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Working as a Web Designer & Web Developer [NOC 2175]

Job Description

Website designers design Internet sites. You plan the look and layout of the website.

Web developers handle the technical tasks of building websites. You plan the framework and work with programming tools and databases to make the site function.

As a web designer and developer you perform the following duties:

  • Consult with clients to develop and document requirements
  • Prepare mock-ups and storyboards
  • Develop website architecture and determine hardware and software requirements
  • Design the appearance, layout and flow of the website
  • Create content using a variety of graphics, animation and other software
  • Conduct tests and perform security and quality controls
  • May lead and co-ordinate multidisciplinary teams

Sources: Career Cruising database, WorkBC Career Profiles for Web Designers

Industry Overview

Demand for web designers and developers is expected to increase in coming years.

You will be in particularly strong demand if you have a high level technical knowledge and are able to work on large complex systems. There is a sufficient supply of new graduates willing to do basic web design. Employers require individuals with substantial experience in “information architecture.” Information architecture refers to the design of clear and understandable information through the effective organization of content, in terms of navigation, layout and search functionality.

You will increasingly need to use social media in developing websites. Web design for mobile devices is also increasing.

Many web designers are also graphic designers. If you work as a self-employed “freelancer” you may assume many roles including:

  • project manager
  • technical expert
  • salesperson
  • designer

Larger urban centres in the province offer more opportunities for full-time work and work on more challenging web development and design projects.

Job Outlook in BC

Web Designers and Developers, NOC 2175

job outlook for web designers and developers

Chart from WorkBC

The Employment Outlook for BC provides job openings projections for web designers and developers within BC regions:

Region 2010 Estimated Employment 2015 Estimated Employment Avg Annual % Change, 5 years, 2010 to 2015
Vancouver Island / Coast
740 830 2.5%
Lower Mainland/Southwest 2,800 3,340 3.9%
Thompson-Okanagan 330 350 1.0%
Kootenay 50 60 4.7%
Cariboo 50 50 0.2%
North Coast & Nechako 40 40 0.4%
Northeast 20 20 0.8%

Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions [accessed October 2014]

You can learn more about working as a web designer or web developer in BC from:

  • Career Cruising database (Profiles for Web Developer and Website designer)

Types of Employers

Web designers and web developers work for a variety of businesses and organizations including:

  • computer software development firms
  • information technology consulting firms
  • information technology units throughout the private and public sectors

You may also be self-employed, working for a variety of clients (anyone who needs a website).

Salary

The average annual salary for web designers and developers in BC is between $44,000 and $53,000. Your salary depends on experience, technical knowledge, location, and employer.

If you work as a self-employed freelancer, you enter into contracts where you may be paid an hourly rate, a flat service fee, or an amount based on the number of pages you develop for a site. Your earnings will vary depending on the amount of business that you are able to secure.

Full-time web designers and developers usually receive benefits in addition to a salary. These may include paid sick days, vacation time, and dental coverage.

If you are self-employed, you must provide your own benefits.

Sources: Work BC & Career Cruising

Job Bank Canada, Wage Reports, provides hourly wages for web designers and developers in these BC regions:

webdesignersdevelopers_wages

Source: Job Bank Canada Wage Reports [Search 2175]

Working Hours

You generally work a standard 40 hour work week.

However, overtime and weekend work is common, especially when deadlines are approaching.

Skills, Education, and Experience

Skills

  • creative
  • excellent technical, conceptualization and communication skills in order to determine client needs and create appealing and functional websites
  • good working knowledge of a variety of software products
  • willing to keep up-to-date with changes in computer technology
  • good manual dexterity
  • math skills
  • work well as part of a team
  • good with people
  • decision making ability
  • detail oriented

Education and Experience

There are no formal educational requirements for web designers and developers. However, employers often look for formal training or many years of experience.

You may be asked to have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, communications or business

OR

  • Completion of a college program, or a diploma program from a private institution in computer science, graphic arts, web design or business

Other useful qualifications include:

  • experience as a computer programmer or graphic designer
  • a web portfolio
  • ongoing skill upgrades to keep current with changing IT trends
  • project management skills
  • credentials in both web design and communications or marketing

Qualifications

This occupation is not regulated in British Columbia.

There are no mandatory requirements for licensing or professional certification in order to work as a Web Developer or Designer in BC.

Sources: Work BC & Career Cruising

Internationally Educated Website Designers and Developers:

The Information & Communications Technology Council (ICTC) provides assistance to internationally educated professionals.

For more information on programs and services see:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find different job titles.

For Web Designers & Developers ook for these related job titles (NOC 2147):

  • Internet site designer
  • Intranet site designer
  • Web manager
  • Web site developer
  • Webmaster
  • e-business Web site developer
  • e-commerce Web site developer

Source: National Occupational Classification 2175

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of web design and e-commerce companies in the Lower Mainland or BC. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • BC Tech, Technology Guide (special issue of BC Tech magazine)
    Available at the Central Library, 380 EL3CBh
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “website” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter. These should identify the position you are applying for and summarize your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides which are available in print at the Central Library or online:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for web designers & developers in BC and Canada can provide you with information and assistance. Registration and fees may be required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession.

Examples include: