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Web Designer Job Description

Web Designers are creative and technical professionals who are tasked with designing and building web pages, mobile interfaces, and other digital applications. Their work will involve a combination of creative design work and technical programming. Owing to this combination of work, most Web Designers will need the creative skills to design a webpage and the technical skills to build its skeleton. There are many different specialties that Web Designers can learn to narrow the focus of their work.  This overview will explain more about what a Web Designer does, what they typically earn, and how to learn the skills required to land a job.

What is a Web Designer?

Web Designers are responsible for most of the pre-production (and some post-production) aspects of digital design projects. This can range from building outlines and prototypes for a new webpage a firm is launching to working on individual assets of a digital interface, such as menus and interactive slideshows. They will often work as part of teams tasked with working on either specific pages of a website or specific important elements of a digital project. In this capacity, they will report directly to a team manager or creative director, depending on their role within the project.

Web Developers tend to work for large software design firms or other retail software companies. This means that they are most likely to work in a design studio or office space alongside other co-workers handling similar projects. About 6% of all Web Designers work as self-employed freelancers. These designers will work from their personal workstations and home offices, where they will have greater control over their own hours and job responsibilities. However, they will also be responsible for running logistical aspects of their day-to-day work, like finding and negotiating with clients that studio designers wouldn’t need to deal with.

Usually, Web Designers will receive fairly specific assignments from their managers since the broad design outlook of a project is going to be decided by higher-ups. Eventually, with enough experience and time at a firm, Web Designers may advance at their jobs and start to work on these pre-production design projects that decide how a product or launch is going to look before elements of that project are handed off to various designers and developers. Specialist designers, like User Experience Designers, may only be brought into a given project once it reaches the point where they can begin applying their specialized skills to the design.

Job Requirements

Web Designers applying for entry-level positions will usually need a four-year bachelor’s degree in a related field or an equivalent amount of professional training or experience. Beyond this, strong Web Designer applicants will have training in a wide range of skills, including UI design tools like Figma or Adobe XD, graphic design applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and basic web programming skills, including knowledge of HTML/CSS and programming languages like JavaScript. While each individual job opening will have different requirements, proficiency in these skills will usually be non-negotiable.

In addition to these requirements, aspiring Web Designers will need to build a compelling set of job materials. This will include cover letters, resumes, and professional profiles, but the most important element of these applications will be design portfolios. You can’t get a Web Designer job without demonstrating that you have practical experience designing webpages and web applications, so this will be a strict requirement for anyone seeking a job. Beyond this, there are a number of compelling reasons for aspiring Web Designers to become certified in various skills and design applications, but these certifications won’t be a strict requirement for most job openings.

Job Responsibilities

Since Web Designers represent a fairly varied career path, there are a lot of job requirements that are going to be dependent on what aspects of the design process a student opts to specialize in. However, some of the most common job responsibilities for generalist and specialist designers include:

  • Working alongside clients and managers to ensure coherent design principles are enacted throughout a project.
  • Building, testing, and iterating on prototype designs for the interactive elements of a digital application.
  • Writing the code for a web application.
  • Integrating visual elements produced by other designers into a finished web design project.
  • Work with other creative departments to ensure that all of the design, creative, and interactive elements of a project are working in concert with each other.
  • Work to ensure that the design projects are completed within a fixed deadline.
  • Work alongside team members to ensure that a digital design includes all of the information that it needs to communicate.


Being a Web Designer will demand a combination of soft skills and technical skills. Designers will need to hone their creative eye, build teamwork-related skills, and they will need proficiency in an array of technical skills. These technical skills include creative design applications like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of software, web design tools such as Figma or Adobe XD, and programming skills such as proficiency in HTML/CSS and JavaScript. All of these skills produce well-rounded professional Web Designers and are pillars of getting a job.

Beyond this, there are a lot of important soft skills that can help Web Designers meet their career goals. Most Web Designers will need to build the people skills necessary to work alongside team members on large projects. These same skills will be important for freelancers who will regularly need to work with clients and contractors. In addition, Web Designers will need to be deadline-oriented in order to make sure that assignments are completed on time, and they will need to be able to receive feedback and iterate their designs with a client’s needs in mind. More advanced Web Designers may be tasked with leading teams of designers or interfacing with clients more directly, making these soft skills even more important for anyone hoping to climb the corporate ladder.

Why Do Businesses Need Web Designers?

Businesses need Web Designers to ensure that their online presence is memorable, evocative, and functional. Whether your employer is a small local restaurant, Google, or the United States Government, they deeply care about having a strong online presence, and it is the job of the Web Designer to make that desire a reality. Web Designers are the creative and technical minds that make webpages and digital applications operate effectively and communicate information, making their work vital to any business or organization.

Web Designers are also responsible for updating and maintaining elements of a web design project. Web design techniques, standards, and practices are constantly evolving, which is part of why webpages from even a few years ago are so recognizable as feeling old. Web Designers will be responsible for keeping up with these developments in order to design better and more memorable webpages for their clients. A subset of Web Designers may also be responsible for the physical and technical maintenance of a web project’s code, and they will be tasked with ensuring that the webpage works properly even as elements of that design are changed.

Where Do Web Designers Usually Work?

Web Designers are employed in almost all industries since a significant web presence is important for almost every professional field and social institution. However, most of the work done for smaller businesses or companies that don’t regularly build expansive web projects will be done by external firms who specialize in this kind of work. This is one of the major industries that employ Web Designers.

