Have you ever thought about the UI designer salary you could get if you’d be in this field? How much does a UI designer make anyway?
As key members of a software development team, user interface designers are responsible for creating and arranging a software’s user interface.
For many software users, this is the only part of the program they will ever see and interact with. It’s an incredibly important element of software design.
Sometimes user interface designers are hired under titles like user experience (abbreviated as UX) designer or user interaction designer. Regardless of the title, a user interface designer has the same duties and responsibilities.
Some companies and organization may have slightly different expectations for specific competencies like programming languages or understanding of particular software packages.
The job is almost entirely mental office work and most user interface designers are employed full time—though, like all software designers, a user interface designer may end up putting in a lot of overtime as deadlines and due dates start looming.
A user interface designer should understand the entire software development cycle, as well as be an excellent programmer. Most employers expect a user interface designer to have a bachelor’s degree in relevant fields like human-computer interactions, graphic design, or other information technology related degrees. Other proficiencies will depend upon the position and employer.
Like other positions in the IT industry, the average UI designer salary has gotten large due to the development of the internet industry around the world. With the importance of user interfaces and the high education requirements needed from a user interface designer, how much does a UI designer make?
Should you invest time, money, and energy into the field? How important to a UI/UX designer salary are updated skillsets? Does experience level make any difference to user interface designer salary?
What is the Average UI Designer Salary?
You can expect the annual UI designer salary to be between $84,500 and $95,000. What’s particularly interesting about working as a user interface designer is that it is a profession that ranks quite highly for work-life balance.
In Forbes’ article “29 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance”, user interface designer and user experience designer rank at 5th and 2nd respectively. User interface design is an excellent profession to pursue if you are looking for a high salary while maintaining a nice balance between work and personal life.
What Difference Does Experience Make For User Interface Design Salary?
Quite a bit. A junior UI designer salary is normally about $40k to $60k a year. The exact number will depend in your education level and any related experience may you have. Job satisfaction rates fairly high among junior user interface designers.
Women slightly outnumber men at this level. It can be hard to start at the bottom and work your way up, but take comfort in knowing it’s a satisfying job and there are plenty of opportunities after all your hard work.
With work and time, you’ll find your footing and start earning more. The senior UI designer salary is often six figures. Major tech hubs and larger cities have more competition for user interface designer positions. However, there are still plenty of opportunities (and good user interface designer salaries) to be found in other locations.
What Companies Need User Interface Designers and What Do They Pay?
On Glassdoor it says that the average salary for user interface designers in the United States is approximately $85,000. $57k is on the low end of the pay scale and $121k is on the high end. For large companies like Google, a user interface designer can expect to make $112,000 a year.
The average at PayPal is a little less, coming in at about $93k a year. Apple, as you might imagine, pays quite a large salary to great user interface designers, around $123k per year.
Social platforms also pay a pretty large annual UI designer salary. User interface designers at LinkedIn earn $116,000 a year on average. Twitter offers from $104,664 to $116,501 per year. YouTube is quite similar. Facebook offers a smaller UI/UX designer salary, around $85,000 a year.
Microsoft is one of several companies that outsource their user interface design to freelancers. Freelance user interface designers work on contract, normally at hourly rates. Most freelance user interface designers working for Microsoft can expect $43 an hour. Indeed.com states that freelance designers in general have yearly earnings of about $59k.
Does the Country Matter For User Interface Designer Salary?
Yes, though more experienced user interface designers notice less of a difference. There’s a lot of evidence that user interface designers make less in the UK than in the United States.
Glassdoor lists the average starting annual salary for junior user interface designers at an average of $53k (in U.S. dollars). Junior user interface designers tend to start at $27k at the low end. Senior user interface design salaries in the UK can be as much as $200k a year.
Canadian user interface designers also tend to make less on average than their counterparts in the United States. For Canadian user interface designers with 1-3 years of experience, $57k is the average salary.
However, for those user interface designers with five or more years of experience, Canadian user interface designer salaries are very similar to user interface designers in the United States. At the very top, though, senior directors and designers make more in United States.
For Asia, user interface designers make about $60,000 in Singapore dollars a year. Starting out in a junior or mid-level research position will net you $3,500 to $5,500 a month. At the top level in Asia, a user interface designer can expect $10,000 to $15,000 monthly.
Australian user interface designers will find a sharp increase in annual salary rises very sharply within the first 5 to 10 years. More experience does not seem to make a significant impact on user interface designer annual salaries in the region.
