How To Become A Web Designer In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become web designers in Australia.


Are you artistic and keen to work in the tech industry? If yes, a career as a web designer could be for you to consider.


Web Designers use their technical and creative skills to produce user-friendly and functional websites for various businesses and organisations.


You can work as a Web Designer without formal education and training. However, many employers usually prefer candidates with university or VET qualifications in web design, digital design, digital media, or another related field.


This blog will help you take the initial steps toward a career in Web Design. It provides a detailed overview of the necessary web design skills, the best qualification and training options, national average salary, career paths, and the steps.



1. What Is A Web Designer?


Web Designers combine technical skills and creative thinking to plan and design the overall layout of a website or webpages of a site.


They design a range of web-based content focussing on the user interface, navigation, usability, and location of visual elements to deliver information tailored to an intended audience and objectives.



2. What Do Web Designers Do?


Web designers are responsible for making websites look aesthetically pleasing, functional, and usable. To accomplish this, they perform tasks and duties depending on whether they work as a freelance web designer or for a company and agency.


The most common day-to-day duties of a Web Designer are as follows:


  • Discusses with the clients and stakeholders their specific project requirements and determine the goals and constraints of the design brief

  • Research and analyse functional communication requirements

  • Create website mockups

  • Design a complete website or individual web pages of a site to suit client requirements

  • Work with multiple media and write program code using coding languages such as CSS and HTML.

  • Prepare sketches, illustrations, layouts, and diagrams to communicate design concepts.

  • Use various design software to produce clean, professional, functional, and technically optimised designs.

  • Create and modify designs as per the initial design brief and further client requests

  • Plan and prioritise budget and work schedules to create and produce designs

  • Manipulate program code to ensure the smooth website execution

  • Create custom digital media that enhances website aesthetics and entices visitors, such as menu layouts, logos, and buttons

  • Identify and fix bugs or errors.

  • Provide advice and ideas, then design concepts to meet customer’s needs

  • Regularly update and back up the website.

  • Maintain performance and integrity of the website and ensure it complies with legal obligations



3. How To Become A Good Web Designer?


You need technical skills to build functional websites, design sensibility, and creative abilities to create appealing experiences for end-users.


With these competencies, you can create websites that will attract visitors and boost sales for a company. The following skills are sought after by employers:



Soft Skills


  • Strong analytical skills 

  • Team collaboration

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Time management

  • Critical thinking

  • Impressive communication skills to ascertain client’s requirements

  • Organised

  • Willing to constantly update your skills and knowledge

  • Good creative eye 

  • Ability to think outside the box

  • Methodical

  • Logical 

  • Dedication 

  • Ability to innovate

  • Good customer relations skills 

  • Patience 



Hard Skills


  • Excellent computer skills

  • Strong understanding of web design theory, design principles, graphic design, and internet technologies 

  • Proficiency in using design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

  • Good knowledge of user interfaces and how to approach design briefs and issues

  • Comfortable writing code using languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.



4. Web Designer Qualifications In Australia


You can work as a Web designer without any formal qualifications. Although, employers mostly prefer individuals with an educational background in web development.


  • Obtain your Senior Secondary Education Certificate

  • Complete an undergraduate university degree majoring in Web Design, like a Bachelor’s of Digital Design or a Bachelor’s of Information Technology, to get the required skills to work in this career. Alternatively, you can undertake a Web Design qualification such as:


  • Certificate III in Information Technology - Focus on Web Development (ICT30120), 

  • Certificate IV in Information Technology (Web Development) (ICT40120),

  • Certificate IV in Digital Media Technologies (ICT40815), 

  • Diploma of Information Technology (Back End Web Development) (ICT50220), 

  • Diploma of Digital Media Technologies (ICT50915)


  • Develop a portfolio of your work on mock web design projects to showcase your talent to prospective employers. 



5. Steps To Become A Web Designer In Australia


To become a web designer, you must study, master your niche, develop a strong portfolio, and promote your talent. 


Here are the steps you need to take from beginning to end to kick off your career as a professional web designer:



Step 1: Familiarise Yourself With The Web Design Basics


Before you commit to a web design course, start with a basic one covering the fundamentals - for example, software like Adobe Photoshop and standard coding languages like HTML and CSS.


You can find extensive video tutorials, informative articles, and design forums to understand the fundamental design principles and get a glimpse of working in this field.



Step 2: Study Web Design Theory


If the web design field interests you, you can attend a web designer course or entry-level coding boot camps.


