Starting Salary for Web Designers

Web designers are a vital component to the business industry, whether it is for an online company trying to upsell products or for a local business trying to gain new clients. Designing, creating, and modifying websites, web designers need to be able to implement the correct content, performance, graphics, and capacity for websites.

Earning a Web Design degree will open many new career opportunities for those who have little experience in this sector, allowing them to obtain entry-level employment at a corporation. After earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in Web Design, individuals who are searching for an entry-level position should compare each employer’s starting salary with the benefits package to ensure the right job.

Starting Salaries Explained

From creating website aesthetics to controlling the core network, most businesses utilize the Internet as an essential component of their business’ model. Web designers can make a decent salary working for themselves or for a corporation. According to PayScale, the starting salary for a web designer in an entry-level position is about $27,311, depending on the company and location.

PayScale explains that self-employed web designers can earn between $23,966 and $40,237, while those who are hired on as contract can earn between $40,000 and $75,000. Web designers who work for universities or colleges potentially earn between $36,392 and $52,854 in wages, and web designers for school districts earn between $28,998 and $49,721. State and local government positions pay web designers between $31,800 and $52,381, and web designers for the federal government can earn between $50,421 and $65,111.

Factors that Affect the Starting Salary

Not only does the geographical region affect entry-level salary but so does industry demand and cost of living in the location. Web designers who desire an entry-level position in a metropolitan area can expect to earn a higher starting wage than those in smaller cities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top paying states for web designers in America include:

  • District of Columbia – Annual mean wage of $81,150

  • New York – Annual mean wage of $76,190

  • Maryland – Annual mean wage of $75,560

  • Virginia – Annual mean wage of $75,540

  • Massachusetts – Annual mean wage of $74,000

Work environment can also have a huge impact on the starting wage of a web designer. Those who start out at a large corporation in an IT department will earn more than those who work for a local or small business. Having an excellent benefits package can offset a lower salary, which is why taking into account both the salary and the compensation package is vital to choosing a position as a web designer. Demand for web designers can vary greatly from state to state, and states with a greater demand generally pay a higher annual mean salary. The BLS shows that the following states hold the highest concentration of web design jobs.

  • District of Columbia – 1,240 employed – $81,150

  • Washington – 4,240 employed – $72,430

  • Massachusetts – 4,640 employed – $74,000

  • Utah – 1,700 employed – $57,400

  • Oregon – 2,260 employed – $69,100

Future Prospects for Web Designers

A 2010 report from the BLS shows that the career outlook for web designers is expected to increase by 22 percent by 2020, providing an additional 65,700 jobs in this industry. Web designers who graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Web Design and have two to four years of work experience can apply for a promotion as a Level 2 Web Designer, which comes with a jump in salary. The more work experience a web designer has, the higher salary will be. PayScale reports that web designers can make upwards of $72,590, depending on their experience, location, and company.

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