How to Become a Web Designer

Looking for a creative job in a growing and lucrative field? Web design might be the right career path for you.

How to Become a Web Designer

Web designers harness their creative and technical skills.

Poorly designed websites are not just eyesores; they often cause high bounce rates and result in fewer business leads, directly impacting a business’s bottom line. That’s why successful organizations turn to skilled web designers to keep their visitors engaged. If you have a good eye for how a website should look, you might want to learn how to become a web designer.

When you choose a career as a web designer, you help businesses solve problems and generate more revenue. But what’s in it for you? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you’ll have 8% job growth over the next 10 years and a high salary, for starters. If a creative job in a growing and lucrative field interests you, find out how to begin your web design career.

What Is a Web Designer?

A web designer is an IT professional who is responsible for designing the layout and interface of websites. Users interact with a web designer’s work as soon as they enter a website. Web design includes the graphics, text font, colors, icons, and presentation of the content that creates the user experience. A web designer is not to be confused with a web developer, whose role focuses on the back-end development and functionality of websites.

What Does a Web Designer Do?

Web designers harness their creative and technical skills with the ultimate goal of enhancing a site’s user experience. A web designer could spend a morning fixing an unattractive header and an afternoon resizing a pesky image that’s slowing down a site. They might utilize WordPress, HubSpot, Dreamweaver, or other popular web design platforms and work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create and improve a site’s front end.

The day-to-day duties of a web designer might include:

  • Designing website layouts, templates, and navigation tailored to clients’ needs.
  • Designing interfaces that help drive leads for clients.
  • Discussing interface design options with clients.
  • Working with graphics and optimizing images.
  • Ensuring that webpages are compatible with desktop, tablet, and mobile platforms.
  • Producing design features that can be used in social media and other marketing channels.
  • Maintaining and updating websites.

Web designers typically work in web marketing agencies, directly for businesses, or on a freelance basis. To get an idea of what to expect from a position as a web designer, take a look at Monster’s web designer job description.

How to Become a Web Designer

Nobody can just become a web designer on a whim; you have to learn how to translate your natural creative abilities into a technical language that the internet can speak.

How to Get a Web Design Degree

Having a bachelor’s degree in web design will give you a leg up when applying to jobs. An information technology degree or graphic design degree with a web design concentration will also give you a solid foundation in the fundamentals of web design. There are a number of colleges that offer web design degrees, some of which are online if you prefer to maintain a flexible schedule. Pursuing a master’s degree can help you further hone your talents and gain advanced knowledge in the field.

Web design classes usually cover:

  • HTML and CSS.
  • Programming with JavaScript.
  • Web media.
  • Responsive web design.
  • Graphic design.
  • App development.

If you need help paying for college, check out these web design scholarships that will help you fund your education.

While having a college degree can make you more competitive in the job market, it’s not always required. Learning web design on your own through trial and error by designing your own websites is also a viable option. For example, a hobby website or blog makes an effective portfolio that shows potential employers that you understand the ins and outs of web design.

How to Get a Web Design Certificate

No special certification is required for web designers, but certification can boost your skills and make you more appealing to employers. Adobe Digital Learning Services and General Assembly offer a variety of certificate programs that usually include coursework and study materials needed to pass the associated exams.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Designer?

The amount of time it takes to become a web designer depends on your current level of experience and your career goals. Are you looking to work for a major marketing agency, or would you prefer to become a freelance web designer?

If your goal is to land a web design job with a good starting salary, then you should expect to spend four years pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, it can take one to three years to complete a master’s degree in web design and several weeks to obtain certification. For example, General Assembly’s courses are taught over a 10-week period.

How Much Do Web Designers Make?

Monster data shows the median web designer salary is $56,932 per year. Your starting salary will likely depend on your experience or industry. For example, web designers who work in publishing industries make an average of $121,160 per year, while those who work in public relations or advertising make around $68,050, according to the BLS. 

You can look up the average salary for web designers in your location by using the Monster Salary Guide.

How to Find Web Design Jobs

Now that you know how to become a web designer, it’s time to put your job search into focus. Ultimately, employers want to see that you have a knack for creativity, attention to detail, and strong customer service skills. Outlining your qualities and skills in your web designer resume and building a solid web design portfolio are the best ways to get noticed by potential employers. To learn more about how to make yourself stand out, read through Monster’s resume critique checklist.

When you’re ready, you can find tons of web designer jobs on Monster, many of which are entry-level positions or remote web design jobs.

Do you plan on relocating? Consider moving to one of the top five states for web designer jobs:

The top five U.S. metro areas with the most web designer jobs are:

Optimize Your Chances of Getting Hired as a Web Designer

You’ve got the creative and technical chops that employers are looking for. You know the ins and outs of how to become a web designer. Now it’s time to design yourself a rewarding career. To get started, upload your resume to Monster for free. It's time to upgrade your career.