Hot Job: Web Designer

Typographic image of the words web designer.

Do you have a sharp eye for detail, a creative mind and technical finesse? That's exactly what employers seek in a web designer. Following is a look at typical job duties, education and skills requirements, as well as web designer salary benchmarks for 2017.

The demand for digital design aptitude isn't slowing down. Good web designers are a must-have in any organization today. Hiring managers are moving quickly to snag top web design talent, and highly qualified candidates are seeing multiple job offers.

In fact, when asked which roles are most difficult to fill, web design/production was the top response among advertising and marketing executives recently surveyed by The Creative Group. Web design/production was also cited as the top area where executives plan to add staff in the first half of 2017. (See the infographic below.)

“As consumers’ expectations increase, more companies are realizing good design is no longer an option – it’s a business imperative,” says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “As a result, job growth and salaries are increasing for web designers who can create unique and user-friendly websites that cater to target audiences.”

Here's a look at a typical web designer job description and the average salary that goes with it. Use this information to ensure you're one of those job seekers who gets multiple offers ­– at the best pay.

Job duties and expectations

Responsibilities listed in a web designer job description can vary, depending on the needs of the firm or department. But these duties are generally involved:

  • Meet with internal stakeholders or external clients to discuss objectives for Internet and intranet sites and other online projects
  • Provide expert creative guidance on the overall look, feel and functionality of web design projects
  • Create concepts in design programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Know languages such as HTML and JavaScript
  • Create compelling artwork (including images, icons, banners) and layouts that are appealing and user-friendly
  • Conduct quality assurance work to identify possible problems before launch
  • Commit to staying current with software developments and web trends

Work experience and skills

Although a particular college degree isn't required, a degree in design, information technology or computer science is a plus. When an employer writes a web designer job description, however, experience often trumps education. 

Creating a strong online portfolio is key. You'll also need a command of CSS and web design issues, including browser and cross-platform consistency. 

Sometimes employers go another step and add "web developer skills" to the job description. Take this into account when applying for jobs. If being a web designer/developer appeals to you, brush up on your coding skills and knowledge of responsive design, web protocols and markup languages. And make sure your portfolio includes projects that demonstrate your developer abilities.

And don't forget about soft skills, such as adaptability and project management. It's important that your collaboration and communication skills are top-notch, especially since you'll need to develop a rapport with clients and team members.

Web designer salary benchmarks

According to The Creative Group Salary Guide, the average starting salary for web design professionals with one to five years of experience ranges from $70,500 to $86,500. For those with more than five years of experience, the average salary range jumps to $83,250 to $118,000. Use our Salary Calculator to adjust these salaries for your city. 

Think this job was designed for you? Search our available web designer jobs now.

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