Web Master/Mistress
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Occupation Overview

The World Wide Web (WWW) has seen dramatic growth in its short existence. It has caught on more quickly than just about any other innovation this century and has created the most recent explosion of growth in the Information Technology (IT) industry and IT occupations. In fact, Nielsen//NetRatings reported in August 2001 that more than 160 million Americans are accessing the Internet (see www.nielsennetratings.com).

Most companies today perceive the need to establish a web presence. This allows them to provide information about their company and their products/services in a cost-effective manner to those who are interested in their company.

On-line commerce is also becoming more prevalent. By 2006 it is estimated that over 35% of all business-to-business spending will occur online (Jupiter Media Matrix, September 2001).

This has all led to a growing need for technically proficient webmasters, or Web Managers as they are starting to be called. These professionals are responsible for maintaining websites. For smaller sites, they might also be involved in defining and implementing the features of the website. For larger sites they are more likely to be involved in supporting and upgrading an existing web site.

While companies sometimes hire out the original design and implementation of their website, they almost always have someone internally manage the site. Businesses are becoming more interested in measuring the value of their websites, which has led to an increased emphasis on metrics: the ability to measure and improve statistics on site performance and usage.


Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:
System Administrator and management are two common advancement routes for this occupation. Other options include starting your own Internet consulting firm or working for another small Internet firm.

Skills Transferable to:
Software Engineer, Computer Programmer, and Computer Systems Analyst.


Job Descriptions

Webmasters, like Web Page Designers (and even some Graphic Designers), can create web pages. However, the majority of their responsibilities involve the maintenance and updating of an existing website. They are responsible for ensuring the website operates as expected, maintaining consistency throughout the website, ensuring that hyperlinks to other places on the WWW are current, and responding to questions/requests/complaints from users.

One may start out as a Web Page Designer and work their way up to a Webmaster position. Salaries vary widely in this industry, and are sometimes quite high, though not as high as they once were given the increasing population of people able to perform the job.

Entry Level: $7 - 27 / hour ($15 / hour average)

Experienced, New to Job: $7 - 55 / hour ($34 / hour average)

Experienced in Job: $9 - 76 / hour ($45 / hour average)

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