Learn About Being a Web Designer

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published December 10, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

What does a web designer do?

Web designers develop functional and appealing websites for individuals, businesses and government agencies. They use knowledge of computer programming and graphic design to create websites that meet client needs.

Web designers usually handle the following tasks:

Client meetings

Most web designers begin each job by meeting with clients to assess their needs. They identify what kind of information clients need to convey online and how they want the site to appear.

Website coding

After assessing client needs, web designers code websites using computer programming languages. They use these languages to create individual web pages and the overall appearance of the website.

Team collaboration

Many web designers work on larger teams with graphic designers, media creators and computer programmers. They typically collaborate with team members to create more specialized elements, such as animations or e-commerce portals.

Creative integration

After collaborating with their teams, web designers integrate all required elements into a cohesive website. Once they have finished testing the site, the finished product is delivered to the client.

Typical salary

Most web designers work full-time jobs, although some may work part-time. These professionals typically earn hourly rates. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $23.50 per hour

  • Typical salaries range from $7.25  to  $55.50 per hour.

Web designer requirements

Professional web designers usually need a college degree, on-the-job training and several soft skills to do their jobs well.

Education

Web designers typically need a college degree. Employers generally require either a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree in one of the following majors:

  • Computer programming: This major focuses on computer languages and the mathematical and scientific fundamentals of programming, helping aspiring web designers master the basics of web development.

  • Graphic design: This major centers on the artistic foundations and creative principles of design, helping future web designers understand the basics of website layout.

Training

Instead of completing a formal training program, most web designers get on-the-job training. Over the course of weeks or months, they may learn their organization’s workflow and adopt their company’s preferred design principles.

Certifications

Web designers may pursue a variety of certifications independently or under the direction of their employer. Here are some of the most common certifications:

  • CIW Web Design Professional: This Certification Partners credential indicates competence in best practices for website design and e-commerce standards.

  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner: This Project Management Institute certificate helps web designers learn the fundamentals of the agile approach to project management.

  • Adobe Certified Expert: This design-focused certificate indicates proficiency in developing video and digital elements with Adobe software.

Skills

To pursue a rewarding career in web design, you should cultivate the following skills:

  • Computer programming language fluency: All web designers need to know basic computer programming languages, such as HTML. Many also use SQL, JavaScript and other languages.

  • Creativity: Web designers are responsible for developing sites with original appearances that meet client needs. Creative skills allow web designers to develop new and interesting ways to convey concepts and share information.

  • Attention to detail: Since web designers use code to make websites look and function in certain ways, they must be capable of focusing on small details and identifying errors.

Web designer work environment

Web designers work for companies, contract for agencies or operate their own businesses. These professionals typically do their jobs at desks, where they work on desktop or laptop computers. They may work in spaces with open layouts, in cubicles or offices.

How to become a web designer

Follow these five steps to pursue a career as a web designer:

  1. Get a college degree: To meet the requirements for most job listings, you should complete an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or graphic design.

  2. Master programming languages: To excel in this field, you should be fluent in HTML and other languages like JavaScript and SQL.

  3. Excel in graphic design: You need a comprehensive understanding of the principles of graphic design and best practices for developing websites to succeed as a web designer.

  4. Prepare a resume: Create a resume that lists the education, skills and relevant experience you have acquired. Follow a standard resume format that potential employers can easily understand.

  5. Apply for jobs: Try networking in local industry groups or scanning job boards for listings. To increase your chance of getting a job, follow up with potential employers after submitting your applications.

Web designer job description example

ABC Design Firm seeks a creative and technically capable web designer with at least two years of experience in the field. The successful candidate is fluent in HTML and XML, knows how to use content management systems like WordPress and Shopify and can implement e-commerce applications effortlessly. If you understand the website development process from client meetings to application testing to performance monitoring, we want to hear from you.

Related careers

  • Computer programmer: These professionals use computer languages, such as Java, to write code for software applications. Whether they code new programs or update existing ones, they typically work under software developers, who create the structure of the application.

  • Software developer: These specialists develop computer applications that meet the needs of their clients. They often direct teams of programmers, oversee testing and modifications and manage maintenance and security updates for their software programs.

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