Today’s most valuable currency isn’t gold, silver, or your favorite currency. It’s information. Everyone wants it and they use the internet to get it. That’s why being a web designer is a career choice that many are considering right now. It is a job that is consistently in demand because the world is becoming more connected every day. Companies are always looking to update or refresh their look. On the other hand, web designers are also looking at computer screens and mobile devices all day and that has certain eyesight and health risks associated with the practice.
Are you thinking about becoming a web designer? Then here are some of the key points to consider when taking a look at an employment opportunity within this career field.
What Are the Pros of Being a Web Designer?
1. It is easy to work on your own.
There are only a handful of careers that offer legitimate stay-at-home opportunities for professionals. Web design is one of them. If you’re not a big fan of the 9-5 daily grind [or 8-5 if you’re forced to take a 1 hour unpaid lunch], then going freelance as a web designer could be right for you. You’ll still need to meet certain obligations for your clients, but you’ll have a lot more freedom to work when you want to work.
2. You’re not always confined to a standard office.
Even if you do opt for a traditional employer as a web designer, the fact that much of your work is on a computer plays to your advantage. As long as there is an internet connection, you’re going to be able to work. This means you can set up shop at your local coffee shop, down at the local library, or even telecommute if your boss allows it. You don’t necessarily have to stay in a cubicle farm in order to collect a paycheck.
3. Many web designers earn a competitive salary.
In the United States, the median annual salary for web designers was just above $63,000. This makes it possible for some families to keep one parent at home while the other works if they wish since it’s above the national income median. For single workers just starting out in their career, this kind of opportunity can help you to establish your credit, live comfortably, and prepare for the future without much financial worry at all.
4. You’re not confined to one specific industry.
Web designers can take projects from any business in virtually any industry today. The top choices tend to be scientific, government, tech services, or general sales, but anything from construction to a personal blog can all become something that you can work on. This limits the repetitive boredom that can strike many other career opportunities in our fast paced world today.
5. There are great employment opportunities.
By the year 2026, there is an expected 20% job growth in this industry. If you’re unemployed or under-employed right now, then the time is right to consider a switch over to this field.
6. You can receive instant feedback.
Even if you don’t receive complimentary emails or messages about your site, you can know if you’ve done a good job just by the levels of visitor interaction that you see on the site. When you’re writing code, you get instant feedback about how well your design may work. In this way, being a web designer can be quite rewarding.
What Are the Cons of Being a Web Designer?
1. You are sitting for long periods of time.
Web designers are forced to be in front of a computer screen when they are working. This creates unique levels of fatigue, especially in the eyes, back, and neck, that can actually lead to long-term health issues. Certain protections, such as colored eye wear, neck and back stretches, and under-the-desk exercise bikes can keep this under control somewhat, but not 100%. Even stand-up desks are an option that can reduce, but not eliminate, these health risks.
2. You could be working really long hours.
If you’re working online for a client, then there’s a good chance that you’re being asked to put in more hours than you may like. Internet work tends to have less patience with the creative process than other career fields, so expect to work some extra hours, including nights and weekends, when you first get started. If you’re not disciplined about your work, you can easily find yourself work 7 days per week.
3. You’re never really done with your education.
Because the internet is always evolving and technologies are always improving, you’re never really done with your education when you pursue a career as a web designed. You have to stay on top of user experience trends, know what value propositions should be included with your designs, and understand how coding updates could affect the accessibility of your website.
4. Multitasking is something that always happens.
Unlike other jobs, most web designers aren’t really working on just one project at a time. You’re going to be juggling several projects at once, especially if you want to earn a fair wage while working on your own. This means you must stay focused on each project and keep them separate from one another, yet be able to switch gears at a moment’s notice.
5. It’s tough to know if you’re really making a difference.
If you’re a social worker, then you know that you’re helping families. When you’re a janitor, you make a difference by creating a sanitary environment. Web development, however, is one of those careers where you really don’t know if you are creating a positive change for someone. In some aspects, it makes the job feel almost silly or trivial sometimes.
6. You can be forced to work on some really boring content.
It might be fun to make websites about games, but what about those times when you need to talk about the alloy process for modern aluminum? Modern web design does more than make you work on stuff you don’t like. It really can be downright boring, but the job still has to get done.
When considering the pros and cons of being a designer, there are also personal issues that must be looked at. Do you have the equipment to work from home? Are there any web design firms hiring in your area? Compare those answers with these key points and you’ll have a clearer picture about whether or not this is a career for you.
Are you a web designer? What advice would you offer someone who was thinking about breaking into this career option for the first time? We’d love to hear about some of your own personal experiences.