How Much Do Web Designers Make?
Web Designers, for the most part, are still considered a specialty under the Graphics Designer career by many salaries and career sites. However, the advancement of technology and the demand for web-specific designers is on the rise, therefore it is quickly becoming an industry of its own. Web Designers are responsible for the overall layout and design of a website.
Some salary websites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.com still list Web Designers under the Graphic Designer category showing a median income in the mid $40,000s. But there is a growth of independent reporting on the earning potential for a Web Designer. According to Salary.com, the median income for a Web Designer is $62,442. Incorporating location and experience, the range is from the mid $40,000s to over $80,000. This income range is slightly higher than for a Graphic Designer because it is a specialty.
To get more of an idea of the income potential, there are many web designer forums that discuss current earnings. Brighthub.com, for example, gives a range of $20,000 to $100,000, citing experience, location and company size as contributing factors.
Another popular option for Web Designers is freelance work. Again looking at web designer forums, hourly rates start at about $25 an hour and go as high as $150. Freelancers also often charge by the project rather than the hour, with the most common project baseline being around $1,000. The top range, for either hourly or by project, is a little harder to nail down as the scope of the work often defines the cost. Many forums simply state that a Web Designer can make as much as someone will agree to pay. Since freelance Web Designers are not tied to a 40 hour work week, most forums also agree that the income potential is only limited by the amount of work the Web Designer is willing to handle.
Advancement in the Web Design field is driven by experience and knowledge. When researching employment opportunities for Web Designer, titles such as Level 1 through Level 3 Web Designer, Senior Web Designer, and Desktop Publishers will be found. These different Web Designers positions are based on skills, technical expertise, and experience. The higher the level or more senior the position, the higher the salaries will be. For the most part, both salary sites and forums put the full-time salaries for the more senior positions in the $80,000 range, going as high as $100,000,
In regard to locations and employers, salary sites and forums agree that the West Coast cities, larger cities, and larger employers tend to offer high salary ranges. Since Web Designers do need to know at a minimum the basic web coding involved in website design, this is another factor that ups the earning potential over that of a less specialized Graphic Designer.
Overall, the Web Designer field has very good income potential. The outlook for this career field is very positive as demand is increasing and specialty areas within the Web Design field are likely to arise.