Web designers design, build, and maintain websites. Web designer is a very broad category and can include aspects of graphic design, programming, business, and marketing. There is no required degree for this career, but some employers may require a degree in a specific field such as computer science.
It is nearly impossible to pinpoint an average salary for a web designer since this can range from entry level minimum wage positions to an experienced freelancer making six figures per year. The good news is that there are virtually no limits to a web designer’s salary. Successful entrepreneurs can demand up to $10,000 per website and if they are efficient designers, they can handle multiple clients and projects.
Being a good web designer means obtaining skills and experience in all aspects of the industry, from graphics to programming. However, an interior design company might be more interested in graphics and Flash while a large corporation may be more interested in SEO (search engine optimization) elements. Even the best web designers are naturally more talented or skilled in one aspect of their field, and specialties impact salaries.
Salary Range for Web Designers
According to Salary.com, the average salary for a web designer is $45,000 – $55,000 per year. This is a fair assessment for a permanent, full-time employee. However, keep in mind that many web designers actually have different titles such as designer, web developer, and graphic artist. Reviewing the title and job description for a job posting are ways to gauge what type of web design an employer needs.
Freelance and Full-Time Options for Web Designers
Some web designers are entrepreneurs, contractors, or freelancers and these professionals can often demand much more per hour or per website than full-time employees. This sort of contract work can be very lucrative to a person with a good business sense and a strong work ethic. Self-employment is also relatively unstable, there are no company-provided benefits, and these professionals are constantly marketing themselves and looking for new projects.
On the other hand, the freedom of being self-employed and the unlimited earning potential are perfect for some people. Individuals should consider what type of work environment they prefer. It is also possible to earn a good salary working full-time for a company, though these positions usually require experience, an impressive portfolio, sometimes a degree, and an in-demand specialty, such as SEO.
Professionals who own their own business or freelance have to project a professional, confident image. Just like in any sales environment, web designers are selling themselves. The technology industry is booming, but there is also a lot of competition. Professionals need to figure out how to stand out above the rest and make a prospective employer or client choose them over the potentially hundreds of other applicants or bidders.
Skills and Abilities of Web Designers
Professionals who are successful web designers have a few character traits in common. Of course, having a knack for technology, programming languages, and an eye for design is critical. Effective communication skills are also critical to career success.
Web designers work with numerous people to gather requirements when building or updating websites. Web designers must be able to communicate effectively with many different types of people. They also must cultivate the ability to determine business requirements for websites, and cannot become easily frustrated when clients or business partners repeatedly change their minds about style or content.
Holding a degree in a related field is one way to get noticed in this competitive job market. A degree in computer science or graphic design is one way to get a leg up on the competition. This is not required for many employers, but it is a surefire way to increase the odds of getting a particular job, client, or promotion.