Career Guide  
Web Designer
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Occupation Overview

The World Wide Web (WWW) has seen a dramatic growth in its short existence. It has caught on more quickly than any other innovation this century. Five years ago, web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer didn't even exist. Today…

  • More than 80 million adults (40% of the U.S. population aged 16 or older) are accessing the Internet (IntelliQuest, April 1999).
  • One quarter of U.S. homes are online (Roper Starch, May 1999).
  • Nearly 70% of the online population shopped online during the first quarter of 1999 (IntelliQuest, April 1999).

Today, nearly every company and organization, and even some individuals, have established a web presence. This allows them to reach a wide audience in a cost-effective manner to provide information, collect information, or sell goods.

Each website has someone responsible for defining the features, implementing those features, and maintaining the website. Web Designers focus on implementing the website by designing web pages and creating the navigational path that allows users to move around within the site.


Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:

Web Project Manager, Internet Consultant, Internet/Intranet Architect, and Manager of Internet Services.

Skills Transferable to:

Computer Programmer, Quality Assurance Engineer, Technical Support Engineer, and Technical Writer.


Job Descriptions

Inexperienced: ($12-40/hr)

Experienced: ($25-115/hr)

Web Designers are also known as Web Programmers, Web Developers, Java Programmers, and Web Engineers. Using web development tools like Java and HTML, they design and produce websites. They are responsible for determining how users move from one part of the website to another, and they take into consideration factors such as security and download speed when they program.

Web Page Designers work with others, including marketing people who define the content of the website, and Graphic Designers who are sometimes responsible for graphic images appearing at the site.

The complexity of websites varies considerably, resulting in a range of job opportunities for individuals with varying levels of education and experience. New Web Designers might focus on developing websites for small companies and individuals who are interested primarily in the display of information. More experienced Web Designers, typically those with more programming experience, are more likely to develop websites for larger companies that will include some or all of the following functionality:

  • the display of information (e.g., product descriptions, support FAQ, company organization details, and job opening information)
  • the collection of information (e.g., customer feedback, surveys, and loan applications)
  • the analysis of information (e.g., mortgage calculators, real estate locators, and stock selectors)
  • the purchase of products (e.g., books, CDs, and software)
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