Pros and Cons of a Career in Web Page Design
If you have an eye for detail and an interest in computers, you may want to consider a career as a Web page design technician. These workers typically earn an above-average salary, but they must continue to learn new Web design skills to stay relevant in the field. Learn more about the pros and cons of a Web page design career below:
|Pros of a Web Page Design Career|
|Above-average salary ($63,160 median salary in 2013)*|
|No specific degree requirements*|
|Wide range of jobs available for skilled workers*|
|Work in an office setting*|
|Cons of a Web Page Design Career|
|Some Web design positions are being outsourced*|
|May require learning new computer languages*|
|Most jobs require a wide range of skills (creativity, concentration, attention to detail)*|
|May require sitting at a computer for lengthy periods of time*|
Source: *The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Essential Career Information
Web page design technicians, also known as Web designers or Web developers, are responsible for the appearance and performance of a website. They design, create and improve upon websites according to clients' and site users' needs. Website design technicians typically use a variety of computer languages and design software, depending on their skills and abilities. They may work as independent contractors or as employees in an office, sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time.
Salary Information and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most web developers made between $33,320 and $110,350 in 2013. The BLS predicted that jobs for Web developers would grow by 20% from 2012-2022. However, some companies are moving Web design jobs to lower-wage areas of the U.S. and overseas. Job prospects should be best for skilled Web page design technicians with extensive knowledge of computer languages, according to the BLS.
Career Skills and Requirements
What Employers Are Looking for
Many employers look for experienced Web page design technicians with varying skill and education levels. Some employers looked for candidates with specialized skills depending on the specific job requirements. Here are a few job postings that were listed in April 2012:
• A California company advertised for a Web designer with experience in graphic design and SEO to create and maintain content and marketing materials. The employer didn't specify a degree requirement.
How to Maximize Your Skills
Aside from a degree in a computer-related field, you can stand out to future employers by obtaining professional certification from the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW). This organization offers a variety of exams for Web designers at the apprentice, associate and professional levels. You must take and pass an exam in order to receive the certification. In addition to education and certification, you may also benefit from building a professional portfolio of your best work to show future employers.
Alternative Career Paths
If you're interested in a career that depends less on creative design and more on technical ability, consider a career in computer programming. As a computer programmer, you're responsible for writing and debugging computer programs using a variety of programming languages. The BLS states that most positions require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, but an associate's degree may be sufficient for some positions. According to the BLS, employment for computer programmers was expected to increase by 8% from 2012-2022, and the median annual salary for these workers was around $81,000 as of May 2013.
If you would like to work in a creative position, and are interested in designing more than Web pages, consider a graphic design career. Graphic designers create digital images for a variety of uses, such as advertisements, product packaging, company logos and individuals. According to the BLS, a bachelor's degree is typically required for jobs in this field, but nearly a third of graphic designers are self-employed. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for graphic designers was around $49,610 in May 2013, and employment was expected to grow by 7% from 2012 to 2022.