Learn more about careers in web design. Find information on web design careers, job outlook, salary, and recommended schools. View popular schools that prepare students for careers as web designers.
When surfing the internet many of us have come across web pages that were easy to use and others that were a logistical nightmare. The ease of use of a webpage and website is often the result of the efforts made by the web designer to create the page. Web designers synthesize artistic capabilities with technical computer skills to develop and manage websites. The expertise and capabilities of the web designer is clearly represented in the final product. Pages that are logical, easy to use and follow indicate that the web designer has the technical and artistic skills needed to be competent at his or her job.
The web designer’s job typically begins with a concept for a website. Businesses or individuals seeking to launch a website seek the services of a web designer to create a concept for the site. Once a basic format has been agreed upon, the web designer is charged with the responsibility of making the vision to life. Websites are typically constructed to provide critical information to users. In addition, some web designers will be required to add specific features such as an online shopping cart or interactive catalog. In order to make these features work, web designers must have an understanding of various software and hardware packages and their use to ensure the web site functions effectively.
Although the field of web design appears to be singly related to the development and production of websites, in actuality web design includes a broad range of careers and activities that are integral to the success of a website. Specifically, the field of web design can include the following occupations:
• Computer Scientists and Database Administrators: The professionals work behind the scenes on websites to ensure that they are safe and secure. Once the design of the website is complete, professionals in this area of expertise will be responsible for maintain the site and ensuring data security.
• Desktop Publishers: Desktop publishers are responsible for integrating text, data and pictures into the website. This position focuses on creating a product that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional for the user.
• Web Authors, Writers and Editors: Most of the information provided on the internet, including this article, had to be written by someone. Because web design incorporates data and information, individuals writing and editing content for websites are also included in the larger profession of web design.
In addition to these careers, there are other support services that are integral to the success of web design. For instance, computer programmers may be needed to help improve a website’s functionality. Further, graphic designers can lend their expertise to help improve the visual attributes of a website.
Salaries for professionals working in web design will vary based on the specific area of specialization in which the individual is employed. In general the median annual salary for all professionals working in web design was $51,261 in 2008. Professionals working specifically in database administration can expect to earn average annual salaries of $66,310 while those working in desktop publishing command annual average salaries of $36,600. Web writers, authors and editors command annual average salaries of $53,070. Although the salary data provided here does provide some insight into the specific earnings that can be acquired by those working in the field of web design, it is important to note that many professionals in this field are self-employed. Self-employment in web design provides the professional to gain experience in a number of different web design areas. The type of experience can increase the skill level of the professional and his or her earning potential.
Growth in web design positions is expected to be higher than average through 2018. Increased demand for web-based services coupled with the continued expansion of the internet will fuel the need for various types of web design professionals. One specific area in which notable growth continues to occur is web writing. Even though the number of newspapers and print publications continue to decline, demand for online writers continues to increase. Web writing is a unique area of specialization that requires skills different from those used in print writing. Web designers working in all areas will have access to more job opportunities based education and experience. Individuals seeking positions in this field need to be able to combine technical expertise with an artistic talent (e.g., graphic design, publishing, writing, etc.) to offer employers the best possible web design services. Because of the nature of the work, freelance and contract positions in web design will be more numerous than full-time, office jobs.