Whenever you interact with a product or a service, you’re experiencing user experience (UX) design first-hand. From how quickly you can find the phone number on a website to how easily you can use a coffee machine, it all falls under UX. A positive user experience is instrumental in making consumers stay loyal to the product and the brand. UX often determines the success of a business.
So it makes perfect sense that the best UX designers are rewarded for their expertise in the form of high paychecks. We’ll lay out the salary ranges for designers at every stage in their career so you know exactly what to expect down the line.
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Average UX Designer Salaries
As user experience becomes more important in nearly every industry, UX designers increase in demand. The average annual salary for a UX designer is around $90,000 per year. However, the salary depends on multiple factors, such as:
- Job title
UX Designer Salary According To Experience
Experience is one of the key factors in determining compensation in every industry. Based on experience, UX designers are categorized into:
Entry-level – These UX designers have no professional experience in the design industry. They’re most likely recent university graduates or people who have taken online courses to learn UX design. The average annual salary at this level can be between $75,000 and $80,920 per year, which is a great start.
At this level, you’re expected to be proficient in the knowledge of UX design tools and processes.
Junior – Junior designers have gained a few years of experience working in the field. They’re well-versed with the intricacies of the job and the industry. Their experience can range from 3-8 years. The average annual salary at this level can be between $90,000 and $104,580 per year. This salary will grow as you gain new skills.
Senior – These professionals have worked in the industry for over 15 years. They handle various responsibilities in a company, and they make important business decisions. The average annual salary at this level can be between $110,000 and $113,368 per year.
UX Designer Salary According to Education
UX design is a multifaceted field with many routes you can take to pursue an education. You can go the traditional university route, or learn through online programs like our own UX/UI Design course.
The field of UX design has elements from a lot of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, human-computer interaction, visual design, and communications. A degree in these fields can be the first step towards becoming a UX designer.
A Graduate Degree – The average annual compensation for graduates is around $66,500. Along with a graduate degree, you’ll also be required to have other skills like:
- Expertise in coding languages like Java, Perl, CSS, and HTML.
- Expertise in programs like Flash, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.
A Master’s Degree – Having a master’s degree, though not necessary to get a career started in UX design, can add around $4,000 to your salary. A master’s degree can improve your knowledge in different areas. The average annual compensation for postgraduates is around $70,500 per year.
Certification Courses – Certificates help validate your skills and stand out from the competition. Various universities and platforms provide a whole range of UX certifications that can help you stand out from a crowd - even when that crowd is full of designers vying for the same job.
UX Designer Salary According to Job Title
There are multiple job titles under UX design. The compensation packages also vary accordingly. Here are some examples of different job titles with their average annual compensation packages:
- Junior UX Designer, Junior Product Designer - $83,948
- Mid-Level UX Designer - $119,500
- Senior Level UX Designer, Senior Designer, Senior Product Designer, UX Consultant - $135,000
- Lead UX Designer - $137,000
- Principal UX Designer - $140,000
UX Designer Salary According to Location
Location is another important metric that can have an impact on your compensation. There are certain regions that pay a higher annual salary to UX designers than others. Here are some of the locations with the highest average salaries for UX designers:
- Seattle, Washington - $190,000
- San Jose, California - $150,000
- San Francisco, California - $129,000
- Boston, Massachusetts - $106,000
- New York, New York - $98,600
Perks of Being A UX Designer
UX design is an evolving field. As companies and businesses are increasingly focused on how users experience their products and services, the demand for UX designers has grown. Some perks and advantages of this job are:
- High salary
- Constant change and growth
- Deep knowledge of products and brands
- Specialization in unique skills
- Structured workflow
- Cross-team collaboration
Skills Needed to Become A UX Designer
UX designers need to be proficient in certain technical and soft skills.
Some of the important technical skills are:
- User Research – User research and analysis of this research is the bedrock of a good user experience. This includes user testing, interviews, questionnaires, and surveys to gain insights about what the users want.
- Information Architecture – The organization of information in a meaningful manner is called information architecture. UX designers need to be skilled in information architecture as there’s a massive amount of information on the web.
- Wireframing And Prototyping – UX designers should also be skilled in creating wireframes and prototypes. With the help of wireframes and prototypes, you can communicate and test your ideas quickly. There are multiple tools for this process, and recruiters will be interested in which one you have mastered.
Some popular wireframing tools are Sketch, Photoshop, Figma, Canva, Marvel, and Balsamiq.
- Interaction Design – How a user interacts with a product/service comes under interaction design. It refers to the design of interactive products and services. The needs of users are closely analyzed to customize product design.
- Visual Communication – Being skilled in visual communication helps you understand the graphic nature of UX designing. It helps you have a better understanding of elements like layout, color, icons, images, design theory, and typography.
Apart from technical skills, UX designers also need soft skills. Soft skills are your social and interpersonal skills. These skills are transferable across industries. Some important soft skills are:
- Curiosity – Being curious helps you engage with clients by asking insightful questions. It helps UX designers listen to what the client wants and come up with solutions for problems.
- Empathy – Since UX design deals with how customers experience the product or service, being empathetic helps UX designers understand the emotions of the users. This quality is further instrumental in helping UX designers create products that are in alignment with what the users want to experience.
- Communication – As designers have to communicate ideas and thinking behind the designs, it’s necessary that they have good communication skills.
- Teamwork – Since UX designers collaborate with clients, developers, and other teams, it’s important for them to be collaborative and good team players.
As you can see, a career in UX design is a rewarding one. Not only does it allow you to be creative and grow in professional, you can also look forward to a comfortable salary.
If you’d like to learn how to become a successful UX designer, our UX/UI Design course is geared to land you that too-good-to-be-true job: a higher salary and rewarding work with a great company.
How do I get into UX Design?
You can get into UX design by gaining an insight into the field through some online courses. You could also read about UX design practices, do some UX related work, and learn to use important tools like Sketch for designing and InVision for prototyping on your own.
Will a degree help me make more?
A degree or certification in UX design may help you gain in-depth knowledge and experience of working with UX tool as well as increase your pay scale. It is possible to build a career in UX design even without a degree or certification, but you would need remarkable skills and years of experience to succeed.
How much do Thinkful grads make?
The average annual salary of an entry level Thinkful UX Design graduate varies from $70,000 to $80,000. Junior and senior level designers earn in between $90,000 and$113,000. The salary can further increase by learning new skills and Thinkful graduates report an annual $20,000 increase in salary.
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