Starting a Web Design Career in Seattle
What is Web Design?
Web Design is the process of creating websites. It involves the layout of the as well as the content and graphic design. There are several pathways one can take to become a web designer.
The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to find your specialty. Some prefer to complex code from scratch. Others use “What You See is What You Get” editors like Adobe Dreamweaver.
The first thing you will want to do when deciding on a web design career is get an education. When beginning a new career, it can often be overwhelming figuring out where to start. Yes, it is possible to find a job without a degree. However, it is best to research an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Web Design, or a related field.
Besides college, you can do short programs or boot camps in less time to earn a certificate and have something to put on a resume. Some of these include Codecademy, Flat Iron School, and Coding Dojo.
CSS is what you use to style the site and make it appealing to potential future customers. These two alone can create an essential, attractive website.
Learning these three languages and understanding how to use them is your first step in becoming a successful web designer. Make sure you continue to practice on your own time to get more comfortable!
Outside of coding languages, it may be a wise idea to brush up on your math skills. If you begin a college degree, math will almost always be a part of the curriculum.
If you are not attending college, great resources like Khan Academy offer free learning online. Coding does have some math components involved that you will come across. The more prepared you are, the better.
Pathways of a Web Designer
As a web designer, there are many pathways you can take to begin your career. One option is interface design. Interface design is the process of building interfaces in software or other devices, focusing on the overall look or style.
Another pathway is mobile app development. In this pathway, you work together with a team to design and develop an app to use on your phones. Given the technology trends over the last few years, this would likely be a significant area of focus.
Graphic design is another area that includes graphics and other art skills to deliver a message. You can also use your web design experience to work in marketing and advertising.
As a front-end developer, you do everything on the “client’s side,” including what they see first. As a web designer, you can learn all the languages necessary to be a primary front-end developer. You know the three languages mentioned previously as well as JQUERY.
Front-end developers can do much more than just web design. These include building applications and programs to go along with your design. Once you have gained enough experience, you can move into more website developer jobs.
Salary for Seattle Web Designers
In Seattle, here are the current statistics. As of January 2021, the average salary for a web designer is $72,015. This is 13% above the national salary! The typical range is $58,000-$78,000. If you are a full-stack developer, it increases to close to $90k.
If you are a freelance web designer, your salary can vary greatly. The average salary for a freelance is $55,810. It ranges anywhere between $23k and $111k, the difference being you create your schedule.
As with most careers, the more experience and knowledge, the better you are paid. This is an advantage of the coding field; you can continue learning languages and grow as a programmer! As you progress in your career, you can open up many possibilities by enhancing your coding and language skills.
SEO and Other Topics to Consider
Search engine optimization is the process of making your website show up in search engines like Google when a keyword is looked up. The better the website, including the keyword usage, the higher it will be on search engine websites. This can be crucial for your business, as it is uncommon for people to go back to the third or fourth pages. Also, the higher up on the search engine, the more people are likely to trust it.
When starting a career in web design, something else to consider is becoming a full-stack developer. Yes, this takes time to learn the languages and get the experience. In the end, it will benefit you greatly in your line of work.
Being a full-stack developer will significantly increase your functionality as a web designer. You will create custom business websites using front and back-end coding to wow your clients. On top of that, you can also have a significantly higher salary being a full-stack developer.
Branding is another helpful strategy when starting your web design journey. The more professional your work comes off, the more likely it will attract clients and future business. Incorporating different styles and designs into your branding can set you apart from your competition.
Branding can include stylesheets, specific colors associated with your brand, logos, and more. Even those jingles you get stuck in your head are branding; Something to make the client remember you by.
The last topic to consider here is marketing and online marketing. Initially, you might not think web design has a lot to do with marketing for your business. However, web design is crucial for marketing your business.
Some studies say that 75% of visitors judge your business by your website design. When using web design to advertise your business, things to consider are aesthetics, user experience, and improving your web presence.
Having a website that is pleasing to the user’s eyes and easy to navigate will increase business. Using high-resolution pictures and colors that blend help create an ambiance, making visitors want to stick around and look more.
As far as web presence, combine web design with social media marketing to get your business on several platforms. The more people see an ad on Instagram or Facebook, the more likely they know about your business.
Think of a commercial or a radio jingle that gets stuck in your head. You have never sought out the product personally, but somehow the advertisement is running through your head. This is an excellent example of design and marketing coming together.
Finding the Right Job for You
So now you have gotten confident enough to go out and get a job in the field. Where do you start? The first place to start would be to research what type of web design you want to do. Find what area of web design interests you the most. A specialty, if you will.
The next thing you will want to do is update your resume. A professional, clean resume helps leave a good impression. There are also websites like LinkedIn to upload your resume where businesses can see it and recruit you.
Other websites you can use to look for jobs are Indeed, Glassdoor, and Ziprecruiter. You can upload your resume once and attach it to multiple positions for most of these.
Local Companies to Work For
Now you have your resume experience and looked at jobs in the area. Next, you should research some local companies with a good reputation and align with what you are looking for. There will be a lot of companies initially when you begin your search. Having a specific pathway, you would like to explore as a web designer will help narrow this down.
This will be your career, so you want to take the time to research. Seattle has a lot of companies that focus on web design, digital marketing, and related fields. Here are some top companies in the area and what their primary focus is:
The first company is called Visualwebz in Seattle. It is a web design firm that focuses on custom WordPress websites, SEO, and User Experience. Other focuses are content creation, online marketing, logo design, and digital advertising.
Another great company is Seattle SEO Now in downtown Seattle. It focuses on increasing business sales and marketing through SEO, marketing, and custom websites.
The third company is Seattle Website Developer. They are an agency whose primary focus is web design and development. They specialize in responsive web design for mobile and desktop. They also provide services like SEO and Pay-per-click.
You’ve spent countless days and hours getting your education and putting in the work. Now, you deserve to see the fruits of your labor! Finding your ideal job in your field is the last piece of the puzzle. It would be wise to apply to multiple positions, even if they are not your top pick.
Sometimes you may have trouble finding the right job. One option would be to do some freelance web design jobs to get started. Build yourself a website that promotes who you are and what you can do. Making your website a resume is a great way to showcase your talents.