These courses are short and immersive educational programs that equip beginners with essential tech and design skills to turn them into job-ready Web Designers.


You gain an in-depth understanding of web design theory that forms the basis for creating good websites, including website structure, user experience, and colour theory.



Step 3: Complete A Relevant Course


Once you have foundational knowledge, go one step further and enrol in a design-focused website development course. The following are some recommended courses you can consider:


  • Certificate III or IV in Information Technology (Web Development)

  • Certificate IV in Digital Media Technologies 

  • Diploma in Digital Media Technologies

  • Diploma in Graphic Design


The above courses will teach the practical implementation of theoretical design principles to create different types of websites. You will learn the modern methods of designing, building, and administrating websites with business skills to run your web design business efficiently.


Alternatively, you can study for a university degree in computer science, web design, or graphic design like:


  • Bachelor’s of Digital Design 

  • Bachelor of Information Technology (Web Design and Development

  • Master of Interaction Design


Undertaking these qualifications will help boost your transferable skills in critical thinking and teamwork and learning core areas on websites, such as developing web pages and digital images for the internet. 


You will discover the technical aspects of developing websites from scratch with supporting technologies.



Step 4: Gain Proficiency In Using Web Design Software


To succeed as a Web designer, you must master various tools and software to create aesthetically pleasing and functional websites.


Experience in the following web design tools can help to find employment:


  • WordPress is an open-source website creation and hosting platform for creating and customising websites.


  • InVision Studio: It is design software for prototyping and animating web designs.


  • Dreamweaver: A versatile tool to help web developers to design, create and manage webpages.


  • Adobe Photoshop: A popular graphic design software to improve the visual elements of websites


  • Sketch: An expensive yet useful graphic design tool, coming with various design and collaboration options to create specific workspaces, interface designs, prototypes, and plugin customisation.


  • Google Web Designer: One of the best products to make visually stunning and compelling web pages. It allows you to use HTML5 content, animation, and elements to design responsive websites.



As web design continues to evolve, new software and tools are emerging. A good web designer is willing to learn new technologies to stay competitive and design beautiful and functional websites.



Step 5: Develop Your Web Design Skills


As more and more people aspire to pursue a web designer profession, you can expect intense competition for an entry-level role. Work on web projects to develop your design skills to stand out from the competition.


WordPress is a free content management system that you can use for website creation. As you start designing more web pages, your technical skills will refine. 


It is a great way to practice the skills you have learned and test out unique designs. 



Step 6: Build Your Work Portfolio


You can’t get a job if you keep your talent to yourself. You need to show your design skills to employers to get hired. 


Build a diverse range of design projects showing your skills. You can work for local businesses, clients on freelance websites, and even for friends and family. 


Consider working free for not-for-profit organisations or charity firms at the beginning of your career. As you build projects, you will gain real-world experience and further sharpen your skills.


Include a portfolio section on your website and start uploading your best works in that section, along with your project rate and availability. Also, when completing more projects, keep updating your online portfolio website.



Step 7: Build A Strong Web-Presence


With an impressive website and portfolio, the last step is to let others know about your talent. The more diversified your portfolio and the better your online presence is, the greater will be your employment prospects.


Social media groups and online job portals like Linked In are the best places online that give you a stage to showcase your design work. 


Create a profile on as many platforms as possible, follow other professionals, build your network, and update your profile regularly to make the best use of these powerful tools.



Step 8: Apply For Web Designer Jobs


Once you have developed the required technical skills and a few projects, you can sign up for job boards and start approaching companies for entry-level jobs.


Explore all the available opportunities, such as full-time employment in a large company or work-from-home jobs. Below are the different web designer jobs in Australia you can apply for within the web design field:


  • Web Designer

  • Front-End Designer

  • UX/UI Designer

  • Visual Designer

  • Interaction Designer

  • Mobile Developer


Regularly check your profiles on job portals and social media to track new openings. When interviewing, customise your portfolio to demonstrate work that fits the company’s requirements.


Resources For Web Designers:




6. How Much Does A Web Designer Earn In Australia?


The web designer’s salary depends on a variety of factors, such as:


  • Geographical location

  • Skills and expertise

  • Years of work experience

  • Qualifications and industry certifications


According to PayScale, the average web designer’s salary in Australia is AU$ 61,771 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$ 27.87. 


Though, as a newbie, you may make less than the average salary per year, by gaining skills and expertise in working with web design tools, your earning potential will increase.



