As with many positions, salaries for Web designers vary according to geography and the type of employer (Internet service, Web design and ISP companies pay more). The salaries below reflect both salary levels and potential hourly contracting rates.
- Web graphic designer: $30,000–45,000 ($25-50 per hour)
- Web designer: $45,000–60,000 ($40-75 per hour)
- Multimedia designer: $50,000–70,000 ($50-100 hourly)
- User interface designer: $50,000–80,000
- Website architect: $70,000–150,000
The obvious rule of thumb when determining what salary to ask for is supply and demand. Though web designers are in short supply everywhere, earning power is greatest in large cities. Generally, the more technical you are, the higher the salary you can command.
Where you work can seriously skew your pay scale. Internet developer jobs in the Northeast and on the West Coast pay more. Financial firms tend to pay the most, especially those in New York City, and salaries go higher if job duties include administering databases, managing applications, or building sites for electronic commerce.
Another way to increase your earning power is to go it alone. Although freelance work may not be as steady as a regular paycheck, programmers, designers, and writers can earn more as contract workers.