Art on a Global Scale
If you've ever thought of becoming a web designer, now's a great time. Armed with nothing but creativity and a computer, you can design functional works of art that are seen and used by people all over the world. With over a billion people surfing the Internet, websites can get hundreds, thousands, or even millions of visits a day. Web design is serious business.
If you are an artist looking to get your creative vision out into the world, a career in web design might be the right choice for you.
Salary and Career Outlook
Web design skills are highly valued in today's Internet-focused economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for graphic and web designers is $45,900. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Your particular web design salary will depend on your training, experience and talent. Other ways you can increase your salary are the following:
- An impressive portfolio goes a long way toward helping you find a job with the salary you want.
- Company size and job responsibilities are also important factors in a web designer's salary.
- Geographic location can make a difference too, as skilled web designers earn more in major metropolitan areas.
Training and Certification
Web designers are artists who work with pixels and pointers, instead of brushes and paint. And the great news is that web design software programs like Photoshop and Dreamweaver have advanced significantly over the past decade, giving you more creative flexibility.
"Web software programs are now as easy to use as Word or PowerPoint," explains Dustin Hunter, a self-employed web designer with 10 years of experience in the field. "It's not about looking at code. I've used Photoshop for years, and I treat is as a piece of paper."
A good web design degree or certification program will give you the computer skills you need to bring beautiful web pages to life. You'll also enhance your natural creativity with a solid foundation in visual art technique, color theory and usability.
A Professional Perspective
A career in web design is more than just sitting in front of a computer making pretty pictures. "You meet interesting people and hear great ideas from individuals wanting a website," says Julie Gau, a professional graphic web designer.
"So many clients wanting different things with different goals in different situations somehow all come to you with a website as the solution to their problems. It's always a challenge, but if you love it, the challenge is all part of the fun."
Finding Your Passion
The field of web design changes every day, and web designers never lack for new inspiration. Few careers offer so much flexibility and creative opportunity:
- Work for a company or strike out on your own.
- Explore in-demand web design specialties like user interface design, or master cutting-edge software programs such as Flash.
- Best of all, you and everyone else in the world will be able to see the results of your work online.