Web Design Careers

Many web designers, often known as graphic artists, are self-employed. They use their artistic skills to create solutions to meet their clients’ business needs and communicate marketing messages to the audience members, all within the framework of specific business requirements. Web designers should have a thorough knowledge of how web sites are coded, so they can better understand how to create overall designs, navigation and functionality that will function correctly and adhere to web standards. Web designers use software such as Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop and Flash to create web site designs and elements. Web designers have the ability to interpret client input and understand their client’s goals and translate that into a design that communicates the client’s vision and message and allows the user to locate the information they seek quickly.

Employment Opportunities

Web design professionals may work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Web design firms
  • Digital media firms
  • As an independent contractor


Web design professionals need a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Creativity
  • Computer proficiency
  • Knowledge of HTML coding
  • Listening skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people who may not have technical or artistic knowledge
  • Excellent verbal, visual and written communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to work on tight deadlines
  • Sales ability

Industry Spotlight

Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 10 percent, about as fast as average for all occupations from 2006 to 2016, as demand for graphic design continues to increase from advertisers, publishers, and computer design firms. Some of this increase is expected to stem from the expansion of the video entertainment market, including television, movies, video, and made-for-Internet outlets.

Moreover, graphic designers with Web site design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media—Web sites, video games, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, and other technology. Demand for graphic designers also will increase as advertising firms create print and Web marketing and promotional materials for a growing number of products and services.

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008