How to Become a Web Designer

Essential Education, Skills, and Job Interview Prep

As websites become vital across today’s industries, so does web design. Companies and organizations need fully functioning websites, and web designers can make it happen. This field will only continue to grow. If you love working in tech and have an eye for design, you should become a web designer.

Keep reading our comprehensive guide for everything you need to pursue this career path. You’ll learn about degree options, essential skills, job preparation, and more. Whether you are a software developer or a novice looking to break into the design world, you can learn how to become a web designer.

What Is a Web Designer?

A web designer is a tech professional who designs a web page’s layout and implements its designs. They can write code in programming languages like JavaScript to create a website’s visual design. Web designers are responsible for a website’s success because they create an optimal user experience.

As a web designer, you can choose to specialize and pursue a career in either user experience (UX) or user interaction (UI) design. Web design is a broad field that covers everything from ecommerce landing pages to personal blogs. This industry is an amalgamation of creativity, technology, and business.

Web Designer Salary and Job Outlook

According to PayScale, the average salary of a web designer is approximately $51,190 in the United States. How much a web designer gets paid varies by experience, location, and company. Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for web designers will grow by eight percent by 2029.

A career in web design has good future prospects, with a better job outlook than average. You can also choose to specialize and build a career in UX or UI design as a web designer. According to PayScale, the average salary of a UX designer is about $74,531, and UI designers make about $64,303.


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Entry-Level Web Designer Job Requirements

The standard education requirement for an entry-level web designer is an undergraduate degree. However, this varies depending on the company and type of work. Today, web designers succeed in the industry with web design certifications or an associate degree.

You should get an education because this position requires design, software, visual, and programming skills. You can build some of these skills in the field, but they are important to have before you apply for jobs. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of an entry-level web designer is about $46,466.

How to Ace Your Web Designer Job Interview

To ace your web designer job interview, you must create a solid resume and portfolio to impress the interviewer with your design skills. A web design position is a mix of several skills, and your job is to showcase them as well as you can.

You should also look at typical interview questions beforehand. This can help you practice and get more confident. Refer to our list below to find the most common questions at web designer job interviews.

Common Web Designer Job Interview Questions

  • Why do you want to work in web design?
  • Explain your process with one of your projects.
  • How familiar are you with web design tools such as HTML and CSS?
  • Do you have any experience with UX/UI design?

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Web Designer?

The most common degree for web designers is a bachelor’s degree. You can get a traditional degree or pursue an online degree in computer science. However, you can succeed in this field with several other degree options. Read below for the best web designer degrees.

Associate Degree in Web Design

An associate degree is a two- or three-year undergraduate degree. It falls between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree in web design focuses on teaching you the technical skills you need within a short frame of time. You can also start your web designer training with less debt.

Although an associate degree is not as in-depth as a four-year degree, you can choose to specialize in your area of interest. If the visual aspect of design interests you, you can focus on graphic design. If you prefer coding, then try studying programming or computer science.

Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design

A bachelor’s degree is a four-year program that teaches you the tech and soft skills you need to become a web designer. You can go to school on a college campus or try getting an online bachelor’s degree. Associate degree holders often move onto a bachelor’s degree and transfer academic credits. This can help you graduate sooner.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design is considered the standard requirement across the industry. You will learn design software, scripting, programming languages, and software development. With a web design bachelor’s degree, you can transition into the workforce without needing to get extra experience.

Master’s Degree in Web Design

Although most web designers build their careers with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s is a good next step. A Master’s Degree in Web Design is a great option if you want to expand your knowledge and stand out in the hiring process. This degree covers traffic flow and leads, mobile web design, database programming, and more.

An in-person or online master’s degree takes around two or three years to complete. Students who get a Master’s in Web Design typically pair it with another topic. That could be anything from a Master of Science in Information Technology and Web Design to a Master of Science in Web Design and Development.

Web Design Doctoral Degree

A PhD program in web design is rare. Most web designers stop at their bachelor’s or master’s because they can learn what they need to know in the field. However, if you do want to continue your web design education, you can pursue a PhD.

There are few universities that offer PhD programs in web design. This path is most suitable for those looking to become a professor or a researcher. Web development and web design often go together in a PhD program. Bear in mind that web design is a constantly evolving field, and your specialization might evolve or change.

What Does a Web Designer Do?

A web designer does many different things to design and create websites. Today, the duties of a web designer are blurred. This job involves many technical and non-technical skills and responsibilities. Your job duties also evolve according to your specialization. Below are some of the most common job duties of a web designer.

Web Page Layout and Design

Web page design and layout is one of the primary job duties of a web designer. As a designer, you are responsible for the overall aesthetics and visual communication aspects of the website. This includes fonts, composition, colors, and navigational elements. You can be tasked with either designing a brand new page or updating an existing one.

