With customers pivoting towards digital, companies are doing everything possible to ensure positive digital experiences.
What does this mean for you?
More UI/UX jobs? Yes!
Better UI/UX designer salaries? Let’s find out!
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that jobs for UI UX designers will grow 23% from 2021 to 2031 – much faster than other occupations. This definitely means more opportunities in the UI/UX domain. But before you decide which job role to apply for, you must clearly understand the differences between UX and UI.
While the two terms are often used interchangeably, UI design relates to the visual elements (buttons, icons, etc.) of a digital product, and UX design is about its overall interaction and usability.
(Learn what UX design is, where it came from, and how it has evolved with time.)
But the question is – Do UI and UX design pay well?
The truth is many factors like company, size, location, experience, and position affect a UX designer's salary. To give you a range, the average UI UX design starting salary in the US is $75,057 /yr.
If you’re willing to build a career as a UI or UX designer, then read on!
Table of Contents
Wondering what factors impact the UI UX design salaries in 2023? This article will give you all the UI UX job market insights you’re looking for. Here’s what we’ll share with and answer for you:
What does the job market look like for UI & UX Designers in 2023?
Average UI & UX Designer salaries across the world
What is the average salary for each experience level?
How to negotiate your UI or UX design salary
Salaries for other roles under the UX umbrella
Freelance UX and UI designer salaries
Other benefits and compensation for UI & UX Designers
How to become a UI or UX Designer
What Does the Job Market Look Like for UI & UX Designers in 2023?
The UI and UX design segment projects in the US have an average of 21,800 employment opportunities every year. And it is expected to grow 23% by 2031.
While this is big, the hike is not sudden!
UI/UX Design has come a long way from the 1990s to 2023, evolving daily and setting trends within the blink of an eye. Today, the advancements and innovations in the fields are rapid, and so is its demand. But if you want to enter the UI UX design market, here’s a list of industry trends and standards you must fall in step with:
Dark Mode – This soaring trend will continue to gain popularity this year too.
Animation – This immersive way to enhance the user experience is gaining momentum.
Hover effects – The popularity of hover effects for product imagery is becoming a popular choice in the design industry, but presents some challenges for mobile devices.
Neumorphism – Already a staple in the design industry, Neumorphism is becoming an aesthetic choice for contemporary digital products.
All in all, you need to evolve with the industry trends constantly. And, in parallel, enhance your soft skills too!
Average UI & UX Designer Salaries Across the World
Since the pandemic, many companies have shifted to being completely remote or adopted a hybrid work culture.
Wondering how this has affected how they pay their employees?
Well, some companies pay remote employees the same as those working in-office, regardless of where they live. However, others make adjustments based on a cost-of-living variable. To give you an idea, here’s what salaries for UI UX designers look like in some of the biggest cities worldwide:
With the increasing need for seamless digital experiences in the US, the demand for UI UX specialists is also on the rise. Having a plethora of opportunities, the candidates have a good number of choices where they can put their skills to work.
According to the statistics, job postings for tech positions were 623,627 in May and about 2.2 million during 202 so far, representing a 52% increase over the previous year.
The average salary of a UX designer in the United States is $110,392 /yr.
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
A freelance UX designer can earn around $128,549 per year in the United States.
The average salary of a UI designer in the United States is $98,795 /yr.
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
A freelance UI designer can earn around $93,044 per year in the United States.
The job market in the UK for UI UX designers is competitive too! It requires you to manage a spectrum of user impressions and interactions for various brands.
The best part? You get an assured salary increment every year!
The average salary of a UX designer in the UK is £53,356 /yr.
A freelance UX designer can earn around £58,003 per year in the United Kingdom. The average salary of a UI designer in the UK is £51,716 /yr.
A freelance UI designer can earn around £58,003 per year in the United Kingdom.
Although it’s not as fancy and demanding as other UI UX job markets, China is still growing in that sense. The demand for UX UI is rising, but it’s slower and steadier than in other countries.
The average salary of a UX designer in China is CN¥240,000 /yr.
The average salary of a UI designer in China is CN¥154,068 /yr.
The demand for UI UX designers is high in Australia and is expected to grow in the coming years. In 2022, around 1,500 roles were advertised online via Seek.com.au, with some of the popular states of Australia like New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
The average salary of a UX designer in Australia is A$90,000 /yr.
The average salary of a UI designer in Australia is A$80,559 /yr.
What Is the Average Salary for Each Experience Level?
The experience level in the specific UI & UX role in different industries significantly impacts the UI UX designer's salary. Generally, the longer you’ve stayed on the same path in the industry, the higher the salary you can expect. However, you must master the required skills and learn effective UX management to gain relevant experience.
If you’re patient and passionate, a steady progression in the salary every year is guaranteed. For instance, the yearly base pay for UI and UX directors in the US is $140,020 as of March 2023, according to Glassdoor.
Here’s an overview of the salary of entry-level UX designers and their experienced counterparts.
Jr. UX Designer
Sr. UX Designer
The below table represents the salary of UI designers and shows how it progresses with experience.
