How to Become a UX Designer
UX design, or user experience design, is a growing field within web development that offers high salaries and excellent job satisfaction. UX designers are part of a greater field of programmers that include web developers, UI (user interface) designers, and others.
User experience designers are vital to consumer software and web development. These professional programmers shape the online world, and are behind every site and program we use. UX designers are part of the reason you can tell the difference between an old and new site.
What Is UX Design?
UX (user experience) designers create systems and products that provide a helpful experience for users. They ensure that websites are easy to navigate, visually attractive, functional, and logically oriented.
User experience designers are the last line of defense for a digital product. They are in charge of everything the user sees and directly interacts with. This includes the layout of the site, colors, button location, menus, graphics, and everything else they deem helpful to the user.
What Do UX Designers Do?
User experience designers build the visual and interactive parts of a website, software product, or application. Everything from social media sites to phone interfaces are designed by these professionals.
However, user experience design is most commonly associated with web development. And while they don’t always code, UX designers can use their coding skills to create the features of a site. Also, they arrange everything in a way that’s easy to navigate and helpful to users.
User experience designers aren’t as concerned with the ‘inner workings’ or ‘backend’ development of a site. Nonetheless, they do collaborate closely with backend and other front end web developers. This ensures all features work together in harmony to create a sleek and functional product.
UX Design Job Description
UX design is a complex and technically challenging field, with a lot of job duty variations between positions. One UX designer’s task list is likely completely different than another product designer. That’s true even if they work in the same building. However, most UX designers (and front end web developers, for that matter) have certain job duties in common. We compiled a list of some of the most common shared aspects of UX design job descriptions.
UX Design Technologies and Programming Languages
Some UX designers don’t code very much, and others only learn a few languages. However, learning how to code is often recommended (and sometimes necessary) for virtually all parts of web development.
UX designers vary in their preferred languages, but many learn the same set of 3 or 4 early on. The coding landscape changes constantly. But 4 languages have a long history with UX design (and probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon).
What Are the Required Skills for UX Design Careers?
UX design is a challenging (yet rewarding) career path, offering high salaries and a wide range of work and freelance opportunities. However, being a user experience designer requires specialized skills, most of which required dedication and training to master. Nonetheless, anyone with motivation and time can learn what it takes to become a UX designer. Here are a few of the most important skills needed to start a UX design career.
How Much Do UX Designers Make?
User experience design, like most web development jobs, can be very lucrative (even early on in your career). According to Glassdoor, the average base UX designer salary in the United States is $85,011. Plus, designers make an additional $7,000 or so in bonuses and overtime. That brings total compensation quite close to $100,000.
And like most fields in the tech industry, salaries vary widely based on a few factors. The factors that have the biggest impact on salary are geographic location, experience, education, and company. Here, we compiled the average UX designer salaries from 15 major metropolitan areas.
|San Francisco, CA||$102,166|
|Los Angeles, CA||$84,453|
|New York, NY||$88,302|
Mean Annual Salary
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)
UX Designer Salary by Years of Experience
- Average Salary
- Average Salary
How to Become a UX Designer
UX design is a growing career field with plenty of opportunity. UX design, along with the web development field as a whole, has a pretty low barrier-to-entry. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the typical education for the field is an associate’s degree.
An associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in design or computer science certainly helps. Nonetheless, many UX designers don’t have any degrees. The tech industry is quite flexible with education requirements. In many cases, experience and ability matter more than education, though not always.
Coding bootcamps are an alternative to college, and they’re a popular route into a web development career. Bootcamps, which are short-term career training programs, offer a fast way to learn a lot of coding skills.
Both coding bootcamp and college have their own pros and cons. Everyone should weigh the options and decide on the path that works best for them. Some UX designers are entirely self-taught. And while uncommon, it’s theoretically possible to get into the field from any angle.
UX Design Learning Paths
What Companies Are Hiring UX Designers?
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Data Science Positions: 97
Average Salary: $139,508
2020 Best UX Design Bootcamps
Will coding bootcamp help me get a job?
Absolutely! Coding bootcamp is a proven way to train for a job in tech. Many coding bootcamps offer job guarantees, and some refund tuition if graduates can’t find a job in the field they trained for. In fact, coding bootcamp teaches skills that many college computer science graduates lack.
How much do coding bootcamps cost?
Coding bootcamp tuition varies. Coding bootcamps in New York City cost around $10,000 to $20,000. However, many scholarships and tuition deferment programs are available, so what you see doesn’t have to be what you pay.
What are income share agreements?
Income share agreements, or ISAs, are a new way to pay for education. These programs defer tuition until after students graduate and find a job in the industry. Once students are employed and making above a certain income threshold (usually $40-60,000 per year) they begin paying a fixed percent of their income, often for around 2 years. If students can’t find a job, many bootcamps waive the cost of tuition.
Do I have to learn coding to work in the tech industry?
You don’t have to learn coding to work in the tech industry. In fact, there are several non-coding bootcamps in New York City. These programs train you for a position in tech sales, marketing, or product management–all of which are well-paid positions with plenty of advancement opportunity.