Annual Average Salary Based On Experience


  • Entry-level Web Designers (< 1-year experience): AU$43,624 

  • Early career Web Designers (1-4 years of experience): AU$56,639 

  • Mid-career Web Designers (5-9 years of experience): AU$71,001 

  • Experienced Web Designers (10-19 years of experience): AU$80,404 



Annual Average Salary Based On Work Location


  • Web designer’s salary in Melbourne: $68,802

  • Canberra: $152,708 

  • Sydney: $78,300

  • Brisbane: $77,193

  • Adelaide: $40,837 



7. Working Conditions


Web developers generally work indoors in an office environment as part of teams. They may work as full-time employees or on a contract basis and work at the client’s site. 


The work schedule of web designers depends on their project requirements. They may work overtime to meet stringent project deadlines or when a big project is due.


The profession offers flexibility and allows one to work from home or any remote location.



8. Where Do Web Designers Work?


Web designers work for software companies, digital design agencies, or in IT departments of government organisations and other industries. 


Many web designers also work for themselves by running their web designing business or freelancing.



9. Job Prospects of a Web Designer in Australia


ANZSCO Occupation Group: 232414: Web Designer


As more and more businesses move online to grow their business, the demand for skilled web designers is increasing.


From designing information sites to online stores, web designers help businesses launch their big idea.


Every industry needs web designers to bring their brand to life online, boost their marketing efforts and deliver content to a broad audience. Moreover, they help them improve their online presence by making their websites more functional, appealing, and user-friendly.


The great thing about a web design career is that, compared to other creative jobs, it is still evolving and has ample scope for further development. 


With passing time, more and more businesses will rely on WEB for their survival, and that will generate more employment opportunities for web designers. As a result, we will see a rise in the demand for skilled web designers in years to come.



Future Job Growth


The design industry in Australia will grow strongly in the next five years, with the number of employed professionals expected to rise from 62,100 in 2020 to 70,100 by 2025.



Working Arrangements


Around 70% of employed Web Designers work full-time for an average of 43 hours per week. (All other jobs average: 44 hours per week).



Percentage of Employment for Web Designers Across Industries


  • Professional, Scientific, And Technical Services: 63.9%

  • Information Media And Telecommunications: 5.7%

  • Education And Training: 4.1%

  • Retail Trade: 3.9%

  • Other Industries: 18.6%



Employment Across Different Regions In Australia


Victoria and New South Wales are the two states with the largest share of employment:


  • New South Wales: 37.6%

  • Victoria: 31.2%

  • Queensland: 15.8%

  • South Australia: 4.4%

  • Western Australia: 7.3%

  • Tasmania: 1.3%

  • Northern Territory: 0.3%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 2.0%



Worker’s Age and Gender Profile:


  • The average age of employed professionals in this profession is 34 years, with most of them between 25 and 34 years. (Average of all other jobs: 40)

  • Females make up 38% of the entire workforce which is ten percentage points below the average of all other jobs, 48%.



10. Frequently Asked Questions



Why Should You Become A Web Designer?


The most common reasons to choose this job are:


  • You are encouraged to use creativity to make distinctive and stunning web designs. 

  • It is a lucrative profession that doesn’t need any formal qualification.

  • Designing a website that meets clients’ specific needs and watching it perform live brings joy and contentment.

  • Working in this constantly evolving field, you get ample opportunities to satiate your desire to learn new software packages, tools, and design aesthetics platforms.

  • The profession allows you to work flexibly to suit your convenience and maintain a good work/life balance. There are opportunities to work remotely, define your work hours, or become self-employed. 

  • A new and evolving creative career in design offers various work across industries. It makes the job interesting.

  • High demand for skilled web designers both within Australia and worldwide as more businesses now depend on the internet for their survival.


Considering the above reasons, becoming a web designer is a good career decision for now and in the coming years.



How Are Web Designers And Web Developers Different From Each Other?


The terms “web development” and “web design” are often used interchangeably, but there are differences. Let us find out Web Designer vs Web Developer.


Though web designers and developers are involved in building a website, they perform different tasks. A web designer is concerned with the type and location of visual aspects of a website, such as colour schemes, fonts, buttons, scrollbars, and drop-and-down menus.


They ensure that the layout is easy to navigate and use, intuitive, user-friendly, organised, professional, and provides the desired user experience.


When talking to web developers, they code the design and transform it into a live, fully functional website. A front-end web developer uses visual design and builds it using coding and scripting languages such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.


