Web Designer Salary: Your 2022 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.

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With one of the most flexible and in-demand jobs in the tech industry, web designers are well-compensated for their work, with the average web designer salary in 2022 being $58,517. If you enter the market as a junior web designer, you can expect a salary of $50,123. After gaining more experience, you could become a senior web designer, where the average salary is over $80,816 [1]. You may earn much more by working as a freelance web designer or starting your own business. 

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 it can cover the whole website build and development, too. You may also formulate website structure and navigation. The scope of the role varies based on your client. 

In a web design job, you are typically responsible for:

  • 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

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. 

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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

  • Ecommerce brands

  • Freelance and contract work

  • Newspapers, magazines, and other media companies

  • Universities and colleges

  • Web design agencies

What do web designers earn?

Earnings in the web design profession can vary based on national and international location.

The type of employer, the amount of experience you have, and your employment status can also impact your salary.

Location matters for web designers. 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. The average base salary for a web designer is $62,819 per year [1]. Still, it's important to note these averages reflect a wide range of experience in web design, from entry-level to senior professionals.

The salaries earned by web designers vary widely between locations in the US. Here are some of the cities and the average annual salaries their web designers earn:

  • New York - $70,010 [2]

  • San Francisco - $75,681 [3]

  • Los Angeles - $69,091 [4]

  • Boston - $66,270 [5]

  • Austin - $65,177 [6]

  • Philadelphia - $69,877 [7]

  • Ohio - $58,343[8]

  • New Mexico - $53,845 [9]

Employment status and salary

Web designers work in a variety of ways. Employed web designers can expect to earn an average of $58,517 per year, while the average freelance web designer's annual salary is $79,156 [10]. When working on a contract, either on-site or from home, you can expect to earn an average of $60,527 annually [11].

Job title variations and salary

Regarding job titles, all the different names for web designers can be confusing. The same job title can mean something completely different at different companies—or even within the same company.

The following list identifies eleven common web design job titles with their average salaries in the US to help you navigate this complex landscape.

  • Chief web designer - average salary is$108,684 / yr [12]

  • Lead web designer - average salary is $78,220/ yr [13]

  • Senior web designer - average salary is$90,678 / yr [14]

  • Front-end developer/engineer - average salary is $81,780 / yr [15]

  • UX designer - average salary is $77,102 / yr [16]

  • UI designer - average salary is $79,083 / yr [17]

  • Visual designer - average salary is$68,875/ yr [18]

  • HTML5 developer - average salary is $83,005/ yr [19]

  • HTML CSS developer - average salary is$68,701 / yr [20]

  • Full-stack developer/web developer - average salary is $88,937 / yr [21]

  • Mobile app designer/developer - average salary is $74,890 / yr [22]

Note: All US salary information is taken from Glassdoor, and is accurate as of August 2022.

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

Professional development

Working as a web designer makes it easy to get caught up in the actual work. You're constantly designing and developing websites for your clients or overseeing these projects for your company. That's great; you're doing what you love to do. However, it's essential that you also keep an eye on any areas of professional improvement you need—such as professional development—to boost your career prospects further. 

Professional development is essential to any career path, especially in web design and development, where things change rapidly. You may increase your salary if you stay on top of trends and have completed courses, certifications, and professional certificates.

How do I qualify to become a web designer?

You do not usually need a formal education to become a web designer. However, both associate and bachelor's degrees in web design can help you get your foot in the door with a web design agency or a web team in a company. To be considered for jobs, you should build your web design competencies, knowledge, and experience. By completing personal projects and working on freelance and pro bono website designs, you can build a portfolio to impress potential employers.

The skills needed to succeed as a web designer 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.

Start learning today

You can find many online resources that can help you learn new skills. You need time, effort, and dedication, and you can learn web design. This Web Design for Everybody course offered by the University of Michigan or Google's UX Design Professional Certificate could be an excellent place to start your journey.

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Article sources

1

Glassdoor, “How much does a Web Designer make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/web-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm” Accessed August 30, , 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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