Web Designer Salary: Your 2023 Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

How much does a web designer earn? Find out about the factors affecting freelance, contract, and employed work with this guide to web design salaries.

[Featured Image] A web developer wearing a gray shirt and a gold watch sits at a desk in front of two desktop computers, with a blackboard with stickies, as well as other information.

Web design is one of the tech industry's most flexible and in-demand fields. Web designers are well-compensated for their work, with an average total pay of $64,193 per year in the US. This figure includes a base web designer salary of $59,302 and $4,892 in additional pay [1]. Additional pay may include commissions, bonuses, or profit sharing. Remember that your employer, experience, and location can also impact salary.

Web designer salary by experience level

Entry-level web designer salaries range from $45,000-$71,000 per year. Job seekers with 0-1 year of experience can expect a salary within that range. For junior web designers, the annual salary range rises to $48,000-$75,000. This pay range is typical for those with 1-3 years of experience. Experienced web designers who have worked in the field for 4-6 years earn an average annual salary between $51,000-$80,000. Senior web designer salaries range from $55,000-86,000 per year [1].

All salaries listed include the average base salary and total pay in the US.

Web designer salary by location

Earnings in the web design profession can vary based on national and international location. To get a sense of the average salary for web designers in the US, Glassdoor provides the ability to look at job postings across the country. Still, it's important to note these averages reflect a wide range of experience in web design, from entry-level to senior professionals. The list below outlines a few states with the highest average annual web designer salaries in the US [2].

  • Washington - $84,645

  • Massachusetts - $83,957

  • Virginia - $79,373

  • Oregon - $70,323

  • New York - $72,624

Freelance and contract web designer salaries

Instead of being employed by a company directly, you can work as a freelance web designer. Freelancing is a type of self-employment. It can allow you to set your own pay range per project. On average, freelance web designers in the US earn an annual salary of $50,416 [3].

Contract web designers are hired to complete a specific project during a predetermined period of time. Typically, contract workers are employed by a staffing firm under the direction of the employer. Contract web designers in the US earn an average of $68,534 annually [4].

Job title variations and salaries

Titles for web designer jobs can vary based on experience level, industry, and specialization. You can review 11 of the most common alternative job titles for web designers in the list below.

Note: All average annual US base salary information is sourced from Glassdoor in February 2023 [1].

  • Chief web designer: $107,521

  • Lead web designer: $83,507

  • Senior web designer: $95,557

  • Front-end developer/engineer: $78,447

  • UX (user experience) designer: $81,092

  • UI (user interface) designer: $83,095

  • HTML CSS developer: $69,984

  • Full-stack web developer: $79,447

Read more: Web Designer vs. Web Developer: How the Jobs Differ

What does a web designer do?

Web designers are creative professionals who develop the look and feel of a website. As a designer, you may begin by drawing a website design digitally before converting it to a functioning website through web development. You may collaborate with other designers, copywriters, and marketing specialists to ensure their vision comes to life.

The role can involve pure design work or cover the whole website build, including development. You may also formulate website structure and navigation. Generally, the scope of the role varies based on the client or employer. Job requirements for web designers are likely to include the following:

  • Creating sitemaps and structures based on business needs

  • Designing mockups using design software like Photoshop or Sketch

  • Developing wireframes based on user interface/user experience (UI/UX)

  • Optimizing websites for speed and scalability

  • Testing websites in different browsers and devices

  • Writing code using HTML/CSS/JavaScript or a content management system like WordPress or Drupal

Read more: 5 Types of Programming Languages

Web design specializations

As a web designer, you may focus on creating one specific type of website, such as e-commerce websites. Alternatively, you might create various website types, including blogs, online stores, social media, magazines, and commercial portfolio websites. As you gain more experience, you may become a specialist in a particular area of web design which can lead to higher-profile projects with greater earning potential. 

Read more: How to Become a Web Designer

Where do web designers work?

Web designers tend to fall into one of two categories:

  • Those who work in-house or on a contract basis as part of a web team or agency

  • Those who run their own freelance or agency business

Self-employment is a significant part of the field, and freelance web designers often work on a contract basis. Many web designers have a home office and do a lot of their work remotely, sometimes for clients in other areas of the world.

As you build a career as a web designer, you may work in different settings with different types of clients or employers. Here are some of the types of companies that employ web designers:

  • Consulting firms

  • Corporate businesses with an internal web team

  • E-commerce brands

  • Freelance and contract work

  • Newspapers, magazines, and other media companies

  • Universities and colleges

  • Web design agencies

How to become a web designer

To be considered for web designing jobs, you should build your web design skills, knowledge, and experience. Sixty-seven percent of web designers have a bachelor's degree, 18 percent have an associate degree, and 4 percent have a high school diploma [5]. Relevant areas of study include graphic design and computer science.

