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User experience design, or UX Design, is a job in the tech industry that revolves around creating simple, easy, and fulfilling experiences for users of software and digital products. These designers work through cycles of planning, researching, and prototyping products and features to give their customers the best experience possible.
These days, creating a world-class user experience is one of the top priorities of most successful tech companies. That’s why the market has never been hotter for well-trained UX Designers than it is right now. If you need more proof, check out these incredible salaries for UX Designers.
Typical UX Designer Salaries
This year, according to Paysa the average pay for UX Designers is $93,000, with the range spanning from $70,000 to $140,000. All in all, Glassdoor confirms that any UX Designer can expect to make at least around $80,000 and have lots of room for salary growth.
As with other jobs, this number fluctuates significantly with factors like location, years of experience, and company size.
While you may or may not have heard of Silicon Prairie or Silicon Beach, you’ve definitely heard of Silicon Valley. Though a good amount of tech companies exist outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, that is where most of the magic happens. With an average salary for UX Designers in the Bay Area coming in at $105,000, it’s clear that SF is the place to be if you want the highest paying job.
Seattle, Washington state is the next best, with the average reported salary for a UX Designer falling about $10k less than SF in the $95,000 range. New York, Los Angeles, and D.C. are the next in line for top salaries, ranging from $85,000 to $89,000 on average for UX Designers.
Although Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado are the places where many people who are sick of the Bay Area are headed, the pay is significantly less in those cities: $78,000 on average. But, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of living is also lower there.
Since the San Francisco Bay Area is the place where most of the UX Design jobs are, the rest of these salaries will be based on the assumption that the job is in the Bay Area.
Years of Experience
As with most other lines of work, the more years of experience, the higher the pay. UX Designers that are just starting out and have one year (or less) of work experience can expect to make $85,000. Not a bad place to start!
UX Designers with 1-3 years of experience have a fairly significant bump in their salary, reporting $92,000 on average. The average reported salary for UX Designers with 4-6 years of experience increases by another $13k, coming in at $105,000. That means in less than 5 years, UX Designers can make six figures!
More experienced designers, with 10 or more years of experience, report an average salary of $118,000 or more a year.
The size of the company can make a huge impact on salary. Bigger companies generally have more money available to pay their workers, while smaller companies (especially startups) might offer other forms of compensation, like equity. While equity can be extremely lucrative, it often takes many (many) years to be worth anything and depends completely on the success of the company.
Smaller companies, those with 0-500 employees, generally offer UX Designers an average salary ranging from $88,000 to $98,000. Bigger companies, those with 500 to 5000 employees, offer higher salaries, around $102,000. Gigantic companies with over 5000 employees typically offer the highest salaries to their UX Designers, with reported annual income over $108,000.
Freelancing as a UX Designer
Working as a freelance UX Designer can be a great option for people who do not wish to keep a regular 9-5 job. While working as a freelancer does often require additional work—marketing, finding clients, administrative tasks—it also offers greater flexibility and sometimes even higher pay.
Freelancers have the freedom of setting their own rates based on their experience and the market. The lowest hourly rates for freelance UX Designers fall in the $25/hour range and the high-end hourly rates can be as high as $200/hour or more! On average, freelance UX Designers make around $70/hour.
Becoming a UX Designer
Does spending your work days making customers happy and making over $80,000 a year while doing it sound like a dream come true? No need to wait another day! With Udacity, you can get a jump start on your UX Design career and be on your way to that big payday in no time.