Entering the field of computer science is a lucrative career choice, with even entry-level UX designer salary positions earning impressive wages. If you’re considering a career as a UX designer but don’t want to invest years into a college degree, you’re in luck.
Bootcamps are becoming an increasingly popular option for people who want to fast-track their education to start working as soon as possible.
What does a UX designer do?
UX designers are responsible for optimizing and improving the user experience for all types of applications. While UX design is often in reference to digital application design, user experience comes into play for virtually all product development, from engineering to architecture and even furniture design.
In computer science, UX design is all about creating intuitive and seamless applications. Beyond creating digital products that run smoothly and are easy to navigate, UX designers must take into account the user journey and optimize an application to be responsive and instinctive. Critical thinking and creativity are important qualities for a UX designer, along with specialized knowledge of what’s possible in software design.
Salary expectations for UX designers
One reason many people choose careers in tech is the high earning potential. The average UX designer salary in the United States is $85,277, according to Glassdoor. While you may be working in the field for a while before you reach that earning level, even entry-level UX designers earn an average of $63,000 per year.
For UX designers with many years of experience, the average salary soars to an average of $128,000.
The payscale for a UX designer really depends on location. For Canadian UX designers, the salary is a bit lower than those in the states: Entry-level UX designers in Canada can expect to earn $37,000 USD, while mid-career UX designers earn an average of $52,000 USD.
Glassdoor rates UX design as the sixth highest-paying entry-level job, which is pretty impressive considering you can enter the career with under six months of training.
What’s the job market like for UX designers?
As web- and mobile-application development grows each year, demand for UX designers has skyrocketed. Improving and perfecting user experience is a vital aspect of all application creation. Thus, companies regularly seektrained UX designers to optimize their products.
There are a growing number of employers for UX designers; notably companies such as Adobe and Amazon. If you’re keen to reach your highest earning potential as a UX designer, you may want to consider a position in software hotspots such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York.
But you certainly don’t need to move to California for a UX design career. With a thriving startup community, Indianapolis’ low cost of living will make your annual salary go further.
Do I need to learn how to code to become a UX designer?
UX designers don’t necessarily need to know how to code. But some knowledge can be useful and could give you a competitive advantage when it comes time to find a job. However, you can learn to become a UX designer without knowing how to code.
What’s the difference between UX and UI design?
UX and UI design are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between the two job titles. UX is user experience, and as discussed above, is primarily focused on higher-level application performance. UX designers are interested in the functionality and responsiveness of an application, such as how intuitive it is.
UI or user interface designers are focused on the visual elements of the website. Using a framework developed by the UX designer that includes user research, UI designers will create graphic content that supports the goals of the UX design work. Graphic content includes all buttons, color schemes, typography, and imagery.
While UI designers serve a crucial role in application development, user experience designers are more highly paid than UI designers. UX design is a more complex design process than UI design because it takes into account not only the product but also the company creating it and the customer consuming it. A UX designer will have the skillset to design an application that serves a specific user journey with responsive and natural pathways to information or services.
How do I become a UX designer?
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to become a UX designer. Rather than spending years at a university, prospective students can attend immersive bootcamps to learn the skills and build a portfolio to enter into the career field.
Eleven Fifty Academy offers a flexible 8-week UX design class online. The course helps students learn foundational skills through weekly coursework, one-on-one sessions with mentors, and two-hour online sessions every week. It’s a self-paced curriculum with weekly project submissions and enough flexibility to allow students to maintain other responsibilities such as childcare or a part-time job.
If you’re not sure whether UX design is for you, consider joining Eleven Fifty’s free UX design course to learn about the curriculum and ask questions about the program. In the meantime, be sure to read The Ultimate Guide to UX/UI Design and reviews of Eleven Fifty Academy to determine whether the program is right for you.