At the time of writing this, job giant SimlpyHired.com claims to have over 5.8 million jobs in their database. According to their web design and development job data, the salary range for a typical position in the US web industry is $55k to $74k. This spans general web design and development through to specialist niches such as user interface design.
What surprised me the most was that flash design and development jobs have a lower average than general web design and development positions. I’d always assumed that the niche skill set of working with Flash paid better, not worse.
Also interesting is that along with user interface developers, project managers are pretty much the highest paid position. Not surprising given that the average PM needs to be able to understand (and speak) fluent Geekanese with developers and then translate that into a language that the average client can understand.
The data & money.
In a nutshell, what this data tells us is that vanilla web designers are worth the least. Along with project managers, peeps that can design and code user interfaces are worth the most. Naturally full time jobs pay less per hour than freelance and contract jobs but there are trade offs galore. Full time people generally have to sucker it through traffic, work nine to five, go to meetings, get paid vacation time etc. Freelancers march to the beat of their own drum and likewise incur benefits and disadvantages of their own.
Me & my goals.
I had modest goals for my life as a freelancer. I wanted to work a light work week so I could have more free time to spend as I wish. Also important to me was working from home so that I could nix having to commute. And lastly, I wanted to make above average income.
It took me a little while to work out how to achieve these things goals but with persistent trial and error, I got there. In my last year as a full time freelancer (2006) I made about $90k working approximately 25 hours a week. I’m (by far) not the best web designer around so I figured I was doing something right. I subsequently wrote The Elite Freelancing Method to teach people the same techniques and best practices I used to reach my goals.
What about you?
Are you making above or below average? Would you like to be making more? Have you struck a good work/life balance? If so, what are some of the most effective strategies you have implemented to make it all happen … or what are some of the main challenges impeding you? Lets hear it in the comments.
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