Web Designer Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • 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.

With one of the most flexible and in-demand jobs in the tech industry, web designers are well-compensated for their work, with an average base salary of $53,783 as of April 2024 [1]. After gaining more experience, you could become a senior web designer, where the average salary is $55,194. You may earn much more by working as a freelance web designer or starting your own business. 

Additional pay may include commissions, bonuses, or profit sharing. Remember that your employer, experience, and location can also impact your salary. 

What does a web designer do?

Web designers are creative professionals who develop a website’s look and feel. 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 and development. You may also formulate website structure and navigation. The scope of the role varies depending 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 an e-commerce website. 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. 

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 web design career, 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

What do web designers earn?

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

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

Freelance and contract web designer salaries

Web designers work in various ways. You can work as a freelance web designer instead of being directly employed by a company. Freelancing is a type of self-employment that allows you to set your own pay range per project. Freelance web designers earn an average annual salary of $55,194 [2]. 

Contract web designers are hired to complete a specific project during a predetermined period. Typically, contract workers are employed by a staffing firm under the employer's direction. When working on a contract, either on-site or from home, you can expect an average of $54,322 annually [3].

Job title variations and salaries

Regarding job titles, web designers go by different names. Titles for web designer jobs can vary based on experience level, industry, specialization, and company.

The following list identifies nine common web design job titles with their average annual salaries in Canada:

Note: All Canadian salary information from Glassdoor is accurate as of April 2024.

  • Chief web designer: $55,194 

  • Senior web designer: $67,281 

  • Front-end engineer: $123,394

  • UX designer: $77,356

  • Visual designer: $67,858

  • HTML5 developer: $74,727

  • HTML CSS developer: $64,106

  • Full-stack developer/web developer: $78,475

  • Mobile app designer/developer: $80,649

Professional development

Working as a web designer makes getting caught up in the actual work easy. 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 to 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, associate’s and bachelor's degrees in web design can help you get a job with a web design agency or a company's web team. 

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 the latest trends

  • Proficiency in web programming language skills, such as PHP, Java, HTML, CSS

  • Understanding of UX/UI principles

  • Understanding of database-driven websites and MySQL

  • Awareness of mobile-first concepts and responsive design

  • Experience with Google Analytics

  • Knowledge of search engine optimization

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

Start learning today with Coursera.

Many online resources can help you learn new skills. With time, effort, and dedication, you can learn web design. The University of Michigan’s Web Design for Everybody course or Google's UX Design Professional Certificate could be an excellent place to start your journey.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Web Designer salaries in Canada, https://www.glassdoor.ca/Salaries/canada-web-designer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,6_IN3_KO7,19.htm?clickSource=careerNav” Accessed April 17, 2024.

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