The field of web design has seen rapid growth over the past few years. Not only in the demand for web designers, but also in the number of people who are interested in becoming a web designer. If you’re one of those people, we know you’re probably pretty curious about what your paycheck could look like.
With new technology and trends emerging at a fast pace, it’s no surprise that this field continues to grow. And with the increasing number of businesses transitioning to the digital world, there’s a need to develop and design websites and web apps more than ever before. This means that a career in web design will continue to flourish for years to come.
Here's how much you can expect to make as a web designer once you're coding, iterating and wireframing with the best of them.
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How Much Does A Web Designer Earn?
The salary of a web designer can vary for a lot of reasons. Salaries can vary because of experience, location, company, and more. The roles and responsibilities of a web designer depend on the kinds of companies or industries they choose to work with. Another factor that determines the salary of a web designer is their specialization. For example, some web designers specialize in the technical aspects of web design, while others specialize in the design aspect.
On average, a web designer in the U.S. makes around $65,159 per year. The hourly rate for a web-designer is around $28-34 per hour.
Web Designer Salary by Job Level
Apart from your location, your experience is also a huge deciding factor on your salary.
Entry-level: Recent graduates or web designers with no prior work experience tend to fall into this category. These entry-level positions are a great learning experience. They’re also a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and network in the tech industry.
On average, the salary for an entry-level web designer is somewhere around $49,750 per year.
Junior level: To be a junior web designer, you have to have some experience in the field. It doesn’t take that long to become a junior web designer after working at an entry-level job. However, it does take a bit longer to advance to the next level. That’s the reason why the salary greatly varies depending on the experience and skills.
Usually, the salary of a junior web designer ranges from $42,000 to $62,000 per year.
Senior-level: These are at the top of the hierarchy. You have to have years of experience to land a position as a senior web designer. Usually, you have to work at the same company for a few years to get into this role. Senior web designers make important decisions and are trusted to handle important tasks for the company.
With more responsibility comes the perks of an attractive average salary which is around $92,874 per year.
Web Designer Salary by Specialty
You can specialize in different subfields of web design. Specializing in a certain area can determine your job title, role, responsibilities, and yes, salary. We’ve listed some of the options below.
- UX Designer: The position involves focusing on user experience. For this position, you need skills like user research, wireframing, prototyping, analytical skills, coding, and responsive design. These skills are more job-specific and you need to devote a lot of time to master these. The average salary of a UX designer is around $101,455.
- Interaction Designer: This role is quite similar to that of UX or UI designer. The emphasis in this role is more on creativity and innovation. These designers design products or services that improve communication with people. The average salary of an interaction designer is around $79,223 per year.
- UX Researcher: This role is suitable for those who are good at coding, research, and analytical skills. The job responsibilities include researching user behavior, competitor analysis, prototyping, and design development. The average salary of a UX researcher is around $84,327 per year.
Web Design Vs. Web Development
Employers sometimes use the terms web design and web development interchangeably. However, web development is a broad field and can be classified as front-end and back-end development. On the other hand, web designers typically deal with the front-end, or parts of the website that users see and interact with. The role of web designer includes planning, creating, and coding the websites and web pages. The design and layout of a website or a web page is a web designer’s responsibility.
On the other hand, web development has more to do with building websites than it does with designing websites. Whereas web design is, as the name suggests, is all about the design. To become a web designer, you can pursue a few different avenues. You can get a degree in web design, or you can take various online courses to learn. We recommend Thinkful’s UX/UI Design course if you want to start a successful career in web design immediately after graduation, because that’s what this class is designed to do for you.
Skills You Need to Become A Web Designer
Alright, so you’re interested in becoming a web designer now. Let’s take a look at what skills you’ll need to start your career.
- HTML/CSS: You need to have a strong understanding of these programming languages. These languages will help you structure your website. You’ll need both html and CSS to customize the appearance of a website. As a designer, you’ll definitely want to have some creative control of fonts and colors.
- UX Design: As a web designer, you need to cater to user needs and expectations. To do so, you need to use tools like color psychology, type hierarchy, and grid systems to make your designs visually appealing.
- Responsive Design: You need to be familiar with the principles of responsive design so that you can create web pages and websites that are user friendly on all other devices. These include devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or any other similar piece of technology.
- Time Management: You need time management skills to thrive in your career as a web designer. This is because you have to take care of schedules and deadlines.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Familiarity with SEO is a crucial skill for your web design career. You’ll have to incorporate keywords and phrases that are often searched for by your target audience. This can directly impact the ranking of your website.
- Communication Skills: You should be able to convey information clearly and transparently to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. Also, you should be able to communicate with your fellow team members and colleagues well because you’ll often be working in a team environment. This will help maintain a harmonious work environment.
Perks and Benefits Working as a Web Designer
There are several perks and benefits of being a web designer. Some of them are as follows:
- Work Remotely: This is one of the best parts of being a web developer. You just need a laptop and an internet connection, and you can work from anywhere. This works for both freelancers and those working for a company.
- Not Industry-Specific: Nowadays, every business is trying to create a strong digital presence. Companies need logos, brand guidelines, websites, and other visual materials. So, you can find employment in any industry. This also means that you have numerous freelance job opportunities.
- You Can Express Yourself: This is a field that allows you to bring out your creativity and innovation. You can present your ideas and opinions to others, and back them up with user research and data. You’ll have plenty of room for experimenting and using new techniques. The best part is that your creativity is valued and appreciated.
- You’ll Never Be Bored: Since this is an evolving field, you have to stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends. The constant competition will make sure you’re always on your feet. This is not a monotonous job. If you enjoy a challenge, then this is the role for you.
- High Pay: Compensation is one of the major concerns when you enter any career field, but you can rest easy with a web design education. Job opportunities are on the rise and the salaries are solid, even in an entry-level position.
Take the Next Steps
Web design can be a fulfilling field if you love to be creative and you enjoy working in the digital world. It’s also a great career if you value working from home, or if you want to travel frequently. If you like what you’ve read so far about web design and you’re looking to get into the field, check out our UX/UI Design course. You’ll learn everything you need to know to thrive in the field of web design and user experience. You’ll also have access to 1-on-1 mentorship and an unrivaled support system.
If you’re still not sure if web design is right for you, we’ve got a few more useful web design articles that can guide you in the right direction.
How do I get into web design?
You can get into the field of web design by understanding the role and the nature of work of a web designer in an organization. To begin with, you need to master a few skills like graphic designing, conversion-focused web design, web development, digital marketing, and maintenance and management.
Will a degree help me make more money?
Though there is no specific web design degree, having substantial knowledge of the field will definitely help your career opportunities. However, gaining this knowledge is not exclusively tied to a college degree. There are many learning pathways that can teach you the relevant skills you need to land a job in web design.
How much do Thinkful grads make?
The salary of a web designer depends on important factors such as skill level, years of experience, job location, area of specialization and the nature of work in the organization. On average the salary of a web designer is around $65,000 per year and can increase up to $92,000 depending on different roles and responsibilities.
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