How to Become a Web Designer

By June 21, 2016 Careers
How to become a web designer

This continues our IT Career series. These are designed to introduce you to the variety of career options in information technology and how you can get started.

Every website you visit, whether a small mom and pop ecommerce site or a giant social media website like Facebook, was designed by someone (or a team of “someone’s”). That someone is a web designer.

Web design is an exciting field that requires both creative and technical skills. In addition to a creative imagination, web designers should possess coding skills, be able to work under strict deadlines, and develop solutions to turn their clients dreams into reality. Think this role may be for you? Here is how to become a web designer.

What Exactly Is a Web Designer?

As mentioned, web designers are responsible for creating the millions of websites used around the world every day. They may create a site from scratch or use existing templates to get the job done. Before starting a project, a web designer’s priority is to understand the client’s need and audience. For example, a website for a doctor’s office serves a different role and audience than one for a children’s television show. With their own experience and savvy, a skilled web designer can work successfully with a variety of clients – creating both serious and fun content.

One great advantage to a web designer’s job is the freedom and flexibility. Some work on a freelance basis, where they’re hired by companies to create sites on a project-by-project basis. Other web designers may seek greater stability and find a firm or company that will hire them full-time.

What Is a Web Designer’s Average Annual Salary?

Like many jobs, the salary a web designer can earn depends on various factors, including whether they are freelance or hired employees and their geographical location. Many web designers in the United States bring home about $46,000. Some may make less, with the lower end of the salary spectrum reported at $32,000 a year. There’s room to make even more than the average $46,000 though, with some web designers earning between $57,000 to $70,000 every year.

What Kind of Experience Do You Need to Become a Web Designer?

Generally, it’s recommended to have experience with database management, design, coding, programming, and HMTL before applying for a web designer job. You should be comfortable using .Net, JavaScript, CSS, Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and more. Those who studied computer science have an advantage. An associate’s degree may suffice for an entry-level position, but a bachelor’s degree is required for more advanced design jobs.

Certifications aren’t always required to get a web designer job, but they only improve a candidate’s chances. Some certifications that will make a job candidate stand out among the pack include an HMTL developer certification, a Dreamweaver MX certification, and a certification in Flash. You can also become a certified technology specialist, a certified web professional, and a certified Internet webmaster, but these titles must be bestowed by the World Organization of Webmasters.

Who’s Hiring Web Designers?

As mentioned, as a web designer, you may seek to be your own boss and work on a freelance basis, designing sites for companies as needed. However, whether you’re trying to appeal to a freelance employee or a permanent company, the application process is similar. You’re competing with thousands of other designers who all proudly tout their services.

To appeal to hiring companies, a web designer has to be able to deliver work in a timely manner, be available to answer questions the company may have about any aspects of the web design process, and be available for site maintenance. The terms of a contract may differ from client to client though.

Overall, web design is a fast-growing job that rewards creativity and provides room for a flexible schedule. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that nearly 40,000 more web designers will enter the field between 2014 and 2024, with a reported growth of 27 percent. This field is growing more than most jobs. As of 2014, it’s estimated that there were 148,500 web designer jobs available in the US, and that number will surely keep increasing.




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