The other major industry employing full-time Web Designers is the retail and computer software industry. This field focuses on the development and production of consumer software, which is a nearly 600 billion-dollar industry. Not only will Web Designers be employed to build the digital aspects of these products, but they may also work heavily on building things like UI interfaces or the mobile application associated with a new release.

Finally, many Web Designers are employed by companies and organizations that regularly need to build new web apps or that are large enough to have their own in-house web design studios. These companies include well-known companies like Alphabet and Meta, as well as firms within the public service industry, the financial industry, or the healthcare industry.

Web Designer Salary and Job Outlook

Web design is a varied career field, and they work in a wide range of industries, this means that salaries are going to vary depending on the company you work for and the kinds of projects you are working on. A freelance Web Designer doing odd jobs for local small businesses will make less than a full-time designer employed by Alphabet or Meta. Similarly, a designer working in Syracuse, New York, will make less than someone working in New York City. However, as a general rule, Web Designer salaries average around $65,000 a year.

Given how important a digital presence is for any company or organization, Web Designer jobs are in high demand. They are becoming slightly more competitive as technological advances make it easier to break into the field, but anyone looking for a job with a positive outlook and long-term growth potential should consider working in web design. In addition, since web design covers a broad range of fields, there is also a broad range of jobs available.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Web Designer?

The time that it takes to become a Web Designer will vary depending on the path that one takes to becoming a designer. For many students, becoming a Web Designer will take a few years as they work towards earning their bachelor’s degree in a related field. This is the longest method of becoming a Web Designer, but it is also the most consistent way to build a portfolio and networking opportunities.

For students looking for alternate paths, becoming a Web Designer can take a few months of intensive bootcamp training to a year or longer of part-time study. It will still require a lot of necessary professional training, but it can be accelerated by enrolling in career-focused development courses. Students looking to take this path will need to work on other important aspects of building job materials, but they can accelerate their training process.

Web Designer vs. Similar Career

One of the key choices that a Web Designer will need to make is whether or not they want to become specialized in a specific aspect of web design. This will usually take the form of emphasizing their programming skills to become Web Developers or emphasizing specific design skills to become UI/UX Designers.

Web Developer careers are broadly divided into three categories: Front End Developers, Back End Developers, and Full Stack Developers. Front End Developers use coding languages like HTML/CSS and JavaScript to program interactive, client-facing elements of a webpage. Back End Developers work on the server-side infrastructure that keeps the webpage running while being invisible to users. Full Stack Developers are employed to handle both sides of the equation. These developers are much more concerned with coding webpages, and they will need to learn a lot more programming languages while learning almost no creative design skills.

UX/UI Designers will focus specifically on designing and developing the user interface of a web or digital application. UI Designers will use creative tools to build vibrant and evocative web designs. They will specialize in tools like Figma or Adobe XD, and they will create interactive prototypes of completed pages. User Experience Designers won’t really specialize in creative tools, but they will instead learn how to conduct human research to understand user behaviors. This training will let them work to build web applications that are more user-friendly and accessible.

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Designer at Noble Desktop

Students looking to build the technical skills they need to become Web Designers may want to consider the options available to them for professional training and skills development through Noble Desktop. These classes provide students with live training from expert instructors and include hands-on training and practical experience using real-world design samples. These classes are available at Noble’s Manhattan Campus or through live online instruction. No matter the delivery method, class sizes are kept small so students won’t have to compete with one another for their instructor’s attention. As a bonus, every Noble course comes with a free retake option, meaning you can take the class again within a year. This is ideal for students who want to receive more instruction and for students who want more time to gain hands-on experience that they can parlay into better job opportunities.

Students interested in becoming professional Web Designers will need a lot of skills training. For novices, Noble offers a Web Design Certificate program that will teach students how to use common web design software applications, how to code their designs in basic HTML/CSS and JavaScript, and how to use WordPress for more advanced webpage design. In addition, students enrolled in this class will receive one-on-one career mentoring assistance and professional development seminars, including portfolio-building exercises. This is an ideal course for any student who wants to start a new career in the field of web design. Noble also offers more targeted programs, such as the UX/UI Design Certificate program, which prepares students to design interactive interfaces for digital applications and products. This focused career-program de-emphasizes the importance of learning to code and emphasizes the importance of tactile user experience design.

Students who have a measure of professional training and are seeking to expand their skills may want to instead consider enrolling in one of Noble’s skills bootcamps. For example, in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp, students will learn how to use Adobe’s Figma software application to build interactive prototypes of web designs in order to test their functionality before beginning the coding process. This is an invaluable tool for any Web Designer to know how to use, and in a bootcamp, you can focus on learning individual skills to improve your own career standing.

Key Takeaways

  • Web Designers are tasked with designing and building web applications and other digital design projects. They tend to combine creative design skills with technical coding skills to build interactive and evocative webpages.
  • Web Designers are employed across a large variety of industries, with most designers working on large studio projects with teams of other designers.
  • Most Web Designers have four-year degrees, but it is possible to enter into the industry without a degree. Web Designers make approximately $65,000 a year.
  • Some Web Designers specialize in specific aspects of the design process, such as Web Developers who specialize in coding or UX Designers who specialize in human behavior research.
  • If you want to learn web design skills to start a new career or just start training for a more specialized career field, Noble Desktop offers career-focused training courses available in person at their Manhattan campus or in live online classrooms.

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