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.

Web design is one of the tech industry’s most flexible and in-demand field. According to Glassdoor, web designers in the UK earn an average salary of £31,515 per year[1]. After gaining more experience, you could become a senior web designer, where the average salary is over £43,627 [2]. Keep in mind that your employer, experience, and location can also impact your salary.

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)

  • Optimising 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 websites, 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 may do 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

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.

To get a sense of the average salary for web designers in the UK, Glassdoor provides the ability to look at job postings across the region. The average salary range for a web designer is £23,000 to £38,000 per year [3]. Still, it's important to note these figures reflect a wide range of experience in web design, from entry-level to senior professionals.

Here are some of the cities and the average annual salaries their web designers earn:

  • London: £37,661 [4]

  • Birmingham: £26,189 [5]

  • Glasgow: £27,772 [6]

  • Liverpool: £26,439 [7]

  • Edinburgh: £26,705 [8]

  • Manchester: £31,219 [9]

  • Leeds: £27,527 [10]

  • Sheffield: £25,618 [11]

Employment status and salary

Instead of being employed by a company directly, you can work as a freelance web designer which is a type of self-employment. It can allow you to set your own pay range per project.In comparison, the average freelance web designer earns £31,259 with a possible additional compensation of  £407 to £16,925 annually [12]. When working on a contract, whether on-site or from home, the average salary for this position can increase additionally. 

Job title variations and salary

Titles for web designer jobs can vary based on experience level, industry, and specialization. The following list identifies eleven common web design job titles with their average salaries in the UK to help you navigate this complex landscape.

  • Chief web designer: £33,413 [13]

  • Lead web designer:£33,413 [14]

  • Senior web designer: £43,627 [15]

  • Front-end developer/engineer: £46,994 [16]

  • UX designer: £53,356 [17

  • UI designer: £51,716 [18]

  • Visual designer: £43,104 [19]

  • HTML5 developer: £48,105 [20]

  • HTML CSS developer: £39,990 [21]

  • Full-stack developer: £51,798 [22]

  • Mobile app designer/developer: £53,475 [23]

How do I qualify to become a web designer?

Although it’s not required to have formal education to become a web designer, some employers may require a higher national diploma or degree in web design and development. Entry requirements for these programmes usually include one or two A levels for a higher national diploma and two to three A levels for a degree. 

Completion of specific college courses can additionally boost your resume and attract employers, such as the Level 3 Certificate in Web Design and Development, T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development, and Level 4 Diploma in IT Web Design. Many of the skills used in a web designer job will be taught during these courses. 

To be considered for jobs, you should also 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 optimisation

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

Start learning today with Coursera

If you’re interested in starting a career in graphic design, consider Google’s UX Design Professional Certificate on Coursera. This programme is designed for beginners to learn in-demand UX skills 100 per cent online at your own pace. Upon completion, gain exclusive access to career resources like resume review, interview prep, and career support. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Web Designer Salaries in United Kingdom, https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/uk-web-designer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN2_KO3,15.htm?clickSource=searchBtnn.” Accessed July 19, 2023.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

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.