A backend web developer adds more advanced functionality to the website, such as adding code for the checkout function on an e-commerce website. Thus, a web designer designs the architecture of a website, and the web developer builds it.



What Are Different Types of Web Designers?


Before you start your professional journey to becoming a web designer, you should know the different types of web designers and their work arrangements:



Agency Web Designers


Many web designers work for agencies that take away the hassle of finding clients and work, giving a certain level of job security and regular earnings. 


However, you have no control over web projects and clients you have to work with. Since many agencies specialise in banking, healthcare, etc., you may get similar web projects to work on based on their niche.



Freelance Web Designers


Web Designers n this category are self-employed. Besides the design work, they are solely responsible for marketing and managing their business


It allows you to choose your projects and work independently and flexibly. Still, you must put extra time and effort into finding clients and running your business.



In-House Web Designers


These types of web designers usually work on one or a few websites for a company. They may design a specific feature/ section of a larger website that offers the company’s products and services.


Though these professionals aren’t concerned about getting clients, they also don’t get the diversity of work enjoyed by other types of web designers.



How Do I Become a Web Designer With No Experience?


People from different industries wonder whether they can enter the web design field without experience.


You don’t necessarily need formal qualifications or experience to work as a Web Designer. However, as a competitive field, having related experience will boost your entry into this profession.


Even if you don’t have professional experience, you can take professional web design courses and certifications. It proves your skills and technical competencies needed to work in this role. 


Consider completing courses that teach you to design web pages using coding languages and build a website with Dreamweaver editor or the WordPress content management system.


Additionally, you can enrol in skill development programs to help you enhance soft skills invaluable to work as a Web designer. These include active listening, collaboration, patience, persistence, critical thinking, teamwork, etc.



How Do I Become a Web Designer Without A Degree?


Gaining qualifications help fast-track your career, but it is optional for working in the web design field. Suppose you want to enter the profession without a degree. In that case, you will need extensive experience and a diverse work portfolio to stand out.


Here are some of the things you can do to boost your employability for the role:


  • Attend extracurricular classes and workshops on HTML and CSS to learn to code. Learning JavaScript, PHP, XML, and other languages can also be advantageous.

  • Get web design experience by developing your website, working on design projects at the school level, or volunteering to design or work on websites for other organisations and people.

  • Create a work portfolio using your best works, and update it regularly throughout your career.

  • Undertake tertiary courses that interest you and boost your entry into the industry. These include digital design, digital media, graphic design, web design, or another related field like a Certificate IV in Programming.

  • Build an online presence, do networking, join professional communities, and stay updated with new technology, design trends, and software



How Do I Become a Freelance Web Designer?


Suppose you choose to become a freelance Web Designer. In that case, you need good business and design skills as you promote your talent and build your client base.


You can find plenty of training courses, boot camps, and certificates online, helping to develop a strong foundation in the following: design theory, responsive design, website design, user research, and specific tools and programs.


Along with the technical aspects of the job, you also need discipline, hard work, and dedication to reach your career goals quickly.


Initially, it may take a lot of work to find a project as a freelancer. To make it easier, you can work at an agency, as an in-house employee for a company, or volunteer for charities for free to build up your design portfolio and professional network. 


Once you develop a few years of experience, expertise, a good web presence, and a client base, you can start finding freelance projects.


Freelancers should build responsive, professional, and error-free websites for their portfolio to market their talent. It does not just help them gauge technical proficiency but makes it easier for them to land a job.


After gaining experience as a freelance web designer and earning a reputation for quality, you won’t need to do leg work to find clients and can even charge more.



What Are The Best Places To Study For A Web Designer Profession In Australia?


Start your career in the growing IT industry with the following qualifications. 


When completing web designer courses, you will have the fundamental knowledge of web design and development, programming, and business-focused application development.



Certificate III In Information Technology (Web Development)




Certificate IV In Information Technology (Web Development)




Certificate IV In Digital Media Technologies



  • ACT Government - AVETARS

  • Queensland Government Dept. of Small Business, Employment, and Training



Diploma Of Digital Media Technologies


  • New Horizons Learning Centres



11. Conclusion


Web design is among the highly creative, lucrative, and rewarding fields. 


With plenty of work and career advancement opportunities nationally and globally, aspiring web developers can rest assured of a future-proof and satisfying career ahead.


We hope this blog has given you insights and guidance on how to proceed in your professional journey as a Web Designer and make a great start.


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