Jr. UI Designer
Sr. UI Designer
Moving ahead, a UI and UX designer can pivot to or be promoted to fill the shoes of a product designer. It involves taking care of the organization of the UI UX design process and other related tasks from the business development perspective. Here’s an overview of the career path and salaries across different experience levels in product designing:
Sr. Product Designer
Product Design Manager
Sr. Product Design Manager
How to Negotiate Your UI or UX Design Salary
It’s only natural to feel pressured to give a specific number for your expected salary during the interview. But it’s best not to rush into it just yet! If you suggest a low number, you may get lower than what they’re willing to pay. However, if you go too high, you could price yourself out of a job.
Here are a few UI UX FAQs that can help you prepare for salary negotiations:
1. Will disclosing my previous salary information help with the negotiations?
There is debate about salary disclosure all around the world. While some believe disclosing your salary can weaken your negotiating position, others think it can help you grab better salaries. A law in various states like California prohibits companies from requesting information about previous compensation and benefits. This helps you get fairly compensated based on your talent and skills. Also, it’s advisable to avoid voluntarily disclosing your previous salary if low.
2. What should I tell the employer when they ask for my salary expectations?
Feeling anxious or uncertain when the employer asks about your salary expectations during the interview is understandable. But this is a common question, and you should consider this as an opportunity to discuss what you feel your skills are worth. You can prepare yourself for this by researching the average UX designer salary and UI designer salary per industry standards through Glassdoor or Indeed. Once you have a fair idea of the range, you can answer the question confidently and honestly without feeling the need to panic or worry.
Preparing for the above questions can help you get the best for your worth. If you’ve given the interview for an entry-level or junior designer position, cleared the final stage of the selection process, and haven’t received the offer letter yet, try negotiating at this stage. If they’re ready to extend an offer, they want you on their team, and before it is set in writing, you still have a chance to negotiate for a better salary.
3. How to develop the skills required to match the job description
Have you heard of the Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF), SkillShare, or Udemy?
We assume you have!
These educational institutions provide a wide range of UI/UX design courses that typically last between 5 and 9 weeks. From mobile UX to UX management and practical guides to usability, you can opt for the course relevant to the required skill set for the role.
Salaries for Other Roles Under the UX Umbrella
Now, if you're wondering how much do UX designers make in different roles, here’s an overview of some of the popular roles under the UX umbrella:
1. UX Researcher Salary
A UX researcher needs to understand the user’s needs. The job requires conducting thorough research to gain valuable insights into the customer’s mindset and collaborating with the designers to incorporate it into the design. While large organizations usually hire in-house dedicated UX researchers, a UX designer wears multiple hats in smaller businesses, including that of a UX researcher.
A UX researcher's average salary is $140,736/yr in the United States.
(Learn what exactly user research is, where it fits in the design process, and why you should do it.)
2. UX Writer Salary
Applying for a UX writer role is an excellent option for those with a knack for creative writing. A UX writer must create written content for digital products to enhance the user experience. UX writing may also involve conducting user research occasionally, developing content strategies, and revising content for clarity and accessibility.
The average salary of a UX writer is $119,336/ yr, and as a freelance UX writer, you could make $200,000 working the same hours in the United States.
3. UX Strategist Salary
A UX strategist understands how to use and implement business strategies. They often need to define business goals in collaboration with clients and stakeholders and improve content design strategy in a product that balances user needs with business requirements.
The average salary of a UX Strategist is $107,491 in the United States.
Freelance UX and UI Designer Salaries
Many UX and UI designers wish to earn extra income and flexibility.
And freelancing is the best way to go about it. You can work from anywhere, anytime, on as many projects and with selective clients through freelancing. Not only these, but there are several other perks of freelancing that will lure you toward learning how to become a freelance designer and break away from the 9-to-5 grind.
But the real question is, how much can freelance UX and UI designers earn?Usually, the salaries for freelance UX and UI designers vary based on skills and experience in the industry.
Also, most freelance UX UI designers charge their clients on a project basis, while some charge hourly and weekly. Here’s an overview of the salaries for freelance UX and UI designers:
Freelance UX Designer
Freelance UI Designer
Other Benefits and Compensation for UI & UX Designers
1. Paid Leave
The majority of UI/UX designers get paid time off, which they can use for sick days, vacation, or personal days.
UI/UX designers are eligible to receive bonuses based on different parameters. The most common one is a bonus for your exceptional performance.
3. Gym Memberships
If you’re someone who takes fitness seriously, earning a gym membership sounds like a perfect way to stay fit while you work.
4. Health Insurance
Health insurance helps cover significant medical expenses, beneficial if you get injured or become ill.
5. Retirement Plan
Many organizations (in the US) offer UI/UX designers a retirement plan that allows them to invest for the future and enjoy tax benefits.
How to become a UI or UX Designer?
Now that you have a fair idea of the UI/UX job market in various countries, you’ve probably understood that upskilling and continuously refining your skills is essential to stay competitive in this dynamic environment. You can apply for multiple UI/UX courses offered by the IxDF to learn and upgrade your UI/UX design skills.
(Learn how to transition from your current career path to UX designing.)
And the best part? The return on investment is unparalleled. Just think about it: if you learn a single skill or technique that increases your salary by even just a small percentage, the return on your investment will be thousands of percent.