While Northern European countries tend to have higher user interface designer salaries, anyone looking to work there should also keep in mind their cost of living and annual GDP as well.
Some general takeaway about UI/UX designer salary differences, regional and otherwise:
- Men and women make almost the same amount in entry level UI/UX positions.
- Women earn much less than men in top level UX/UI design positions across the world.
- Every year of experience generally adds approximately $5,000 to a UI/UX designer salary.
- After about a decade of work, user interface designer salaries level out.
Are In-House or Agency UI Designer Salaries Better?
In-house user interface designers typically make more money than those who work for design agencies. However, competition for these positions is often quite fierce. There are a lot of people looking to take them and the higher salaries.
Many of these user interface designer positions are located in major cities where large tech companies operate, so consider cost of living when you’re thinking about applying to these jobs. If you’re looking for one of these in-house positions, you need to be on the top of your user interface design game.
With that in mind, you might be asking…
What Helps a User Interface Designer Make More Money?
You can do things to help yourself make more money as a user interface designer.
The first thing you need to do is master basic UI/UX design skills for the job you want. You should be skilled in the use of prototyping and wireframing tools like Axure, Mockplus, Proto.io, and Sketch.
Photoshop or Sketch skills are a good idea, as well, so you can draw out wireframe models to help out the development engineers. Be able to use these applications well and easily. Understand how all their tools work and know the shortcuts to get the results you want quickly so you don’t waste time.
Make sure you understand basic UI principles. User interface is perhaps one of the most studied fields of IT design, since it has so much to do with whether to not a product succeeds.
Take a look at some of the more academic information out there about what foes into effective user interface design. Look for case studies that talk about both successes and failures. Understand how the human eye and brain work together to process information. And, of course, make sure you stay up to date!
As with all other aspects of the IT industry, user interface design is a constantly evolving field. Keeping yourself up to date on the most recent trends and tech developments is a must if you want to succeed and make more money.
Take look at the blogs, websites, and work of other user interface designers who have succeeded in the field to get a look at their inspiration and creative processes. See if technology developments can inspire you to create fresh new user interface designs. Stay ahead of the user interface design curve as best you can, since this will give you a competitive edge.
Take a look at the recruitment requirements for your dream job. Note both the general and more specific requirements. You may find that you need to learn new programming languages or get a new certification.
These additional requirements will require the investment of at least a little time and possibly an investment of money. These things are usually broadly applicable, so even if you don’t get the job you’re looking at, you will probably be able to use them for another position. It’s smart to always keep learning new user interface design skills, even if you’re not looking for another job.
Build your user interface design portfolio up. Show off what you have done and what you can do. Pick work for your portfolio that stands out and reflects your own design processes. It should demonstrate why you should be the UI designer the company hires instead of someone else.
Make sure all the images you use for your portfolio, especially if it’s on your website, load properly and are high resolution so potential employers or clients can see their details clearly. Include a nice diversity of the designs you’ve worked on, from traditional to trendy. Make sure to highlight your very successful designs if you have any.
Make sure to keep your LinkedIn profile updated. A lot of companies who work in IT used LinkedIn for their recruiting. It’s a great resource to show what you’ve done and what skills you have. If you want recruiters to see you, make sure you allow your profile to show up on searches.
If you have 500 connections, you’re more likely to show up in those searches. Make sure your connections endorse your skills for even better results.
If you’ve made the UI designer salary a priority, you may find that you have to move to where the job is. Decide whether or not you really want to make that leap. Many companies are very happy to have candidates who are willing relocate, possibly several time in only a few years.
The changing field of IT may land you in some interesting places, especially as laws and the industry evolve. If you are ready to pack your bags on a regular basis, make sure you let potential employers know.
Last but far from least, work on your so-called ‘soft skills’. Communication, cooperation, and organization count for a lot in a team environment. In-house user interface designers will be a part of a large team, as will UI designers who work for design agencies.
These user interface designers will have to understand how to work with other in a professional way if they want to keep moving up. You can be a very skilled user interface designer, but if you don’t have good soft skills, you will hit a ceiling.
Your technical skills will only take you so far. Even if you plan on working as a freelancer, you will still need to learn how to communicate effectively with your clients.
Ending thoughts on UI designer salary
A user interface designer salary is very impressive, especially for a job that so many people seem to enjoy. If you have the technical skills and the right interest in graphic design, see if it’s a profession you want to pursue.
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Published at Mon, 29 Jan 2018 12:00:15 +0000