The web designer career is a very exciting one. The Internet has become an essential part of people’s lives, especially in the last decade.
There is a world of possibilities for talented professionals in this industry. Especially for those dedicated to web design and development.
Nowadays, every business needs a website. From a small-town shop to a global corporation.
This creates a demand for web designers and developers. Business owners need a functioning site to help them reach their goals.
However, a web designer faces many challenges. While the market provides many possibilities, it is not as regulated as other fields.
The following questions arise: How much do web designers make? Is it possible to make a living working as a web designer?
What salary can someone expect to earn? The answers to these questions depend on many factors.
When estimating a web design salary it is important to consider the designer’s experience level and where they work. The average salary also varies whether someone is working as a freelancer or as an in-house web designer for an agency.
This article presents a useful web designer salary guide.
First, an analysis of the average salary for web design services. Second, a review of the factors that may increase or decrease the average salary.
How much do web designers make?
The web designer job description
When discussing the average web designer salary, it is important to establish what this means.
Many think that they know the tasks and responsibilities of a web designer. But they don’t quite understand what this profession is about.
With different responsibilities and tasks come different salaries.
It is worth noting that there is a difference between web designers and web developers. Many employers don’t understand this, which can lead to confusion and misunderstanding.
Website designers should check the job description and skill requirements before applying for a position.
Web designers create a site’s layout. They choose the color palette and font settings and establish visual themes.
These features are then implemented by a web developer.
A web designer’s job is to inspire customers or followers of a website.
What skills do web designers need?
When estimating an average salary, consider the designer’s competence. What skills does a web designer need to make a living?
There is no simple answer to this question. The web design market is always growing and changing.
Therefore, there are different paths to become a successful expert in this field.
Some start as general designers. Then later specialize in web design and user experience.
Others move into management positions where they run designer teams. In this case, they need team management, recruiting, and leadership skills.
Designers and developers work hand to hand to design websites. For this reason, many web designers choose to become developers or at least study the field.
It is very helpful for designers to have coding experience. Some designers form partnerships with developers to offer customers comprehensive services.
Website designer basic skills
Employers usually hire web designers based on their experience and not their degrees. Unlike other industries, a web designer is hired mostly because of their reputation, portfolio, and abilities.
It also helps to have a college education. Designers should have at least an associate’s degree in design or computer technology.
The most traditional path is to acquire a Computer Science degree. Students get a clear understanding of applicable systems, coding, and programming languages.
It also provides a solid background in theory, application, and career management. But a college degree is not the only way to become a professional web designer.
These programming languages are used to customize the site’s appearance. A strong background in these languages helps a web designer to structure the website.
There is a high level of competition in the website market. Thus, the “user experience” has become a vital success factor.
UX designers use color psychology and type hierarchy. They also utilize design elements such as grid systems.
These tools help create a beautiful website that provides a pleasant user experience. Employers are likely to look for UX design expertise when hiring a designer.
Good time management is essential for any professional and especially for web designers. It is necessary to organize a project’s time frames.
It’s also vital for setting the schedule and establishing deadlines.
The better a designer manages their schedule the more work they will be able to perform in a shorter period. The result is more profit and time to learn new skills and promote services.
Communication is key. Web designers should be able to communicate with employers, coworkers, and subordinates.
It is important to establish clear instructions and set realistic goals. This goes to building a healthy work environment.
The ability to create an impressive portfolio
A portfolio is the best and most direct way for a designer to show their expertise. A good portfolio can be enough to get a job.
It helps if it reflects the value of someone’s work. For example, the number of sales of an online store before and after the web design.
The average web design salary is estimated based on these factors. The most important one is education, whether formal or informal.
There are affordable courses available. Also, prospective designers can get formal education at community colleges.
It is also possible to learn by working in the field. In any case, it is vital to constantly learn new skills to remain competitive.
Web designers work in a very competitive and ever-changing market. Acquiring expertise increases the chances of being hired and earning a higher salary.
A portfolio is the designer’s most important asset. It reflects their abilities and the value of their work.
How much do web designers make: average salaries
A web designer’s salary varies according to the following factors:
Some professional designers specialize in design while others in technical aspects. The niche that the designer chooses determines the duties and responsibilities.
Thanks to a variety of online tools, it is possible to find out how much do web designers earn. The numbers vary according to the source.
Average web designer salary in the United States:
Glassdoor: $57k/year average salary, ranging from $38k to $86k.
Payscale: $51k/year average salary, ranging from $35k to $74k.
Ziprecruiter: $60k/year average salary, ranging from $21k to $114k.
Indeed.com $47k/year average salary for entry-level web designers.
Considering this data, the average yearly salary for a web designer in the US is $54k.
How much do web designers make: salary based on experience level
Experience is a key factor to establish a designer’s salary. By displaying their work in a portfolio, designers can get more clients.
Experienced web designers get better payments and also make better use of their time. They already know how to approach certain issues.
They have the necessary resources and know exactly how much time it takes to fulfill a task.
Web designer experience breaks down into three levels: entry-level, junior, and senior designers.
Entry-level web designers
Designers with no previous experience fall into this category. This is a great opportunity to gain experience, learn from more advanced designers, and understand how the market works.
Usually, entry-level designers know how to structure a website. But they can’t put in place advanced features.
