UI/UX Designer Salary: Starting, Average, and Must-Have Skills

The UI/UX design industry is rapidly growing, with global market size of $10 million. It means that user experience design is critical in web development. Research shows that more than 70% of businesses online flop because of poor user experiences. Thus, launching a product without designers’ input is a huge mistake.

However, the cost to hire UX designer depends on various factors such as their location, skills, and specialization. Thus, if you are interested in recruiting competent designers for your team, you must familiarize yourself with the salary ranges and the required skills. 

This article explores the designer salary and the must-have skills applicants should have when applying for a UX role.

What Determines UX/UI Designer Salary?

You can find many websites online that display salaries for different professions. Platforms like Payscale and Glassdoor collect information about salaries, and you can check how much people earn in different sectors. These websites get data by engaging former employees of different organizations or job postings. Even though you might not get concrete estimates, a quick online scan can help you get a rough figure range. Thus, checking several platforms and conducting a thorough analysis is advisable. 

UI/UX Designer Starting Salary

According to Glassdoor, a US-based designer starting out in the UX field earns around $80,000 yearly with a minimal experience of one year. It is an impressive package that will grow with more experience in the field. 

UI/UX Designer Average Salary

Glassdoor also states that the average salary for most designers is $104,580 per year, though the numbers can change drastically. On the other hand, Payscale gives a range of $54,000 – $109,000.

The salary shift might be because of advanced skills, more experience, or the organization. Highly established companies usually pay their designers a better remuneration than startups.

So, what factors determine a UX/UI salary, and what explains the difference?

Experience 

Even if you are a qualified designer, the years of experience will determine your salary to a large extent. The more experience you have, the higher your salary range. An individual with ten years of experience is a senior designer with an average salary of more than $100,000. Conversely, a junior designer with one year in the industry might earn around $65,000 to $82,000 per year.

Expertise 

UI/UX design is a diverse industry with many roles requiring different skills. Even the UI and UX role is different. Some companies might treat it as one role, but big companies often hire a user interface and user experience designer as distinct experts with separate duties. Other essential positions include a researcher, strategist, writer, information architect, and product designer.

According to the Payscale site, let us look at some roles and the average estimates you can earn at different positions.

• UX/UI designer – $80,000

• Product Designer – $91,000

• Researcher – $82,000

• Strategist – $83,000

• Visual designer – $66,000

As you can see, each role has different average salary estimates ranging from $66K to $91K. You might find figures within the same range when visiting various job review sites. 

Location 

Another crucial aspect that influences salaries is the job’s location. The demographics play a huge role in determining the salary an individual earns. For instance, you can get a better salary in popular tech hubs like New York, San Fransisco, or Chicago compared to places with fewer IT companies. 

If you’re okay with hiring a UX/UI designer remotely, you may check the rates in other countries. Getting a UX/UI expert in a non-Western country is always more affordable. For instance, hiring a designer from South America, Asia, or Africa is less costly than a designer from Seattle. 

Even though there is no reliable database showing salaries in different countries, below is an overview of our research. 

• USA – $100,000

• Canada – $58,000

• South America   – $13,000

• India – $9,000

Thus, the salaries vary in different locations, as indicated above. That is why many US companies might prefer to outsource tech projects to other countries. 

black smartphone near person

Source: Unsplash

Must-have UI/UX Skills 

Since UX design is quite diverse, candidates must have various hard and soft skills to effectively perform their role in the company. Whether they want to focus on research, design, or copywriting, possessing the mandatory skillset will make them a perfect match for your job.

Let us explore the skills one must have to land a rewarding role.

Research and Analysis 

Research is one of the essential skills in user experience design. It entails collecting relevant information about the target customer and analyzing it to arrive at the most relevant product solutions. Researchers identify the customer’s pain points, needs, and expectations. Once the expert completes the research phase, they should use the obtained data to develop evidence-based designs. 

Wireframing and Prototyping 

Wireframes are basic layouts that outline the design approach. They also include content and design elements to guide user interactions with the product. In contrast, prototypes are interactive design mockups that contain the final product’s functionality. Thus, a skilled designer should develop the wireframes and prototypes for each product design.

Information Architecture

Another vital skill is information architecture, where one must have the ability to organize content effectively. This skill helps customers navigate a product and get the information they want without wasting time. It enhances usability and improves the user experience. 

Visual Design 

Having a graphic design background is a plus for UX/UI designers. An applicant must understand basic design principles to create impeccable layouts. So, having impressive visual design skills will propel one’s career in the right direction. 

Coding

Even though coding is not a critical skill for designers, programming knowledge will give an individual a competitive edge during the job search. Languages such as HTML, Javascript, and CSS are a big bonus in a resume, and recruiters always prefer to choose the coders from many applicants. 

The soft skills required from a designer include communication, problem-solving, empathy, collaboration, and organization. 

Conclusion 

Now that you know the average pay of designers, you have a better chance of hiring the right talent. Whether looking for junior designers or lead experts, you can research more to know the pay range for each UX position. Pick the candidates with impressive portfolios, qualifications, and skills required to execute the job perfectly.

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