How Long Does it Take to Become a Web Designer?

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A web designer is a professional who designs, updates and maintains websites for a living. She works with the aesthetics of a website, ensuring that a webpage is easy to navigate, supports major browsers and complies with website standards. A web designer's overall goal is to produce websites that captivate the online audience and bring repeat web traffic.

Web Designer Training

  • Web designers can take their training within the classroom or online. Training resources are available through online community forums, self-paced tutorials and textbooks. Some web designers are self-taught and take courses at their own pace, while others take more rigorous training at community colleges and four-year institutions.

Experience and Education Required

  • Web designers do not require a degree to perform their job. However, companies hiring for web designers usually require a bachelor's degree in marketing, graphics design or computer science, while others require an associate's degree or certificate.

    Web designers should be familiar with HTML (hypertext markup language), CSS (cascading style sheets), JavaScript, Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver and the Adobe suite. An eye for design, hands-on experience and a portfolio of work are also required. Experience can be gained through internships, volunteer services and by completing web projects in their spare time or on the job.

Length of Training

  • The length of training for a web designer is two to four years. Individuals with a creative background find it easier to learn web design. Because web designers have to constantly keep abreast of new technology, learning never stops. During training, a web designer should assemble a portfolio displaying his skills and creativity for future employers or clients.

Pros and Cons of Being a Web Designer

  • Web designers have to put in long hours of work to make immediate changes to a website or meet a client's deadline, which requires flexibility and patience. They must be willing to listen to the company or client's needs and create a design they may not find appealing. On the other hand, a web designer can work from any location. Web designers who telecommute must purchase their own software, which can be expensive. The career of a web designer is rewarding, as the finished work is published for the world to see.

Salary of a Web Designer

  • According to Payscale, the 2009 median salary of a web designer with less than a year of experience is $30,000-$45,000 per year. Web designers with one to four years of experience make $32,000-$48,000 a year, and those with 10-19 years of experience make between $40,000-$80,000 a year.

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