14 May ‘19


What Career Path Is Right For Me? Choosing Between A Web Developer Vs Web Designer

14 May ‘19

In: Web Design & Development, / By: Ripe Media

web developer vs web designer

There’s no shortage of tech jobs in the U.S. right now. In fact, the tech sphere is on track to grow by 13 percent by the year 2026. 

There are tons of different job options available within the tech sphere. Two of the most popular, though, are for web designers and web developers.

There are a lot of opinions out there when it comes to the web developer vs web designer debate. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, keep reading.

Listed below are some important differences between these two positions, as well as information on the pros and cons of each of them. 

What is a Web Designer?

A web designer is someone who helps businesses and individual customers create websites that are aesthetically pleasing.

They also work to ensure that the website is as functional as possible.

This includes paying attention to aspects like the ease with which a user can navigate the website and take steps to ensure visitors carry out specific actions — making a purchase, signing up for an email newsletter, etc.

Web Designer Education Requirements 

In order to become a web designer, you’ll need a minimum of an Associate’s degree. Some positions require a more advanced degree depending on the type of work you’ll be doing.

To be a great web designer, you’ll need a keen eye and the ability to use various design software programs.

It’s important for web designers to keep up with the latest design trends, too, and make sure that they’re designing websites in a way that benefits both their clients and their clients’ customers.

What is a Web Developer?

A lot of people assume that web developers and web designers are the same. That’s not actually the case, though.

While web designers focus on the design aspect of a website and take steps to make it aesthetically pleasing, web developers focus more on the backend of the website.

They do the actual website building. They also work to maintain the website and ensure that it is running as efficiently as possible. 

Web Developer Education Requirements

In order to become a web developer, you do not need to complete a specific degree program.

As long as you can prove that you have the skills necessary to build a website and keep it running properly, you’ll likely have an easy time finding a job.

At the same time, though, there are a lot of certificate programs out there that can teach you the basics and help you to find a job more easily.

In order to be a developer, you need to have great coding and programming skills. You also need to be able to pay attention to detail and spot small errors right away.

Pros and Cons of Being a Web Designer

There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to work as a web designer. The following are some of the pros and cons associated with working in this field.


When you work as a web designer, you get to enjoy a creative position that allows you to flex your design muscles on a regular basis. 

There’s also a lot of variety when it comes to the type of work you do. You could work in an office, work from home, work on a freelance basis, etc. 

Web designers can work in many different industries, too.

These days, every business ought to have an online presence, and many business owners need a web designer to help them create an eye-catching website that draws customers in and keeps them coming back.


As a web designer, you have to be committed to continuing education. The design world is always changing, and you need to stay on top of those changes. This can be a downside for some people.

Web designers also are usually working on several projects at once. This is a career that’s great for people who can multi-task. If you don’t fall into this category, it might not be the right fit for you.

Pros and Cons of Being a Web Developer

There are certainly pros and cons associated with working as a web designer, but the same is true of working as a web developer. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind before you decide to pursue the web development route:


As a web developer, you can earn a high salary without a lot of expensive education.

The median salary for a web developer in the U.S. is $69,430 per year. That’s much more than the average salary for a web designer, which is $49,234 per year.

If you want to start working right away and avoid student loan debt, working as a web developer is probably a better fit for you. 

Web developers are in high demand right now, too, just like web designers, so you’ll likely be able to find a job very quickly once you’ve sharpened your development skills.


As with web designers, web developers are usually working on several projects at one time. This is especially true for developers who work on a freelance basis. If this is challenging for you, you might have a hard time working as a developer.

The web development field is still very new, too.

This means that there’s a lot of room for businesses to create their own rules and requirements and there’s not a lot of standardization yet. This can make it hard for you to know what to expect when you transition to a new company or take on a new client.

Web Developer vs Web Designer: Which is Right for You?

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into choosing a position in the web developer vs web designer debate.

It’s true that there’s plenty of overlap between the two options, but there are also some key differences you need to keep in mind.

Now that you have more information available to you, do you know which career path you want to pursue? Do you want to learn more about web design and development before you make a decision?

If you need to learn more about these two career paths, be sure to check out the Web Design and Development section of our blog today. 

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