A web designer creates layouts for pages and templates for websites, develops graphics, audio and video content and produces the overall design using development tools and coding languages.
You could be:
- discussing the content and format of the website with the clients, including the purpose of the site and its target audience
- designing page layouts using wireframe concepts and including text sizes, colours and other formatting
- presenting concepts and designs to clients
- producing the website design, using development tools such as Visual Studio and Dreamweaver
- producing graphics, video and audio content to incorporate into the website
- ensuring the design is compatible with all browsers, works across mobile devices and meets accessibility standards
- working with other professionals including web developers, UX specialists and graphic designers.
There is often some overlap between the duties of a web designer and front end developer.
The figures below are only a guide. Pay rates vary widely, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
The starting salary can be in the range of £18,000 to £24,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to £30,000 a year and senior or lead web designers can up to around £40,000 a year, sometimes more.
If you work freelance, your income will vary, depending on the contracts you get.
- You will generally work normal office hours from Monday to Friday, but might sometimes have to work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines.
- You might sometimes have to travel to visit clients and spend overnights away from home.
- You will spend most of your time working at a computer.
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- Entrants usually have a degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) in a subject such as web design and development, digital media or interactive media.
- If you have a degree in a non-computing subject you could take a postgraduate course in a related subject.
- For entry to an HND course you normally require 1-2 Highers plus some subjects at National 5. For entry to a degree course you need 4-5 Highers.
- You might get in through a Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications or Digital Applications at SCQF Level 6, then work your way up with experience and further specialist training, or a Technical Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 8.
- You may need to do a technical test as part of a job interview.
- Knowledge of web technologies is useful, for example: HTML and CSS; design and graphics software, such as Illustrator and Adobe Creative Suite; and content management systems.
There are jobs in almost all industries, including retail, IT, education, the media, central and local government, finance, the communications industry and healthcare. Jobs are advertised in the press and on the internet.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You need to have:
- good attention to detail
- an eye for design, colour and shape
- an understanding of web technologies and standards
- good communication skills
- a good understanding of how people interact with websites and web applications
- an up to date knowledge of developments in IT.
You need to be able to:
- listen to your client's ideas and interpret them
- work accurately under pressure and meet tight deadlines
- understand your client's business needs
- work well as part of a team and individually.
- Training can be on the job with part time study.
- You would usually complete other short courses whilst working.
- You can take short courses run by manufacturers, in appropriate software, to fill gaps in your knowledge and keep up to date with new packages.
- You can work towards professional qualifications in web design through The UK Web Design Association.
- With experience, you might become a project manager.
- You might move learn more programming and scripting languages and move into a development role (see the Front End Developer or Web Developer job profiles).
- You could work freelance or do contract work (usually jobs lasting for a few months at a time).
If you are considering a career in IT why not take a look at the Tech Future Careers website developed by the Tech Partnership, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology? You will find the video case studies of workers and general information on the industry useful.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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