practice it is actually limited.

Company Size Unlimited PTO Set Number of Days
Small (11-50) 29% 62%
Mid-sized (51-250) 61% 37%
Large (251+) 7% 80%
Company Type Unlimited PTO Set Number of Days
Agency/Consultancy 50% 44%
In-house 16% 75%

*Note that these numbers don’t always add up to 100%, accounting for contractors that do not have a standard PTO policy.

Work flexibility

Working remotely or with flexible hours can enable those without a traditional “9-5” life schedule to work more effectively. We wanted to understand how these policies break out today.

We found that the vast majority of companies allow for remote work today, regardless of size or type.

“I can work remotely”

Small: 76%
Mid-sized: 81%
Large: 77%
Agency/Consultancy: 75%
In-house: 78%

There was more ambiguity when it came to flexible work hours. Importantly, we did not specify what flexible meant, and may consider being more specific next time.

“My employer is flexible with work hours”

Small: 52%
Mid-sized: 64%
Large: 55%
Agency/Consultancy: 56%
In-house: 58%

A small but considerable number of respondents have no flexible work policy:

“Neither” work remotely or with flexible hours

Small: 14%
Mid-sized: 11%
Large: 15%
Agency/Consultancy: 16%
In-house: 12%


The most common benefits across companies in Philadelphia show consistency around a few benefits but then significant variability throughout:

Prevalence of benefits across all companies

But these benefits don’t break down cleanly across all companies. There are some notable gaps when you look across company size and type:

Employer-matched retirement accounts are available for many large (82%) and medium (75%) companies as compared to small (57%).

Commuter benefits are more available for mid-sized companies (60%) as compared to large (43%) and small (26%).

Company-provided meals are much more prevalent at an agency / consultancy (30%) than for in-house designers (9%).

This should be considered only the very first attempt at answering the question around distribution of benefits. This topic could certainly benefit from further qualitative and quantitative exploration.

Asking about benefits is a significant challenge that we didn’t quite get right. We didn’t consider that many might not know their benefits, either because they weren’t explained to them or they are irrelevant based on their situation, such as child care or parental leave, which may have caused underrepresentation in the answers.