With the Internet constantly growing in popularity, highly-technical people skilled in web design are needed to help keep these websites attractive to customers and operating smoothly. That is where web designers come in. Web designers help businesses and individuals maintain an online presence. Millions of websites can be found online, from shopping malls to hospitals to school and service providers and everything else in between. Having a website and constantly maintaining it is an important and necessary task nowadays. Many businesses would not survive without the services of a web designer.
Most web design positions require a degree in web design or a related technology field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
Web Designer Job Responsibilities
Web designers work closely with clients to gain an idea of what the site should look like. Web designers ideally have some creativity and marketing skills, since the goal of almost all websites is to make them attractive to customers, especially the company’s target audience. Web designers need to be able to create websites that are user friendly and attractive to the company’s audience. Using coding such as HTML, XML and CSS, web designers create content, such as text, and insert images, such as graphics and photos. Since they must be able to manipulate images and incorporate video and audio into websites, they also must be familiar with other software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Java.
Once the web designer has created a draft of the site, they will usually seek customer approval before completion. Once the finalized website is up and running, the web designer’s job does not end there. They have to continue to maintain the site and fix any errors that occur, such as broken links, files not opening properly and slow download times. Per the customer’s request, they may also update the site with new text, such as company news, new photos and graphics, additional files or a new overall design.
Web Designer Training and Education Requirements
Training and education requirements for web designers may vary depending on company size. Major companies will most likely require a bachelor’s degree in web design or information technology. Smaller companies may not require a four-year degree, but may instead ask for some education, a certification or relevant experience, such as a portfolio of some of the candidate’s best work. However, the more education, the better. Those with master’s degrees will have the best opportunities. In any case, continuing education is necessary in order to keep up with the trends and emerging technology involved with the Internet. A strong background in graphic design is highly recommended.
Web Designer Salary and Wages
Web designer salary varies based on company size and location. For example, a small company in a remote area will pay considerably less than a large, well-known major corporation in a metropolitan area. Other factors, such as level of education and the amount of hands-on experience a person has, also play a huge role in determining pay. More experience and education equates in higher pay. Starting salaries for entry-level web designers range from $37,000 to $50,000 a year. The average annual salary for a more experienced web designer ranges from $51,250 to $73,750, with the average at $61,000.*
Those looking to make even more money may want to consider obtaining the skills needed to land a senior web designer position. Although these roles are more technical in nature, they result in much higher pay – anywhere from $85,000 to $100,000.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Web Designer Job Certifications
Web designers looking to increase the number of employment opportunities available to them may opt for a certification. Certifications are available in Web Development Concepts, Web Design Concepts, and Web Design for Accessibility. CIW offers web technology certifications as well, such as the CIW Web Developer Certification. Certifications from various vendors are also available, including Macromedia’s Macromedia Certified Professional Program.
Web Designer Professional Associations
For those we designers looking to become a part of a professional organization, there are plenty to choose from. AIGA, a professional community for those in the design field, is committed to help member discuss design and be inspired by it. Founded in 1914, it is the largest and oldest design organization. With more than 22,000 members, AIGA focuses on five core functions: communication, information, inspiration, representation and validation. AIGA offers its members many benefits, such as design news, savings and inspiration.
The International Webmasters Association (IWA) is a non-profit organization that promotes advancement for web professionals by the way of providing educational and certification standards. IWA supports 200,000 members in 106 countries, making it a worldwide presence among web professionals. Besides classes and other educational opportunities, the organization offers members many job and networking opportunities.
The Association of Web Design Professionals is an association started in 2008 by a small media company who came up with the idea of listing digital media professionals on a website. The website grew in popularity and expanded to include web professionals. The association is free to join and offer many items of interest for members, such as web and marketing articles, a job search tool and the ability to share portfolios with other members.