Search Engine Optimization and Ranking

As a web designer, you are responsible for both the looks and the usability of the website. To make the web page a hit, you need to pay attention to SEO and Google ranking strategies to bring in more traffic to the website. You should create search-friendly web pages that match relevant business and industry standards.

Responsive Design and Website Testing

A web designer’s duties also include creating a responsive design. This means creating a web page that is suited for the mobile, tablet, and browser versions. To make sure your website is fully functional, you might also conduct website testing. You can use formatting languages such as CSS and HTML to test your designs.

Essential Web Designer Skills

To be a successful web designer, it is crucial to possess both technical and soft skills. Non-technical skills include teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, SEO, and more. If you want to become a freelance web designer, you must also learn about marketing, client management, and other business skills. Below are the must-have web designer skills.

Visual Design Skills

The visual design skills combine aesthetics, layout, color combinations, and more. As a designer, you must know typography, composition, and color theory. These skills come together to form a cohesive and visually appealing web page.

Software Design Skills

A web designer creates design logos, graphs, mockups, and images. To perform these tasks, you need to use software. It is essential to know which design platforms are the most useful. Some programs include Adobe Illustrator, Webflow, Figma, Adobe Photoshop, and XD. Using these programs can help you improve design quality and satisfy user needs.

User Experience and User Interface Skills

The user plays an important role in web design, so designers should learn how to create user-friendly web pages. Although UX and UI design are often separate professions, they still overlap in web design. UX and UI skills can help you create pages that are usable, efficient, appealing, and tailored for a wide audience.

Coding Skills

A web designer in the current market is expected to have coding skills. You must learn popular front end languages that help format, test, and implement designs. Therefore, you need to learn HTML and its partner language CSS to input and style web content. You can also learn JavaScript to have a leg up on your design peers.

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

There are lots of different ways to become a web designer. You can go the traditional route and enroll in an associate degree program or get a bachelor’s degree in web design. However, you can follow any other path as long as you learn the right skills. Below is a step-by-step guide to becoming a successful web designer.


Learn the Principles of Web Design

The first step to becoming a web designer is learning fundamental design principles. This includes web design theories and techniques, visual design, and UX and UI design. You should learn typography, color theory, and web page orientation. You can learn these skills in school, in an online course, or on your own.


Learn the Design Softwares

The second step is to learn web design software. These programs primarily focus on the visual and graphic aspects of the page. You can choose to specialize in one of the many available software programs, including Photoshop, XD, Adobe Illustrator, and more.


Learn to Code

Coding languages are a vital aspect of designing a website. Becoming a web designer without any programming background is very difficult. You should learn popular front end development languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These can let you seamlessly design the web page and its components.


Learn SEO Strategies

A viable and successful web page requires a good SEO strategy. This includes target keywords, sought-after content, and usability aspects. You should learn to combine SEO standards into your design to attract your target audience. The end goal is to have a good design that helps convert visitors to customers.


Learn Other Tech Fields

Web design often goes hand-in-hand with many other tech fields. Depending on your interest, you can learn web development, graphic design, or SEO along with web design. This opens up plenty of tech career opportunities and makes you more employable.


Get the Necessary Tools and Software

Web design often goes hand-in-hand with many other tech fields. Depending on your interest, you can learn web development, graphic design, or SEO along with web design. This opens up plenty of tech career opportunities and makes you more employable.


Build Your Portfolio

Whether you want to pursue freelancing or a full-time job in web design, an impressive portfolio goes a long way. The best way to impress a client or hiring team is with your portfolio. Start by designing a web page for yourself, then apply for freelance gigs to add projects to your portfolio. Once you feel ready, you can apply for your dream design job.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Designer?

It can take two to four years to become a web designer. This time depends on the educational pathway you pursue. If you get an associate degree, it can take you around two to three years. A bachelor’s degree takes four years. You can also try attending a coding bootcamp, which can take a few weeks or a few months.

Should You Become a Web Designer in 2021?

Yes, you should become a web designer in 2021. Web design is a lucrative and future-proof tech field with a great job outlook. The majority of today’s industries are online and require an appealing website.

In addition, this field comes with a ton of flexibility. You don’t have to work for a giant firm to be successful. You can work for yourself and freelance to build a brand that reflects your skills and values. If design, tech, and business fields interest you, then you should become a web designer.

Web Designer FAQ

What is the difference between a web designer and a web developer?

Web designers and developers both focus on creating a well-designed and functioning web page. Developers focus on the technical and performance aspect of the website, whereas designers focus on the visuals.

How long does it take to design a website?

It can take anywhere from 40 to 100 hours depending on the client’s needs and the level of testing.

What aspects help create a well-designed website?

A well-designed website must be easy to use, visually appealing, and user-friendly.

What are programming languages a web designer needs to know?

A web designer should know front end languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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