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Web design offers passionate creatives a modern, unique way to express their creativity and visual design talents. It’s an exciting job, especially in this time of growth in the field of web design and development.
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Any web designer will tell you that the job has its ups and downs. But if it’s what you really want to do, it can be a fulfilling career.
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But here’s the big question: Does a website designer’s salary pay the bills? What kind of salary can you expect if you decide to jump into a career in web design? The answer is that it depends on many factors.
Whether you’re a freelancer, full-time employee, or working with WordPress, we’ve rounded up salaries for web designers of all experience levels.
Before you worry about how much a web designer earns, what about the job requirements? Unless you meet them, you won’t be able to get into the industry at all.
First: education. It is not really necessary to have a degree, and employers are increasingly hiring based on experience and talent alone. It’s a gamble, though, so at the very least expect to need an associate’s degree in design, computer technology, or other related skills. A bachelor’s degree would be even better. Check out our guide to the best web design courses online.
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With or without a degree, you’ll need experience and should build a portfolio to showcase your previous work. A good portfolio can get you hired on your own.
Finally, to become a web designer, you will need a variety of skills, some technical and some creative.
As a web designer, your tasks will vary depending on how far along you are in the project. You could spend an entire workday reworking drawings and wireframes for a client, or others coding entire models in HTML.
Start by learning the tools of the trade. The standard Adobe suite (Photoshop, InDesign, KSD, Dreamweaver) is what most web designers still stick to. However, there are many cheaper alternatives. These include Sketch, Figma, InVision Studio, GIMP, UKSPin and many others.
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First: the concept phase. This is where communication skills come in. You will work with others to come up with website concepts, project/production guidelines and deadlines. This simply describes the scope of the project and the ideas floating around.
Then the real work begins. You sketch out site designs and create wireframes until you narrow down a concrete idea. You can create a sitemap to better understand how everything will be laid out.
Then: Models. These are very rough ideas of what the actual website will look like, although you’ll still get a lot of user input. Here you will change the colors, shapes, typography and other elements of the design to make it perfect.
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Once you’ve got your website up and running with the help of a developer, it’s time for testing, followed by implementation. Make sure everything is working properly and nothing is left out. It is a normal process of creating a website on the designer’s side.
While there are several factors that will determine what kind of salary you can expect—amount of experience, skill, or field—it’s good to know the average salary for most designers.
This will give you an idea of what you can expect to do once you’re settled. You can also compare it to the average salaries of other jobs you’re interested in and see which one pays the most. For example, a web developer’s salary typically ranges from $60,000 to $75,000 per year.
These sites are collections of self-reported salaries from creators around the world. They’re not as official as the data collected by the government, but you can assume they’re fairly accurate within a margin of error.
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Compared to what experienced web developers earn, that salary is not much. But while the industry values web design within the development side, you won’t earn cents for your work. You should be able to make a living when you have a steady income.
It’s also a very well-paying visual arts job – you’ll make more than an illustrator, artist, illustrator or photographer.
Web design and UI/UX design go hand in hand. Most designers know enough about user interface to get by, but it’s a complex enough task to decide to focus on it as a career. Think of UI/UX design as a specialized form of web design.
UI, or user interface, designers create links to a website. They fit perfectly into specific spaces, layouts and interactions on the site. While web designers work on the big picture, choosing colors or the general layout of things, user interface designers deal with the smallest details.
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Then there are UKS designers. While UI designers make those details look better, a UX designer’s job is to make them feel better. They make sure that the navigation of the site is excellent and that the animations start at the right time for a perfect experience.
Finally, there are integrated UI/UX designers. These two jobs overlap a lot, so many designers choose to do both exclusively.
This is because it is a specialized job that requires more experience and because large projects are in high demand. Every project, big or small, needs a web designer. But it’s the bigger, better-paying jobs that will employ a wide variety of technical designers.
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Skill level is another factor that will have a big impact on how much you earn as a web designer. More experience means better pay.
As a junior, you will have less than three years of experience. You should have a general knowledge of how web design works, and maybe have a project or two under your belt, but you’ll be allowed to help you get used to the company.
Overall, junior designers earn around $44k per year, well below the average for designers as a whole.
Seniors, on the other hand, usually have 5+ years of experience. You should know what you are doing at that time and have worked on many projects before. This comes with a very high salary bonus.
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As expected, juniors earn less than the average web design salary, while seniors earn more. It’s not an explosion of extra income, but you can definitely expect to earn better once you enter the industry.
Junior and senior positions refer only to paid positions in companies. Many aspiring designers choose to become freelancers, finding clients and taking on projects themselves. How much can you expect to earn during that time?
There isn’t much data because many freelancers don’t report their salaries, and the range of income can vary widely. But successful freelancers seem to earn more than junior designers, earning $68k a year.
If you are good at applying nails, your salary can be quite good. It’s not nearly as reliable as a salaried job, but many people have been able to make a comfortable living.
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WordPress web design and development is a bit of a crowded field. It is one of the easiest platforms to get started with, especially for freelancers. But this means a lot of competition. Don’t expect to earn much unless you specialize in design and marketing.
You would think that someone who could handle all aspects of web design would be a rare and valuable commodity. It takes a lot of skill to be a web designer who can also code, or a developer who can also design. They are also known as “unicorns” in the web development community due to their rarity. But is the payoff worth it?
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Integrated designers and developers definitely earn more than the average salary, but double the workload, you don’t get double the pay. If you enjoy building small websites yourself, this might be a job worth doing, but most of the time your extra funds won’t be used.
Most people will prefer to hire separate designers and developers anyway. And for big projects, there’s no way you can handle everything yourself.
While it can help you as a designer to know how developers handle things, it also allows you to use your own ideas
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