Web designer

What they do

Web designers use a combination of design and information technology skills to plan, design, create, develop and maintain websites. They must find a balance between the visual appeal of a website and its functionality. To achieve this, web designers consult with clients to determine specific requirements, design the underlying architecture of the website, design the visual layout of each page and in some cases develop custom programs to improve the functionality of the website. Web designers may also archive information and website templates for future client use.

Working conditions

Web designers can work from anywhere that they can set up a computer and have access to a high speed internet connection. While a number of web designers work in offices, usually in metropolitan region or large regional centres, a number of web designers work from home as independent contractors. The hours a web designer works depend largely on their employer. Those working for IT or design firms generally work regular office hours, though they may occasionally be expected to work longer hours to ensure deadlines are met. Independent contractors are free to set their own hours, and have a greater degree of flexibility around when they work, as long as contracts are completed on time. Some travel may be required to meet with clients and discuss website specifications and requirements.

Tools and technologies

Web designers work primarily on computers, using a number of general design and website development programs. Some designers may also use art materials to sketch out designs before transferring them to the computer. Digital cameras and recording devices may also be used to capture images, video and sounds to be used on websites.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a web designer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in digital media technologies, interactive media, web media, web communications or a related area.

You will require a familiarity with at least one of the more common web scripting languages such as JavaScript or PHP, as well as a sound understanding of HTML.

The Diploma of Website Development and the Diploma of Information Technology are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can also complete a traineeship in information technology (websites). The information technology (websites) (level 4) traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

You can also complete a degree in digital media, web design, web communications or a related area. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.