Home » Professional Development » Starting a Career in Web Design: Nearly Everything You Need to Know
By Anna Ortiz on May 24, 2020
A career in web design is ideal for those who thrive in environments where they have to adapt to keep up with an evolving industry, especially if they bring a significant level of creativity to the table. Web design jobs vary drastically by industry and even by company, which increases your chances of finding the right niche to build a long-term career. Web design job growth is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future and, as an added benefit, companies often offer designers the option of working for home. Many designers decide to work as a freelancer and go into business for themselves. With so many options and a wide-open playing field, web design is an exciting and lucrative career choice with something for just about everyone. As with any other career, you can hedge your bets for success by crafting a clear path to reaching your goal. Here’s what you need to know about preparing for a career in web design.
Web designers are responsible for the individual components of a website that make up the big picture when viewed as a whole. They build the graphics, create navigation pathways, and provide the coding. As they gain experience and expertise, they may be responsible for managing individual design projects and leading teams. Good web designers aren’t only adept at the design aspects of their job; they also have to know which elements will reach target audiences, be able to mirror the client’s unique brand in their design, and tend to other details involved in meeting the clients’ objectives.
Web design is expected to grow much more quickly than most other occupations between now and the year 2028. Job growth is currently at 13% and is expected to remain steady for years to come.
The median salary for web designers is currently slightly less than $50,000 per year or $26 per hour. However, web design isn’t a one-size-fits-all career, and various elements affect how much designers earn. These elements include experience, credentials, and location.
Many web design students struggle with getting their foot in the door because they face the age-old entry-level job seekers’ conundrum: available positions require experience, but it’s impossible to get experience without a job. Fortunately, web design students have the ability to showcase their talents by creating projects mock-ups and putting them in a portfolio to show potential employers.
Job seekers should also strive to make their portfolio look and feel as professional as possible and fine-tune their cover letters to provide a personal touch. Boilerplate cover letters are easy to spot and usually result in the accompanying resume being put at the bottom of the pile. Fortunately, there isn’t any real shortage of entry-level web design jobs.
Many web designers work as freelancers for a variety of reasons, but mostly it’s because they prefer the flexibility of the freelance lifestyle. Taking on different types of projects is an excellent way to gain knowledge and expertise concerning industry specialties. Freelancers essentially act as one-person small businesses, although some go on to start their own design companies after they have a few years of experience under their belt.
Freelancing doesn’t have to be full time, however. Many fledgling web designers pick up freelance work in addition to their day job in order to generate extra income and to build experience.
As mentioned previously, web design is a constantly evolving industry that provides you with the opportunity to learn new skills. In fact, successful web designers realize the importance of updating their skills on a regular basis.
Web design is an exciting career with plenty of potential for creative individuals who want the flexibility to craft a career around their unique needs and preferences. Opportunities exist in nearly all industries and for all work styles, and the field will continue to enjoy healthy job growth for years. It’s an ideal time to begin your adventure with web design. Feel free to contact us at your convenience for more information and inspiration.
The Art Career Project is a trusted resource for emerging and professional artists.