A Guide to How Much Web Designers Make - What's the Average Salary?

Won J. You

October 20, 2022

The Internet is at the center of people's everyday lives. People shop online, socialize online, get their news online. Everything is increasingly possible online. With that, the demand for skilled web designers has only continued to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for web developers and digital designers are expected to grow by 23% from 2021-2031. The outlook for web designers is certainly bright. Whether you’re just starting out in your career as a web designer or are considering making a transition into this field, it’s important to know what kind of salary you can expect. In this blog post, we’ll discuss general wages for web designers and highlight some factors that can affect your expected earnings.


What’s the Average Salary for Web Designers?

As of September 26, 2022, according to, the general range that you can expect to earn as a web designer is anywhere between $57,843 and $71,718.  You'll find the average salary vary depending on the source. For example, if you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S., the mean annual wage is $95K.  However, this data lumps together both web designers as well as "digital interface designers" which includes product designer, UX designers, etc, who tend to earn more on average. For this reason, we believe the sources found on or ZipRecruiter tend to be more accurate for the specific job title of web designer nation-wide.

What Factors Affect Web Designer Pay Rates?

There are several factors that affect web designer pay rates. Experience level is one of the biggest factors in determining salary. New designers typically earn much less than seasoned ones. Looking at ZipRecruiter, their data shows the average for an entry-level web designer is $49,340/year. That's roughly $10K less than the average.

Next, the field in which one specializes, such as e-commerce, user experience, or UI design, also affects pay rates. For example, designers who specialize in e-commerce may earn a higher salary than those who specialize in graphics or branding. Region and company size are other factors to consider. Typically, larger companies pay better than small ones. But what you may also not know is that the salary may depend on if you work in-house vs at an agency. Agencies usually pay less than working in-house. Last but not least, another key factor to consider for salary is geographic location. For example, a designer living in New York may earn over $8,000 more than the national average. Web designers living in the West Coast states, such as California and Washington, tend to earn significantly more as well. The same applies for designers living in Mountain states, such as Colorado and Utah.


Web Design Certification vs. Degree

There is ongoing debate over whether or not a web design certificate or degree is necessary to enter this field. Some employers may prefer to hire candidates with a degree, while others may only accept those with certification. A quality design degree may give you an edge over someone with a design certificate. Although a degree and an impressive portfolio will increase your chances of landing a job, students who pursue a design degree may have a more difficult time finding employment during a recession. Design certificates are a common way for beginners to break into the field. Degrees in design are far less important these days than in the past. Experience and a quality portfolio are key to getting considered for a role.


Tips for Landing a High-Paying Web Design Job

If you’re planning to enter the field of web design, be sure to create a strong portfolio. A portfolio is your best asset against competition. With so many talented designers vying for a limited number of positions, a stellar portfolio is essential to securing employment. As you prepare your portfolio, remember that employers are looking for more than just design samples. They want to see that you understand user experience, branding, and marketing strategies. When applying for a job, be sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to the position. Nail the logistics, such as when to follow up with an employer after submitting your application. Understand the hiring process and know when to follow up during each stage.



A career in web design can be both rewarding and lucrative. To succeed in this field, it’s important to possess the right skills and have a strong portfolio. Keep in mind that this industry is highly competitive. To stand out from the crowd and get your dream job, you’ll likely need to be prepared to work long hours, show initiative, and learn new skills on the fly. Finally, don’t forget to negotiate your salary!

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