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How to become a web designer

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What is a web designer?Is being a web designer right for me?How do I become a web designer?

Web designer job profile

Becoming a web designer is one of the tech industries most in demand job roles and provides you with a range of transferable skills for your career.

This page provides detailed information about salaries, working hours, and the sort of employers who require web design skills. It also looks at the responsibilities of a web designer and the qualifications you’ll need to meet global standards. 

In basic terms, a web designer can be categorised in one of two ways. Either working on front-end ‘design’ or the back-end ‘brains’ of a website. 

Somebody who can work on the front and back-end website is referred to as a full stack developer, or full stack web developer.  

 

However, the five main areas of web design are universally recognised as:  

  • Web graphic design
  • Interface design
  • Authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software
  • User experience (UX) design
  • Search engine optimisation

 

What is the salary of a web designer?

Web designer salaries remain high, with those new to web design realising a median salary of £46,050 in the UK, and senior web designers and software developers earning in excess of £100,000. 

A detailed list of technical specialist median salaries is as follows:  

  • Front End Web Developer (Client-Side Developer) £55,000
  • Backend Developer £65,000
  • UX Designer £55,000
  • UI Designer £55,000
  • Senior Developer £70,000
  • Lead Developer £75,000

Source: itjobswatch 2022

 

Working hours

A web designer will typically work between 35 and 40 hours per week, with a standard schedule between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00. Additional hours or changes to working patterns can occur however, with urgent deadlines or last minute changes to projects. A big benefit of working as a web designer is being able to perform work remotely or ‘from home’ which removes any commuting cost and travel time.

 

Employers

Becoming a web designer will enable you to work across most sectors and is not specific to the tech industry. If an organisation utilises a website to support their operations, they will at some point require the professional services of a web designer. Whether it’s planning and building a site from scratch, providing content and image updates and amendments, or regular maintenance and fixes. The options for professional web designers echo those in most tech roles by lending their expertise to all major industry categories.

Web designer skills

Things have come a very long way in web design since the first ever website was published in 1991 and along with the significant changes in landscape there is now a wider range of skills sets and job roles that fall under the umbrella of web design. The ‘must have’ soft skills for a web designer are:

 

  • Strong and effective communication
  • Being naturally creative
  • Having a high level of patience
  • A meticulous eye for detail 

 

The hard skills for specific web designer roles are: 

Front end:

  • HTML and CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Frameworks and Libraries
  • Version control
  • Cross-browser and device testing
  • Web performance optimization (WPO) 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

Back end:

  • Python
  • Java
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • Git

Due to advances in educational technology and the associated live lab environments, mastering these hard coding skills can be accelerated into job ready attributes in a matter of months rather than years.  

 

Web designer responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a web designer will often include client facing, to identify project aims and requirements, which you will then map into a proposal document. You will also be responsible for providing a ‘mock up’ of how a website will look and function, which is referred to as a wireframe. A wireframe (also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint) provides the client or stakeholder with a simplified visual guide of the proposed or imagined website itself. 

Further responsibilities when becoming a web designer will potentially be to manage the web design project or at least the software development aspect, which is where an agile approach and scrum methodology can help you make well-informed business decisions.

Qualifications needed to become a web designer

There are many qualifications, and certifications that help you become recognised as a professional web designer, however, it’s important to recognise that whilst qualifications, and certifications act as an effective validation for your skills and knowledge, future employers and prospective clients will be most interested to see your portfolio of work. 

Learning People’s CODE+ Collection teaches you the essential coding languages for both front and back end web design, and ensures you gain a professional diploma in full stack software development. Additionally, you will complete five projects that can be showcased as a portfolio of work.

 

How to gain work experience as a web designer

To gain work experience as a web designer you should firstly create a website of your own to showcase your creativity, imagination, coding skills, and motivation. 

Assisting a friend, family member or colleague in creating a website is a great way to build your portfolio of work while demonstrating your ability to work accurately to a brief and deliver a project. 

Attending web design or software development events either online or in person will pay dividends in illustrating your engagement with the sector and will also serve to keep you up to date with the latest industry trends and emerging technologies. All of which will help you to stand out from competing applicants at interview.    

 

Related careers

Becoming a professional web designer opens up many related career options. By having coding skills, insight to software development and implementation it’s possible to progress into the following specialisms.

 

 

Recommended web designer courses:

What does the future hold for technology?

Advancements in tech

The technology industry is growing at an exponential rate, and the need for skilled workers is growing at a high demand. Getting certified in web design could future proof your career. 

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Salary Indicator

Salary Projection

Average salary after completing

Average Salary
Adaptive Web Design
£58k
Average Salary
You can earn
£59k
Average Salary
Senior Full Stack Developer
£60k
High
Source: Adzuna

£59k

You can earn an average of £58,750.00 a year

There is particular pressure in areas like front-end web development, analytics, data science and cyber security due to the current tech skills gap

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