Gain the essential web design skills

Essential web designer skills include:

  • Knowledge of web design best practices and latest trends

  • Web programming language skills, such as Php, Java, HTML, CSS

  • An understanding of UX/UI principles

  • A good understanding of database-driven websites and MySQL

  • Awareness of mobile-first concepts and responsive design

  • Experience with Google Analytics

  • Knowledge of search engine optimization

  • Hone skills with WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Shopify, WooCommerce, and other website and e-commerce platforms.

Enhance your resume

Professional development is essential to any career path, especially in web design and development, where things change rapidly. Some employers may prefer candidates with relevant web design certifications.

The list below includes a few online courses, Professional Certificates, and specializations led by industry leaders like IBM, Meta, and Google. These can help you expand your skills as a web designer and enhance your resume simultaneously.

  • Google UX Design Professional Certificate: With this Google Career Certificate program, you'll learn to apply user experience design (UXD) fundamentals like user-centered design and accessibility. By the end, you'll have created a professional UX portfolio with three end-to-end projects: a mobile app, a responsive website, and a cross-platform experience.


professional certificate

Google UX Design

This is your path to a career in UX design. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.


(59,889 ratings)

756,027 already enrolled


Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

User Experience (UX), UX Research, Wireframe, Prototype, User Experience Design (UXD), Usability Testing, mockup, Figma, Adobe XD, UX design jobs

  • IBM Full-Stack Developer Professional Certificate: This Professional Certificate by IBM is designed to prepare you for a career in application development. You'll learn to program using front-end and back-end languages essential to web design and development. By the end, you'll have built a GitHub portfolio with multiple projects.


professional certificate

IBM Full Stack Software Developer

Kickstart your career in application development. Master Cloud Native and Full Stack Development using hands-on projects involving HTML, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, Django, Containers, Microservices and more. No prior experience required.


(3,046 ratings)

18,186 already enrolled


Average time: 4 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cloud Native, Devops, Iaas PaaS Saas, Hybrid Multicloud, Cloud Computing, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML, Git (Software), JavaScript, Cloud Applications, Distributed Version Control (DRCS), open source, Version Control Systems, Github, Web Development, User Interface, React (Web Framework), Front-end Development, back-end development, Server-side JavaScript, express, Computer Science, Data Science, Python Programming, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Web Application, Application development, Flask, Django (Web Framework), Database (DBMS), SQL, Kubernetes, Docker, Containers, Openshift, Swagger, serverless, Microservices, Representational State Transfer (REST), IBM Code Engine, Node.Js

  • Meta Front-End Developer Professional Certificate: This Professional Certificate program was designed by the software engineering experts at Meta to prepare you for a career in front-end development. You'll learn how to build interactive web pages with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript as well as prepare for a coding interview.


professional certificate

Meta Front-End Developer

Launch your career as a front-end developer. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand career and earn a credential from Meta. No degree or prior experience required to get started.


(6,888 ratings)

114,317 already enrolled


Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML, UI/UX design, React, JavaScript, Web Development Tools, User Interface, Front-End Web Development, HTML and CSS, Responsive Web Design, Test-Driven Development, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Linux, Web Development, Bash (Unix Shell), Github, Version Control, Debugging, React (Web Framework), Web Application, Application development, Unit Testing, Web Design, User Experience (UX), Accessibility, Pseudocode, Algorithms, Communication, Data Structure, Computer Science

Web design practice

You can also build your skill set by completing personal projects for your portfolio or working on freelance website designs. The following list includes a few Guided Projects in web design that you can complete in just a couple of hours.

Become a web designer with Coursera

If you're new to the field of web design, a beginner-friendly introductory course like Web Design for Everybody offered by the University of Michigan is a great place to start.



Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding

Learn to Design and Create Websites. Build a responsive and accessible web portfolio using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript


(24,125 ratings)

275,057 already enrolled


Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Web Development, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Html5, JavaScript, Responsive Web Design, Web Design, Web Accessibility, HTML, Style Sheets, Document Object Model (DOM), Bootstrap (Front-End Framework)

Article sources


Glassdoor. “How much does a Web Designer make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/web-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm.” Accessed February 17, 2023.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Develop career skills and credentials to stand out

  • Build in demand career skills with experts from leading companies and universities
  • Choose from over 8000 courses, hands-on projects, and certificate programs
  • Learn on your terms with flexible schedules and on-demand courses