With the explosion of the internet comes many exciting careers. Learning how to become a web designer can be very rewarding. This career offers many opportunities from working for a large company to working for yourself.
As a web designer, you will be responsible for many things. Of course, your main duties will have to do with the design of websites. Understanding all your job duties is important. Let’s look at what you will do as a web designer and how to become one.
Job Duties of a Web Designer
You will have many job duties as a web designer. All elements of a website will be a part of your domain. You will help to create and choose the visual aspects of the website including the colors, layout, graphics, and fonts. Your main responsibility is to create aesthetically pleasing websites with excellent functionality.
Web designers have the ability to create branding online for their clients or employer. They can work with multiple clients as freelance designers or for a single company as an employer. In some cases, you will also be responsible for creating landing pages and handling the coding on the backend of the website.
How to Become a Web Designer in 5 Steps
Step #1 – Gain the Necessary Skills
There are several ways to go about getting the necessary skills. If you want to become a web designer, you will need to gain specific skills in graphic software, programming languages, web design theory, and search engine optimization.
These skills can be gained by getting the right college degree. A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or computer programming can be very helpful. However, it’s also common for web designers to be self-taught.
Some of the types of training you can use to become a web designer include:
- Photoshop training
- SEO training
- Training in WordPress or Joomla
Many online courses and programs can help you learn the necessary skills to become a web designer.
Step #2 – Gain the Right Certifications
If you plan to work for an employer, or you want to attract better clients, you want the right certifications. Some of the best verifications for web designers include:
- Adobe Certified Expert – When you become an Adobe Certified Expert, you will be able to show you’re trained in many areas of web design.
- Google Mobile Web Specialist – This certification allows you to show you are skilled in the design of mobile applications. If you want to provide better services for your clients or a better resume, this is the right certification for you.
Many web designers will get multiple certifications to add to their resumes and portfolio.
Step #3 – Create Your First Website
You will need to design a website for yourself to show off your skills. This should be where you showcase the skills and qualifications you have. Think of it as your online resume.
When you design your website, it can be used as a resume for employers or to attract freelance clients. Make sure you show off the talents you have with the design of your own website.
Step #4 – Build a Portfolio
Unlike some careers, this type of career will require a portfolio. This will do more for you than getting a college degree. Your portfolio can show your experience and how you have gained new skills over time. It can also help you show off your certifications.
Step #5 – Specialize in a Specific Area
You can specialize in designing websites for a specific industry or in a specific way. Maybe you have a specific type of design you’re an expert at or you know a specific industry inside and out. Specializing can help you charge higher rates or land better jobs.
Web Designer vs. Web Developer
You may be wondering what the difference is between a web designer and a web developer. A web designer will work on the appearance and the user experience of the website. They will handle the visual elements and may use animation or illustration, along with branding design and even calligraphy.
A web developer, on the other hand, will work on the back-end of the website. They will focus on how the website functions on the front end and the back end. This may include work with the databases and servers.
While these are two different positions, it’s not uncommon for designers and developers to work together. They may need to communicate to ensure things function and look as planned.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Web Designer
How much can I make as a web designer?
According to Indeed.com, the average hourly pay for a web designer is about $24. However, this pay can be higher with more experience. You can also make considerably more if you work as a freelance web designer.
Top employers will pay far more for good web designers. some will pay more than $45 per hour with the best employers paying over $65 per hour.
Your location may also help to determine your wage. Washington D.C. is the highest paying city with Atlanta, Phoenix, New York City, and Denver all paying higher than the national average.
If you have the right skills, you will likely earn a higher salary, as well. An IAT Level II certification can help you earn a much higher salary. An IAT certification can also help. If you’re skilled in Scrum, Agile, SharePoint, Sketch, or ASP.NET, you can also earn a higher salary than the average.
What type of benefits will I get as a web designer?
If you work for an employer, you will likely get a benefits package as a web designer. This will likely include health insurance and a 401(k). Some employers offer matching for your 401(k), along with dental and vision insurance. You may gain the ability to work from home or access to an on-site gym.
Some employers provide paid time off, stock options, and a flexible schedule. If you work as a freelance web designer, you will not gain any benefits. Since you work for yourself, you can work from home, but you will need to supply all of the other benefits for yourself.
What are some of the most common jobs similar to web designers?
You can work in many areas of web design and development. Some of the jobs similar to that of a web designer include:
- Graphic Designer
- Front End Developer
- Web Developer
- User Interface Designer
- WordPress Developer
- User Experience Designer
These jobs are all a bit different but work with the web presence of the client.
Can I advance my career if I become a web designer?
Yes. Many web designers advance to the position of art director. If you work as a freelance designer, you can control how many clients you take on and how much you charge. With an employer, you can advance to the art director position and possibly higher to become a web developer.
Can I work from home as a web designer?
In many cases, especially in today’s world, web designers do work from home. Even if you work for an employer, you will likely work from home at least some of the time, if not all of the time.
Is the job of a web designer in high demand?
Yes, this is a high-demand career. It’s expected to grow by about 13% over the next ten years. This is more than twice as fast as the average growth rate of all occupations.
What is the work environment common to the position of a web designer?
Most web designers will work in front of a computer all day long. They will work a full-time schedule, usually with regular business hours. Some overtime is common, especially for freelance web designers.
When a project has a deadline, it will likely include long hours. You may have to work some nights and weekends, in these cases.
Do I need a degree to become a web designer?
No, you do not need a degree. However, about 64% of web designers hold a bachelor’s degree. Only 17% have just a high school diploma or GED. Another 13% hold an associate’s degree and 6% hold a master’s degree.
There are many rewarding careers out there to choose from. The right career for you might be one as a web designer. This type of position can open many doors. You can even work from home and work for yourself.
If you are a creative person and you want to enjoy a rewarding career, working as a web designer might be for you. You now know how to become a web designer. It may include getting a college degree or taking some courses online. Either way, this is a rewarding career you can enjoy for many years to come.