User Interface Designer Salary
Job Description for User Interface Designer
User interface designers are members of a software development team. They are responsible for creating and arranging the elements of a software’s user interface (the part of the program that the end-user will see and interact with). A user interface designer is sometimes hired under other names as well, such as user experience (or UX for short) designer and user interaction designer.Read More...
Regardless of what they may be called by a given organization, the duties and requirements remain largely the same, though specific competencies (such as programming languages and knowledge of certain software packages) may vary by company. Like most employees in the software industry, their work is almost entirely mental and usually takes place in an office environment. They are generally employed on a full-time basis, though significant overtime may be required on occasion, especially when due dates are approaching.
User interface designers are expected to understand the entire software development life cycle and be excellent programmers. As such, they are generally expected to hold bachelor’s degrees in a relevant field such as human-computer interaction, though graphic design or information technology-related degrees are also sometimes acceptable. Other required proficiencies, such as the ability to code in CSS, Java, or C#, will be determined by the hiring company. For example, an user interface designer working for a large web-based operation would likely be expected to be fluent in various web-based programming languages, while a designer working for a small video game startup might need to be familiar with various physics engines and flash-based programming.
User Interface Designer Tasks
- Follow user interface design standards for applications to maintain an integrated and consistent look and feel.
- Build storyboards, proof-of-concept mockups, demos and prototypes of proposed features.
- Conduct ongoing research of web-based user interface development best practices.
Common Career Paths for User Interface Designer
There are some User Interface Designers — though it's uncommon — that transition into Senior User Experience Designers, where earnings are an average $103K annually. The most common next step for an User Interface Designer is to become an User Experience Designer or an Interaction Designer. The former position pays an additional $10K per year on average, and the latter position pays $11K more per year.
User Interface Designer Job Listings
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Popular Skills for User Interface Designer
User Interface Designers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Interaction Design, HTML5, Adobe Photoshop, and User Interface Design are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Adobe InDesign, Graphic Design, and User Research. Those familiar with Adobe Illustrator also tend to know User Interface Design.
Pay by Experience Level for User Interface Designer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $60K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $73K. User Interface Designers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $83K. For some reason, User Interface Designers with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $76K.
Pay Difference by Location
San Jose is home to an above-average pay rate for User Interface Designers, 23 percent higher than the national average. User Interface Designers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+21 percent), Seattle (+19 percent), Austin (+11 percent), and Minneapolis (+10 percent). User Interface Designers in Kansas City take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 27 percent less than the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Portland (16 percent less) and Chicago (10 percent less).