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Navigating Entry-Level UI Design Salaries
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Navigating Entry-Level UI Design Salaries [Comp Guide]

9 minute read | September 20, 2023
Maria Muntean

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Maria Muntean

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With the tech industry’s exponential growth, opportunities for UI designers are abundant, spanning diverse sectors from tech to healthcare, media to finance, and beyond. UI designers are responsible for building out digital interfaces—whether that be for an app on your phone or a screen for a standalone product—and given our increasingly digital world, they’re in higher demand than ever before. 

While the demand for UI designers is indisputable, navigating the landscape of UI design salaries is a more complex endeavor. Salaries can significantly vary based on numerous factors such as location, industry, education, and specific skill set. 

Understanding these nuances is vital when negotiating your salary or planning your career progression. Recognizing this, we’ve created this guide, uncovering the complexity of entry-level user interface design salaries and comparing roles, industries, locations, and education levels.

What Is the Average Salary for an Entry-Level UI (User Interface) Designer?

The average salary for an entry-level UI designer ranges pretty drastically. According to data from ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary for UI designers ranges from as low as $31,000, all the way up to $149,000. The majority of earnings fall between $85,000 and $129,000. 

Entry-Level UI Design Salaries – By Role (And Similar Jobs)

In the world of UI design, the title you hold can significantly impact your salary. Different roles come with varying levels of responsibilities and expectations, which naturally influence the compensation associated with them. 

Here’s a breakdown of the average salary by the most popular UI roles.

UI Design Intern

entry-level UI designer salary, intern salary

UI designer interns are at the start of their career journey, usually still in college or recently graduated. Given its trainee nature, this position usually offers a lower salary compared to other roles. In the United States, the pay is an average of $1,901 weekly, and that’s for both UI and UX design interns.

Junior UI Designer

entry-level UI designer salary, Junior UI Designer

Junior UI designers are responsible for designing and maintaining the user interface under the guidance of a senior product designer. The average salary for a junior UI designer is around $84,619 per year.

Entry-Level Interaction Designer

entry-level UI designer salary, Entry-Level Interaction Designer

An entry-level interaction designer creates engaging user interactions from both visual and technical perspectives. They focus on how the user interacts with a service or product, shaping their experience. The typical yearly salary for a junior UI designer, irrespective of location, hovers around $82,651.

Junior Visual Designer

entry-level UI designer salary, Junior Visual Designer

A junior visual designer’s role is slightly different than that of a UI designer, as they often work with design teams on a broader range of designs, including both print and digital media. Nonetheless, when working on digital products, their role might overlap with that of a UI designer. It’s common for a junior UI designer to earn about $78,405 per year on average.

Entry-Level UI Design Salaries – By Industry

Let’s delve into the role and average earnings of entry-level UI designers in several key sectors: tech, healthcare, finance, media and entertainment, and e-commerce.

Tech

entry-level UI designer salary, tech companies

In tech companies, UI designers are at the heart of product development, working on websites, applications, software, and various digital interfaces to provide users with an intuitive experience. Their role may include designing new features, refining existing interfaces, and collaborating with app developers and UX designers. 

The tech industry often offers competitive salaries due to the high demand and the nature of the products being worked on. For example, the average salary of a UI designer at Google is $140,148 per year, while a UI designer working at Apple might expect to earn an average of $140,722.

Healthcare

entry-level UI designer salary, healthcare industry

UI designers in the healthcare industry create user-friendly digital health tools, electronic health records, patient portals, and telemedicine software. While salaries in the healthcare sector may be slightly lower than in tech, there’s still a significant demand for these skills. Someone working at HCA Healthcare, for instance, earns an average salary of $97,839.

Finance

entry-level UI designer salary, finance industry

In the finance industry, UI designers are tasked with making complex financial systems and digital tools like banking apps, investment platforms, and financial planning tools accessible and user-friendly. The high-stakes nature of finance, in addition to the need for secure, intuitive interfaces, can lead to competitive salaries in this sector. At JPMorgan Chase & Co, UI/UX designers can earn between $100,000 and $152,000 annually.

Media and Entertainment

In the media and entertainment industry, UI designers work on various products, such as streaming platforms, news websites, and digital magazines. While the salaries here can be more variable due to the wide range of companies within this industry, the average salary for an entry-level UI designer in media and entertainment is between $75,000 and $102,056.

e-Commerce

UI designers in e-commerce businesses focus on designing user-friendly online shopping experiences. Their work directly impacts how customers interact with the online store, influencing sales and customer satisfaction. Given the growth of online shopping, the demand for UI designers in e-commerce is high. In 2023, the average salary for entry-level UI designers in the e-commerce sector is around $83,500.

Entry-Level UI Design Salaries – By Location

Salaries for entry-level UI designers vary significantly from one location to another. Factors such as cost of living, local demand for the role, and economic health contribute to these geographic discrepancies. 

Let’s explore how entry-level UI design salaries compare across various locations worldwide.

USA

The United States hosts a booming tech industry, making it a profitable location for UI designers. 

As previously mentioned, the salary for entry-level UI designers in the US ranges between $85,000 to $129,000 annually. The exact figures can fluctuate depending on the state or city, with tech hubs like San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and Seattle often offering higher salaries due to the high cost of living and concentration of tech companies.

UK

entry-level UI designer salary, by location, UK

The UI design sector is thriving in the UK, particularly in major cities like London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. The average annual UI designer salary in London is approximately £51,690

China

entry-level UI designer salary, by location, China

With the rapid growth of its technology sector, China has seen a surge in demand for UI designers. The average annual salary for entry-level UI designers in China is CN¥28,246.

Australia

In Australia, particularly in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the demand for UI designers is strong. The average annual salary for entry-level UI designers in Australia ranges between $90,000 to $110,000.

India

In India, a global IT outsourcing hub, the demand for UI designers is increasing. On average, a UI designer can expect to make around ₹5,85,876 annually.

Germany

entry-level UI designer salary, by location, Germany

Germany offers solid opportunities for UI designers, especially in cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich. The average salary of a UI designer in Germany is between 40.000 EUR and 65.000 EUR per year.

United Arab Emirates

entry-level UI designer salary, by location, United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have promising tech scenes. The average annual salary for entry-level UI designers in the UAE is around $10,000.

South Africa

South Africa’s design and tech industry is flourishing, with cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town at the forefront of this growth. As such, UI designers earn an average of R 29 451 monthly.

Sweden

entry-level UI designer salary, by location, Sweden

Sweden, known for its strong startup scene, especially in Stockholm, has a high demand for UI designers, who can expect to earn SEK 40,432 per month.

Brazil

entry-level UI designer salary, by location, Brazil

UI designers in the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro regions earn an average salary of R$12,576 yearly.

Entry-Level UI Design Salaries – By Education

entry-level UI designer salary, by education, no degree
Source: Salary.com

Your educational background can play a significant role in your career path and salary prospects, and the field of UI design is no exception. 

While having a degree can provide certain advantages—including formal training and access to an alumni network—the value of practical experience, portfolio quality, and ongoing learning cannot be understated. Below, we examine the potential impact of education level on entry-level UI design salaries.

No Degree

In UI design, practical skills and the strength of your portfolio hold more weight than one’s formal education. Individuals without a degree can still break into this field by leveraging online courses, bootcamps, or self-taught skills to build a compelling portfolio. 

Self-taught UI designers can earn between $62,870 and $67,007 per year.

Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree in graphic design, computer science, or a related field can serve as a strong foundation for aspiring UI designers. As such, UI designers with a BA earn between $66,515 and $70,312 a year.

Master’s Degree

UI designers with a master’s degree under their belt can earn an average of $71,515 per year.

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How To Boost Your Entry-Level UI Design Salary

As you start your UI design career, it’s only natural to aspire for growth. While the satisfaction of doing what you love is paramount, it’s also important to consider your financial well-being. 

Thankfully, you can use various strategies to boost your entry-level UI design salary, from choosing the right location to expanding your skills and effectively negotiating your salary. Let’s explore these techniques below.

  1. Choose the Right Location and Industry

  2. Expand Your Skills

  3. Negotiate Your Job Offer

  4. Ask for a Salary Review

Choose the Right Location and Industry

Some cities or regions have a higher demand for UI designers and thus pay higher salaries. Similarly, some industries might offer higher pay due to the project’s complexity or the sector’s financial capability. Carefully researching and considering these factors when making career decisions can help you land higher-paying roles.

Expand Your Skills

Keep an eye on industry trends to understand which skills are in high demand. For example, understanding UX principles, gaining proficiency in new design tools, or learning front-end coding can make you more valuable as a UI designer. Soft skills, such as communication and project management, can also enhance your worth. And wherever you add a new skill set to your toolbelt, make sure that you update your portfolio with projects that evince your aptitude with those skills. 

Negotiate Your Job Offer

It’s common for employers to start with a lower offer, expecting candidates to negotiate. Do your research to understand the average salary for your role, considering factors like location, industry, and your skills and experience. Be prepared to justify your desired salary with these factors and the value you can bring to the company. 

Ask for a Salary Review

Don’t hesitate to ask for a salary review if you feel your pay does not reflect your value or the market average. This can be especially pertinent if you’ve been in your role for a while without a pay increase or if your responsibilities have significantly expanded. 

Prepare for this discussion by gathering evidence of your accomplishments, demonstrating how you’ve added value to the company, and researching comparable salaries in your industry.

FAQs About Entry-Level UI Design Salaries

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

Is UI Design a Good Career?

UI design is a great career choice for several reasons. The demand for UI designers is high due to the growing need for businesses to provide intuitive and engaging product interfaces. That becomes even more important as technology advances and competition is higher. UI designer jobs also offer the potential for career growth, as experience leads to senior roles and specializations.

How Much Does a UI Designer Make per Hour?

The average hourly rate for a UI designer in the US ranges from $25 to $100. Entry-level designers tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum, while experienced designers can request higher rates.

Who Gets Paid More: UI Designers or UX Designers?

Senior UX designers or specialists who often oversee broader strategy and user research might earn more than their UI peers in some organizations.

This can vary widely; sometimes, a UI designer might earn more than a UX designer. The key to increasing earning potential in either field is building a solid portfolio, gaining experience, and keeping up-to-date with UI trends.

Is UI Harder Than UX?

The difficulty level of UI vs. UX design can largely depend on individual aptitudes and interests.

UI design, which focuses on the visual aspects of a product interface, often requires a keen eye for aesthetics, attention to detail, and the ability to make complex information or systems visually appealing and easy to understand. On the other hand, UX design, which involves understanding users’ needs and designing the overall user experience, requires strong empathy, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

While some may find the technicalities of UI design more challenging, others might struggle more with the user-centric research and testing aspects of UX design

Does UI Design Require Coding?

Coding is not always a strict requirement for UI design. Many UI designers work closely with software developers who handle the coding aspect, while the designers focus on crafting the visual and interactive elements of the interface. That said, understanding the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can help UI designers create more feasible designs and communicate effectively with their developer counterparts.

Since you’re here…
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About Maria Muntean

Maria-Cristina is a content marketer with 7 years of experience in SEO and content strategy for SaaS and technology brands. She holds an MA thesis on the effects of emotions in written and video content. She loves to spend time near the ocean and watch horror movies.