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How to Become a Web Designer

Professional web designers will always be in demand. A lot of businesses take part in ecommerce and use user-friendly websites to promote and sell a wide range of products. For this reason, there are big opportunities in the field of web design and a lot of ways to gain the required skills. In this guide, we’ll show you how to become a web designer.

What Is a Web Designer?

A web designer is responsible for designing or redesigning websites. They work on both the layout and the appearance while creating responsive designs. They make sure that websites are functional and aesthetically appealing.

Web Designer Job Description

The major responsibilities of a web designer are to make design decisions and to create landing pages that are both engaging and responsive. They often use content management systems (CMS) and data feed management software to facilitate the design process and optimize sites for maximum scalability and speed.

Part of their job is to test the website for bugs and liaise with programmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the code corresponding to the design is working as intended. Furthermore, they ensure website functionality and stability across all kinds of devices, including mobile, desktop, and tablet.

Web Designer Salary and Job Outlook

According to PayScale, web designers earn an average salary of $51,997 per year. The lowest 10 percent of earners, moreover, make less than $37,000 per year, with the highest 10 percent making $75,000 and above. The salary varies with the designer’s background, experience, and skills. PayScale reports that the average experienced web designer earns $60,360 annually.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of web developers and web designers will increase by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030. Every year between now and then, BLS expects there to be about 17,900 job openings in the United States for developers and designers.

Top Reasons to Become a Web Designer in 2021

As with any profession, web design comes with both challenges and perks. That being said, there are many reasons why a career in web design is more attractive than not in 2021.

  • To be part of a growing industry. Every organization needs a website that’s current. The 13 percent job growth that BLS projects for web developers and web designers is five percentage points higher than the average projected growth across all occupations.
  • To have job flexibility. As a web designer, you can try to get on the payroll for a small company or large corporation, or you can choose to become a freelance web designer. Freelancers in web development earn high annual salaries, and the same is often true of freelancers in web design jobs.
  • To enhance and develop your creative side. This career is the perfect way to cultivate creativity skills. As a graphic designer for the Information Age, you will have an opportunity to work with all sorts of graphics, color schemes, layouts, and designs.
  • To play a significant role in the modern world. As a web designer, you shape how people interact with information on the Internet while helping organizations make a lasting impact.

Web Designer Job Requirements

When you’re ready to start applying for entry-level web design jobs, you should be aware of the job requirements that potential employers typically look for.

  • Knowledge of content management systems (CMS). You should know how to use WordPress and other popular CMS software programs to manage and modify digital content.
  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of design. This includes skills in basic web design, visual design and imaging, audio and video editing, content management, multimedia programming, and multimedia animation.
  • Relevant experience with the latest trends. You need to have up-to-date experience with trending technologies, web protocols, and industry standards.
  • Good understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) principles. Knowledge of SEO equips you to optimize title tags, write meta descriptions, and tag images. There are also design principles that you can employ to boost SEO.

Types of Web Designer Careers

Different kinds of web designers focus on different areas of a website. They could focus on digital interfaces, the technical aspects of design, or program updates.

UX Designer

A web designer who focuses on user experience (UX) designs all the components of a digital interface while keeping the user’s navigation in mind. The goal is to create simple and efficient interfaces that are user-friendly.

Web Developer

A web developer focuses on all the technical aspects that go into creating fully functional websites, including capacity and performance. They check on website speed as well as the traffic that the website can handle. They also write and maintain the code that fulfills the vision for the design.

Applications Developer

This type of web designer is a jack of all trades. They focus on creating, designing, deploying, and updating cross-platform applications for various devices and operating systems.

Web Designer Meaning: What Does a Web Designer Do?

A web designer does a lot of things, but his or her workflow mainly involves the following three tasks.

Plans and Executes Design Concepts

Web designers translate the needs of clients and end-users into concepts. This involves meeting up with clients, either in person or online, to get a clear picture of the company’s brand, its products, and its goals for the website.

Creates the Actual Designs

Once they’ve planned out how the website should look, web designers choose the layouts that best represent the concepts, designs, and other features that they think will appeal to the target audience. From font colors to font styles to images selection, they make sure that the website has its own personality.

Collaborates with Other Designers and Developers

These professionals don’t work alone. They collaborate with web developers and graphic designers to build high-functioning and attractive websites. This means that you need strong communication skills to be a successful web designer.

Essential Web Designer Skills

Technical skills are a very important aspect of design. Below are the three main skills you should have.

Knowledge of Design Theory

Web designers should know all about design, including essential visual design principles and the art of applying graphic design theory to digital interfaces. You should know how to mix colors, how to create visually pleasing layouts, and how to make the brand identity of a client come to life.

Design Software Skills

Talented web designers are well versed in design software programs. These include popular UX design tools like Figma and Adobe XD, as well as other Adobe products like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Web designers use these on a regular basis to put the concepts of graphic design and photo editing into practice.

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Programming Skills

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, serves as the foundation for any website. It helps web designers control their workflow. Another essential skill is CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, which is for the visual appearance. Lastly, JavaScript is used for many things in web design, including interactive components such as search bars and videos.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Designer?

It could take anywhere from 12 weeks to four years. It all depends on your learning style and how much time you have on your hands. If you don’t have time for a bachelor’s degree, there are short online web design courses and bootcamps organized around projects, which make it easy to start your professional portfolio.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Web Designer?

