If you’re ready to branch out, generate lucrative income, and work whenever and wherever, web design might be the field for you! Post-pandemic, thousands of Americans were able to invest in their passion projects and learn new skills. Many discovered that these passions provided livable wages for them and they could depart from their other full-time careers that just didn’t give them the income or work-life balance they desired.
Does this sound like you? Web design may be a perfect fit. With more small businesses and entrepreneurs entering the market, the need for digital portfolios and an online presence has increased, and with that, the need for web designers has also increased.
Aside from having the digital know-how, designer contracts are incredibly important in securing a position in web design. Legal documents, contracts, and even graphic design rate card templates provide you with the structure and framework to establish yourself as a designer. If you’re considering investing in this career path, we have the outline to get you started.
All in all, web designers are responsible for the ‘big picture’ decisions made for a given site. Web design encompasses a wide umbrella of skills and disciplines required to build a website and maintain it. The areas of web design include:
Web design marries your talent for aesthetics and accessibility with technical know-how. You can create the layout of each page and the overall design of the website, ensuring it’s functional and reflects a client’s branding.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for web developers is projected to grow by 23% on a national level between 2021 and 2031–much faster than national averages for all other occupations. So, while there is a demand for this job, how much does it pay?
Currently, freelance web designers make between $15 and $30 per hour, but this rate increases depending on your level of expertise, your location, and if you also offer development services alongside your design services. Some designers make upwards of $120,000 annually and others tend to stick to the lower end of $50,000 per year.
If the payout looks good to you, you might be wondering how long it takes to become a web designer. If you’re looking to get a solid boost once you start, it’s worthwhile to get a bachelor’s degree in web design, but this can take four or more years of you attending classes full time. However, this field is extremely flexible with multiple entry points, so it’s possible to become a professional web designer without a degree.
We recommend pursuing a professional certificate in web development or software engineering, as these provide the skills and tools necessary for web design to give you that competitive edge. Look for reputable web development bootcamps to get your formal education started.
The key elements you need to accomplish are:
As you look for programs and courses to build your toolbox, look for programs that can help you reach all of the above goals. With every box checked, you increase your chances of landing those higher pay rates and gigs.
Web design is a great career filled with job security, as the market continues to expand in that direction. The need for a digital presence isn’t going anywhere, and more and more businesses are hiring web developers and designers to keep their brand relevant and up-to-date. We recommend you take formal coursework to build your understanding of design and coding principles through a Bachelor’s degree program or a virtual bootcamp course!
Kevin Gallagher is the CEO of The Contract Shop®, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and more. His background is in helping online businesses grow, having previously worked at Allbirds managing part of their operations. He is proud to report that his digital artist wife Mandy is a happy customer of The Contract Shop®, and his main motivation is to help as many people like her as possible with the tools that they need to confidently manage their businesses.
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