Job Trends Report: The Job Market for UX/UI Designers

Why is UX Design in high demand? What salary can a junior designer can expect to make? What are the skills employers are most interested in? We’ve compiled answers to these questions and more, with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Design Management Institute, Unicorn Institute, MacWorld, and others.

What’s the Difference Between Web Design, UX, and UI?

Design roles come in many shapes and sizes and it’s important you understand the differences. According to Joe Baz, the CEO of  above the fold, “A UX designer is responsible for understanding both customer problems and business goals, crafting testable hypotheses, designing the solution and then vetting the solution with customers.” The UX Designer must wear multiple hats; empathizing with users, understanding the system they are working with, and solving problems.

UX and UI  are two areas within Web Design, which focuses on how visual components affect brand identity and content accessibility for the user.

Why Designers are in Such High Demand in 2015

Over the last decade, companies like Apple, Facebook, and Square have employed a design-centric ethos to set themselves apart from the competition. In fact, dmi was able to show the impact of design on the bottom-line. Companies that invested in great design outperformed the S&P 500 by 228%. According to dmi, “utilizing top design talent in hardware, software and service interactions helps companies grow faster through differentiation and better customer experiences.” As a result of this  focus on great design, today there are over 150,000 open UX design jobs.


Demand for UX/UI Designers is Growing

According to an article from Brazen Life, UX Design is #1 out of 7 in-demand careers for design and planning, with job growth up to 30%. “Because design and planning play such an essential role in our lives, it’s no surprise employers are looking to hire in these innovative industries.” This is good news for any beginner in UX Design- companies want and need specialized individuals; someone with specific skills to take their companies to the next level.

Design Job Prospects and Design Salary by City

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities in the web development field (Web programmers, Web designers, and Webmasters) are expected to increase 13% through 2020. And according to Glassdoor, the average UX Design salary nationwide is $90,000. But we decided to zero-in on the cities where demand for designers is greatest. According to SimplyHired, New York tops the list with 17,967 available UX Design jobs, San Francisco following in second with 14,057 jobs, and Seattle in third with 5,540 jobs.

According to this analysis by Dashburst, average UX/UI Design salaries in the top 20 metros range from $62,000 and $117,000. An article by Chron lists the top 10 tech cities in the United States, and expands on why these cities take the top slots.

According to Dashburst’s Salary Guide, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle are the top 3 cities to live for UX Designers. As you can see below, salaries for UX designers in New York and San Francisco top-out at six figures. But if you are a UX designer who can also code, that can give you an additional 5% bump.

What Cities Offer the Highest Salaries for UX Designers?

Provided by Dashburst’s Salary Guide, here is a closer look at the comparison between the average salary of UX Designers who can code, versus UX Designers who cannot:

How are Beginners Breaking Into the Field

As overall demand for designers rises, so too does the demand for graduates of design bootcamps.  A recent survey conducted by Course Report found that graduates of coding bootcamps, which help beginners switch careers into design and development, had increased their salaries by 44 % ($55,000 to $85,000). The study found that “some of these graduates had no coding experience, and others had no college degree, before joining these programs.” Hiring managers for tech and design skills care first and foremost that candidates can get the job done, as evidenced by their portfolios.

How Does the Job Market Compare for Photoshop vs. Sketch?

For anyone interested in UX design, you may already know that designers have been moving from older tools like Adobe Photoshop to lightweight tools like Sketch by Bohemian Coding.

Billy Carlson, the Director of User Experience and Mobile Product at Threadless, explains why Sketch is such a valuable tool for UX Designers: “I’ve become a big fan of Sketch. It’s pretty perfect for a UI Designer’s workflow. Sketch Mirror is so useful, because it provides real time previews of your designs on the actual device.”

Even though a lot of designers are factoring Sketch into the design community, it seems that the majority of companies are looking for employees experienced in Photoshop.

According to the job prospects in San Francisco are higher for a designer savvy in Photoshop opposed to Sketch.


Go here for more information on our UX/UI fundamentals program and check out our Bloc reviews here.

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