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How do I Become a Professional Web Designer?

Article Details
  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Combining art with modern technology is a sought after skill, and many professional web designers can do so proficiently. If you want a career creating appealing website designs for clients, you will typically need some talent, an education, and experience. Having an eye for art while being technically-savvy is usually expected in this field if you want to become a professional web designer, so be sure your skills are well-rounded enough to meet these demands. Additionally, be prepared to constantly learn new skills, as the world of technology seems to change frequently.

To become a professional web designer, it is usually recommended that you have a formal education. Some designers are self-taught, but the majority of job postings request either an associate's or bachelor's degree. Common majors for web designers include fine arts, visual arts, publishing, or graphic design. Computer courses are typically included in the latter two programs, but additional classes dealing with technology are also helpful. Note that while you will not usually have to program your own designs, you will be more marketable if you at least know the basics of web developing.

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A degree can usually improve your chances to become a professional web designer during the application process, but this alone will not give you talent. Your job will be to conceptualize and create appealing websites, so knowing what constitutes attractive and unattractive designs is typically considered a necessary skill to have as a website designer. Before you decide to pursue this career path, show your designs to friends, family, classmates, and coworkers to get their opinion. Lacking a natural eye for art might not make it impossible for you to become a professional web designer, but it can typically make it more difficult since you will likely need to put more effort into it.

Whether you choose to go to school or not, consider starting out small to gain experience. Most colleges offer internships that you can take for credit or a very minimal wage. This can allow you to find out what it is like to work in this field, and it may also afford you some experience that you can add to your resume. Also, consider asking local small business owners if they need a basic website for an affordable price. Once you successfully complete a web design that looks good, you can start a portfolio to show potential employers.

Once you have a degree, and at least a few designs in a portfolio, you can confidently apply for jobs. If you cannot find a full-time position at a company at first, consider offering your services on a contract basis. This way, the company you work with can pay you per project, perhaps hiring you full-time if they approve of your work. You might not become a professional web designer overnight, but if you take these steps, you should eventually achieve your goal.

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