Web Design Jobs Outlook Through 2022

Key skills that will be in demand for web designers and developers

Web designer developing responsive website layout
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If you're considering becoming a web designer, now is the perfect time to make that leap. Every organization from large corporations to small non-profits needs a website, so the outlook for web design jobs will remain promising for the foreseeable future.

What Does "Web Design" Mean?

In addition to creating websites, web designers are sometimes tasked with the long-term management and marketing of an organization's digital presence. All of these responsibilities may fall under the category of "web design jobs":

  • Creating the visual design of web pages
  • Developing web pages
  • Writing web applications
  • Conducting user testing
  • Managing social media accounts

Large companies can hire one person for each of these jobs, while smaller businesses might just have a single web designer. Thus, the web profession is made up of both generalists and specialists. Of these various job titles, web developers have the best outlook through 2022. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics:

Employment of web developers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and e-commerce.

Employers often use the terms web design and web development interchangeably. Web development is technically a broader field that can be broken down into front-end and back-end development. Web designers typically only deal with the front-end, or the parts of the website that users can see. Back-end web developers, on the other hand, focus on keeping the servers running, monitoring metrics, and optimizing load times. Nonetheless, many employers prefer to hire designers who are familiar with all aspects of the development pipeline.

Web Design Educational Requirements

Most web designers have at least an associates degree, even if its in an unrelated field. Many web professionals who have been in the industry for many years do not have a formal education in web design because there were no accredited web design programs when they first entered the industry.

There are now thousands of web design courses taught by industry professionals, so designers entering the field today are expected to have a degree related to web design in some way. However, having a strong web design portfolio with examples of your best work is more important than any diploma or certificate, so take advantage of any internships or volunteer opportunities to gain piratical experience.

If you're coming from the field of graphic design, the skills that you already have will serve you well, but you should also learn the basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Writing for the Web Is in Demand

If you have good writing skills, becoming a web writer is a great way to get into the industry. If you also understand how to build web pages with HTML and CSS, you'll be in higher demand since you will also be able to manage the websites for which you are creating content.

Some web writers and content strategists create content specifically for web pages. Others focus more on the digital marketing side of the industry, creating copy for email campaigns or social media plans. If you want to get into the web design industry through writing, you should study the basics of writing for an online audience and search engine optimization (SEO).

How Much Do Web Designers Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the median annual salary for web designers was about $70,000 in 2018. The low end of the pay scale for web designers is about $40k while the high end tops out at $125k. Web developers are likely to make more than designers, with median salaries of about $80k and a high-end of about $180k.

Salaries for web designers and developers can differ greatly depending on their location, with salaries in larger cities like New York or San Francisco generally being much higher than those in smaller areas. Many web designers/developers decide to go into business for themselves by starting their own agencies. Freelance web designers have the luxury of choosing their clients and charging as much as they want.