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Web designer Digital designer

Web designers use their creative and technical skills to design new websites and redesign existing ones.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You don't always need qualifications to become a web designer, but you’ll usually need to show that you’ve got skills in:

  • visual design
  • UX (user experience)
  • SEO (search engine optimisation), marketing and social media
  • using coding software like HTML and CSS
  • using design software like Photoshop and Illustrator

You may also find it useful to have basic photo editing and copywriting skills.

Some employers will expect you to have a portfolio of work to show them, like websites you've worked on.

Colleges offer a wide range of courses, and there are lots of free online tutorials.

You could also take a college or higher education course in a web design or multimedia subject.

You may be able to get into this role through an apprenticeship.

Tech Future Careers has more information on tech roles including web design. 

The UK Web Design Association (UKWDA) and Bubble Jobs have more information about becoming a web designer.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • strong creative skills
  • the ability to pay attention to detail
  • good problem-solving skills and a logical approach to work
  • the ability to explain technical matters clearly
  • an ability to work to deadlines

3. What you'll do

You could work on any kind of website, from education to shopping. You’ll often be responsible for managing the design of your client’s other online services like mobile applications, social media accounts and digital marketing campaigns.

Your day-to-day duties might include:
  • meeting clients to discuss what they want their site to do
  • preparing a design plan
  • deciding which branding, text, colours and backgrounds to use
  • laying out pages and positioning buttons, links and pictures using design software
  • adding multimedia features like sound, animation and video
  • testing and improving the design and site
  • uploading the site to a server
You’ll work closely with web developers and marketing professionals.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £24,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000 (more in senior roles)

Self-employed web designers set their own rates.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll normally work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may have to work extra hours to meet deadlines or when there are problems with a website. 

If you’re self-employed, you’ll set your own working hours.

You’ll work indoors in an office or in your own home at a computer. You may spend some of your time travelling to meet clients.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could move into design team management or expand your skills to become a web content manager.

You might work towards a move into business management.

You could also work as a freelance web designer, or set up your own web design business.

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Last updated: 06 February 2017