Becoming a web designer is a viable career option for anyone who’s creative and capable of understanding basic programming techniques. These jobs offer the ability to use artistic skills in a high-demand field and provide extensive personal satisfaction. They don’t always come with the benefits and stability found in conventional positions, however. Some web designers choose to freelance instead of working for a firm. If you’ve always wanted to do more than just make your own website, a web designer job might be for you.
Scope of the Work
Web designers are responsible for producing the visual appearance of a webpage, including typography, graphics, layout and color schemes. They may perform some light programming, but most web programming is done by web developers rather than designers. Web designers are expected to communicate regularly with clients, to keep up to date on the latest design trends, and to understand technology as well as they understand artistic principles.
The amount of education required to get a web designer job can vary significantly. Some designers have advanced degrees in marketing, business administration or computer science. Others have degrees specifically in web design, or in an art-related field. A significant percentage of the web design community is partially or completely self taught, however. It is possible to get web design jobs from the skills you learn when you make your own website, plus a high quality portfolio.
Types of Designers
The field of design encompasses a wide range of skills and knowledge sets. The job of a designer who works primarily in basic HTML or who uses a WYSIWYG editor is fundamentally different than that of someone who works in advanced HTML, XML or other higher-skill techniques. It’s also different from that of a web developer or programmer, who may perform design tasks but is also responsible for programming in Java or setting up databases and executive network content management systems. Both people who want to become designers and the customers who hire them need to know a bit about what type of pages a given kind of designer can create.
Pay and Job Outlook
As in many other creative fields, these jobs offer a wide range of pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wave of a graphic designer is about $43,000 as of 2010. This comes out to about $21 per hour, but actual wages can vary a lot. Freelance designers may need to charge high hourly fees to account for additional unpaid work they perform, such as self-promotion and basic business maintenance. The lower 10 percent of the design workforce makes less than $26,000 per year, while the top 10 percent earns more than $76,000. Demand for workers in this field is expected to grow by about 13 percent overall, but designers in computer systems-related fields may experience much faster growth.
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