At this stage, they have yet to improve their web development abilities.
Entry-level designers earn less than the average base salary. They receive an income of approximately 34k per year.
Junior web designers
As in other similar professions, junior designers form the largest group. This is because it doesn’t take long for entry-level designers to become junior professionals.
On the contrary, it takes years for a junior designer to become a senior.
Junior designers’ abilities vary considerably, hence it becomes difficult to estimate their salary. In general, a junior designer’s salary amounts to $44k per year.
They earn less than the average.
Senior web designers
These are usually professionals that have worked in the same company for a long time. Although this is not a mandatory rule.
They have more responsibilities and usually take charge of the most challenging tasks.
These designers can be responsible for creating an impressive banner or a landing page. Or they may work on other tasks that require a high level of expertise.
Moreover, they are usually responsible for training junior and entry-level designers.
Professionals working in senior positions have many duties and responsibilities. They thus earn a higher salary.
They earn more than the average: $92,874 a year.
Web design salaries: specialization
Web design can be divided into a variety of subfields. The designer’s specialization also influences the salary earned.
Here is a list of the most common specialization areas in this industry:
UX researchers are usually good at analyzing results and coding. They analyze user’s behavior, research competitors, create prototypes, and design the site’s development.
These specialists help boost the site and achieve long-term results. Their average yearly salary is $84,327.
UX and UI designers
The UX designers usually focus on user experience. They create a responsive user interface design and analyze users’ behavior.
They are also responsible for wireframing, prototyping, and coding. These skills should be specifically oriented to the project they are working on.
Acquiring this type of expertise requires time and training. That is why UX designers have some of the highest salaries.
The national average salary is $101,455 a year.
These are like UX and UI designers but are more focused on innovation and creativity.
An interaction designer’s main task is to improve communication with users. This is usually achieved by creating new services and products.
Their average yearly salary is approximately $79,223.
Web designers implement the rest of the team’s ideas into the platform used by the customers.
Their salary amounts to $65,159 a year.
Web design salaries: geography
Metropolises such as New York or Silicon Valley usually attract more tech companies. Thus, it is easier for web designers to find a job in these cities.
However, remote work is gaining popularity. This means that one could be working at a big company without living nearby.
Thus it is possible to enjoy the advantages of both worlds. Designers can work with their dream company while living in a quiet place.
It is easier to find higher salaries in big cities than in small towns. Yet the cost of living is also higher.
Some of the best places for website designers to develop a career are San Francisco and Seattle. Other excellent, less-known tech hubs include Atlanta, Dallas, and Minneapolis.
The following is an average of the yearly salary variations from the East to the West coast:
Increase your income working as a website designer
As noted, a web designer and a web developer are two different positions. While designers focus on appearance, developers are in charge of more technical tasks.
Developers usually earn more money, but this is not enough reason to choose a career.
Developers and designers have different tasks and responsibilities. It is important to figure out which position someone feels more comfortable with.
There are different ways a designer can boost their career and increase revenue. They can achieve this either by working for an agency or as a freelancer.
Factors that will help designers increase their income:
Certifications: Taking courses and acquiring formal certifications help to increase one’s reputation. Especially if these are college degrees.
Designers can pursue an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in web or graphic design.
Know the trends: Web designers should always be aware of the latest tendencies in the market. This means following news and blogs on related topics and learning from what the big players are doing.
This helps designers to make vital decisions at the right time and to offer the latest features.
Develop soft skills: Soft skills are not technically related to web design. But they help people to manage and boost their career.
These include learning:
- how to speak to people
- how to present projects to colleagues and superiors
- how to communicate with coworkers and clients
Whether working as a freelancer or for an agency, these skills help to build a healthy work environment.
The best way to increase your salary is to acquire as many specific skills as possible. Then take time to perfect them.
It is also necessary to know the market’s latest tendencies.
The more abilities one has, the wider the range of job opportunities. The chances are also higher of landing a large project.
Ending thoughts on how much web designers make
According to the factors described above, it is possible to make a living as a website designer. Moreover, it is possible to make huge profits out of this career.
The earnings of a web designer vary according to experience, specialization, region, and other factors. It is important to understand the market and know its niches.
Designers make higher profits specializing in UX and UI design.
Right now, the tech industry is thriving and there is a clear tendency towards a virtual world. In this context, the need for website and mobile app design is increasing.
This also increases competition and challenges become harder. New tools and gadgets are released every month.
Designers need to recognize the strongest tendencies. They should learn to use the new tools to remain competitive in the market.
To succeed as a designer, it is vital to consider the following:
- Get proper education (traditional education or in-the-field training, preferably both)
- Choose where to live (or a company that allows for remote work)
- Choose a profitable specialization (the best-rewarded fields are UX and UI design)
- Manage time effectively
- Take courses
- Be aware of the market’s trends
- Prepare an impressive portfolio
- Work on communication skills
The website design market offers limitless possibilities for talented people. It enables them to make a career and succeed in the age of technology.
This article contains a guide to help website designers achieve their professional goals.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how much do web designers make, you should check out this one with illustrator portfolio websites.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like the best graphic design portfolio examples, video portfolio websites, one-page website examples, cool website header examples, the most innovative and creative websites, and photography portfolio examples.