What is an Average Web Design Salary?

What is an Average Web Design Salary?

A web design salary varies by employer, location, education, and experience. However, graphic and web design are common career choices for artistic and computer savvy individuals. These jobs can be flexible and lucrative with many career advancement options.

What is a Web Designer?

Web designers are the creative talent behind the beautiful, playful, and functional designs and pictures we see on websites. They plan, design, write, adjust, integrate and test different designs and web-related codes used to bring the designs to life. A web designer tends to make good money, and there are many good career opportunities in the field. The average wages for web designers vary by many factors.

Featured Schools:

How to Become a Web Designer

What Do You Need to Be a Web Designer? To be a web designer, you need specific skills, education, and experience.


A web designer should have some front end programming knowledge of common languages like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. Additionally, they need graphic and digital design skills and can understand color theory, sketch a concept or layout, and use graphics programs like Photoshop. They should also have some proficiency with web design tools, and an understanding of web standards such as SEO.


You do not necessarily need a degree to be a web designer. However, many employers prefer candidates to have some kind of formal education. However, the less experience you have, the more important it is for you to have a degree. 

Associate Degrees

Popular two-year degrees for web designers are an associate graphic or digital degree in design and a computer technology associate degree. A bachelor’s degree is even better. Many web designers have a BS in computer science or a related field. An individual may be hired with an associate degree or strong computer programming and coding knowledge.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Still, the most common requirement is a bachelor’s degree in fields like computer programming, web design, computer science, business, graphic arts or design. Depending on their career goals, aspiring graphic design students can often choose between a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Web Design. The Bachelor of Arts focuses more on graphic design while the Bachelor of Science focuses on computer science courses.

Students complete general education courses, web design courses, and capstone projects. The capstone project usually involves the student creating a web design using tools mastered in the program. It generally takes about four years to earn a BS or BA unless it’s an online program, which can take less or more time.


Regardless of your education, all web designers need experience. Furthermore, all designers need a portfolio to showcase their work. And a good portfolio is as essential as a resume when applying for jobs.

Web Designer Jobs

Web design is the practice of making websites and technology products visually intuitive and appealing. Most web designers are familiar with several coding languages or programming languages and know about current computer technology. There are quite a few career options for web designers. But, some of the more common job titles for web designers are UX designers, UI designers, and interaction designers.

User Experience (UX) Designer

These designers focus on making web pages and technology usable by humans. They focus on creating websites or applications that people love to use. UX can make or break a technology product.

Visual Designer or User Interface (UI) Designer

A visual designer, or UI designer, takes a company’s overarching goals and creates style guides that a web developer will use. They work closely with brand teams to create a visual look and feel for the company, extending into how products are built and designed.

UX/UI Designers

Because of the overlap between UX and UI design, employers often combine them in the job title posting.

Interaction Designers

Have you ever clicked on a webpage and asked yourself why it took me to that? Interaction designers take a UX designer’s plans or wireframes and consider the details. The goal is to make a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and satisfying to the user.

WordPress Web Designer

These designers are experts in WordPress, a popular website platform. Most WordPress designers can work with HTML and CSS to design websites in the WordPress interface.

What Determines Wages For a Web Designer?

So what is the average web designer salary? Several factors affect pay rates and determine what wages a web designer or web developer will earn on their career path. These include education, training, work experience, certifications, location, and employer.

An individual with a bachelor’s degree might be offered higher pay than someone with an associate’s degree or no degree at all. Different employers may also pay other wages like bonuses. Furthermore, a freelance web designer’s salary range differs from W2 employees who work for companies.

The same applies to location. Web designers may make a specific wage in one city or state and discover a much lower wage should the designer choose to move. Or they may make more money taking a job opening in a place like San Francisco.

What is the Average Wage Web Designers Earn?

The average wage of web designers varies from one designer to the next and on many other factors. Aspiring web designers trying to determine the average salaries for web designers will find different wage predictions with different salary reporting agencies. Generally, a higher salary comes with more experience, education, and an excellent skill set.

A report by PayScale.com based on job openings lists the average base salary at $52,374 and reports that salaries range from $38,000 to $77,000. Web designers often receive bonuses and commissions, which can increase wages.

The wage report by Salary.com based on job openings reports that web designer wages range from $52,000 to $81,000, with the average yearly wage at $68,304. These figures do not factor in bonuses, commissions, or any other benefits the designer may receive.

Glassdoor reports an average salary of $92,433 annually. Additionally, salary ranges from $61,000 to $160,000. And Ziprecruiter reports an average salary of $59,513 per year, with salary ranges from $19,000 to $112,500 based on job openings.

Salary By State and Location

Many web designers work for themselves. Approximately 35 percent of web or graphic design specialists are self-employed. The hourly wages for web designers range from $31 to $41 per hour, with the average at $36. Below is an example of annual wages in different states.

  • California – $81,690
  • Wisconsin – $71,798
  • Texas – $70,505
  • South Carolina – $69,646
  • South Dakota – $63,852

Web Designer Salaries by Experience

Experience level is another factor that will significantly impact how much you make as a website designer. More experience means better pay.

For example, a junior web designer with less than two years of experience makes less than a designer with more experience. Junior designers who continue their education or earn certifications can increase their salary faster.

Freelancing Web Design Salaries

How much does a web freelancer make? A freelance web designer salary is less documented and is wide-ranging. However, a freelance web designer’s salary varies from $20,000 to $150,000 a year.

Most industry freelancers who find success have well-rounded skills. They can establish communication with clients, develop a site on time and as requested, and create an excellent finished product.

Web Designers vs Web Developers Salary

Designers tend to make less than web developers. But how big is the difference? The discrepancy here is relatively large. On average, web developers earn around $15,000 to $25,000 more than designers.

Career Advancement and Other Education

Individuals interested in career advancement have many options. To advance their careers, many designers take a low cost or free course online to gain skills or certifications. There are many MOOCs that offer classes in web development and design.

Why Web Design?

Web design is not just a career that’s in demand and offers excellent career opportunities. It’s also a career with an average salary for web designers above the national average in most states and a job that can be very rewarding and challenging.