Yes, attending a bootcamp can help you learn essential tools for a successful career in web design. The best web design bootcamps are designed to streamline your learning journey. Keep in mind that bootcamps are fast-paced, which is not for everyone. You may need more time to learn in-demand programming languages and build a strong portfolio.

Can I Become a Web Designer from Home?

Yes, there are excellent web design courses that you can take from home. And once you’re finished studying, you may be able to continue working from home as a freelancer. Entry-level web designers do need to make connections first, but an online community can help you meet people in the design industry and get feedback on your portfolio.

How to Become a Web Designer: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are many skills that an aspiring web designer needs to master. Learning the foundational principles of digital design, vector graphics, and basic programming languages is just the beginning. If you want to get hired, you also have to cultivate soft skills and build a strong portfolio. For your best shot at a good job, follow these three steps.

Step 1: Learn Web Design Theory

You can’t get by in the design industry without understanding the basic principles of web design. You should be able to identify how each element is important to the overall layout, how to execute design ideas, and how to work in a digital medium.

Step 2: Gain Proficiency in Web Design Tools

There are a lot of web design tools that help with website creation. These include Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Figma. Effective web design is all about knowing how to use these tools and how to select the right one for each task.

Step 3: Prepare a Strong Portfolio

Once you know what you’re doing, you should begin work on a design portfolio. If you’re just starting out, make sure that your portfolio showcases your design skills. Be on the lookout for the latest design trends and try to incorporate them into your portfolio projects.

Best Schools and Education for a Web Designer Career

Wherever you are in your design journey, there's always an opportunity to be a professional web designer. You can become one by joining a bootcamp, enrolling in a community college or university degree program, or even by attending a vocational school.

Web Designer Bootcamps

A web design bootcamp usually lasts for a few months. You’ll likely learn the fundamentals of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Flatiron School has a product design program, for instance, that lasts between 15 and 60 weeks and includes hands-on training in things like user research, typography, mockups, and dealing with clients.

Vocational School

A vocational or technical school provides practical training for high school graduates below the level of an associate degree. A technical diploma or certificate in web design centers around teaching students the skills they need to use tools like Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop.

Community College

Community colleges offer Associate Degrees in Web Design and Web Development. In these programs, you’ll get hands-on experience with web page navigation, publishing, ecommerce, web graphics preparation, and even database design and development. The programs usually last two years, and you can transfer to a bachelor’s degree program afterward.

Web Designer Degrees

A Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design usually takes three to four years to finish. This helps learners dive deeper into Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and other essential tools. This is a good option to consider because many employers require candidates to have their bachelor’s.

The Most Important Web Designer Certifications

Web design certifications are not usually required. That being said, by getting certified in popular web design tools and technologies, you will appear more credible and knowledgeable to employers. Below are a few professional certifications and certificates worth checking out.

Adobe Certifications

An Adobe certification proves your skills in various interactive and online content areas. These include web design, video, technical communications, rich Internet applications, and elearning. Depending on your experience, you can become an Adobe Certified Professional, an Adobe Certified Expert, or an Adobe Certified Master. Certifications must be renewed after two years.

Google UX Design Professional Certificate

You can dive deep into the world of user experience with this six-month certification course, part of Google’s influential professional certificate series. Here you’ll learn all about the foundations of UX, what the design process entails, and how to build wireframes. To take the course and get the certificate, you can enroll on Coursera for $39 per month after a free trial.

Responsive Web Design Certification

This free certification is from freeCodeCamp. It covers basic HTML and HTML5, CSS, and applied visual design. It takes about 300 hours to study all the material, and the training ends with five responsive design projects to test your newfound knowledge.

How to Prepare for Your Web Designer Job Interview

Interviews are a nerve-wracking part of any job hunt. It can be especially challenging when it’s your first time. However, the best thing you can do to prepare is to study common interview questions and practice answering them. Below are a few questions to help you get started.

Web Designer Job Interview Practice Questions

  • You were hired by a new client. What’s your first step?
  • Describe a situation or a project that didn’t go as planned. What would you change?
  • How do you communicate your designs to web developers? How do you practice effective communication with your clients?
  • How proficient are you with HTML and CSS? Give a few examples.

Should I Become a Web Designer in 2021?

Yes. Web design is a great field to get into in 2021. Many opportunities are waiting for you in this growing industry. But as with any profession, you should ask yourself whether the tasks and responsibilities appeal to you. If you like designing, are willing to learn new software, and are eager to acquire the necessary skills, you should become a web designer.


Can You Become a Web Designer Without a Degree?
Yes, you can. There’s no one right way to become a web designer. While some employers do require candidates to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related discipline, employers and clients are increasingly placing more emphasis on experience and the strength of your portfolio.
Is It Hard to Become a Web Designer?
Becoming a web designer can be hard at first because it takes time and effort to learn the essential skills and software. But it’s not impossible. You’ll be able to quickly get the skills you need through bootcamps, online courses, or vocational education programs. All you really need to be a successful web designer is the opportunity to practice and hone your craft.
Where Can I Learn Web Design?
There are a lot of ways to learn web design. You can look for UX/UI design bootcamps, which usually run for 15 to 60 weeks. There are also vocational schools, where you can earn a technical diploma or certificate. Finally, you can get a web design degree at most community colleges and at some universities.
Can I Teach Myself Web Design?
Yes, web design can be self-taught with the help of online courses. Your preferred pace and style of learning will determine how well you can absorb information from Internet tutorials. You may ultimately find it easier to learn through a bootcamp or college course, where an expert can look at your work, see your blind spots, and give feedback to help you hone your craft.
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