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Highest-Paying UX Design Jobs
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Highest-Paying UX Design Jobs: 9 Careers To Consider

9 minute read | February 7, 2024
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta & reviewed by Meg Clayton

Sakshi Gupta

Reviewed by:
Meg Clayton

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UX is a domain that combines psychology, design, and technology, making it a uniquely satisfying puzzle for creative problem-solvers. Now that every swipe, click, and tap counts, companies are hunting for those rare minds that can turn complex interactions into simple experiences.

It’s no wonder many people are excited to jump into this world. But there’s a catch. UX Design is a broad field with various roles, each with its own requirements and opportunities. In this article, we’ll look at nine different UX design careers and help you choose the perfect job for you — whether you’re a tech enthusiast, creative, or strategic thinker.

Are UX Designers Paid Well?

UX designers are paid very well, and there’s a good reason for that. The experience a user has with an app or a website can make or break a business. So, companies are willing to invest much of their budget into hiring skilled UX designers who can create intuitive and engaging digital experiences.

Highest Paying UX Design Jobs

Below is a list of the highest-paying UX Design careers you can pursue. One thing to note: UX jobs tend to have a lot of variability from company to company. For example, the role of “interaction designer” or “product designer” might be the exact same thing as UX designer, depending on the hiring company. It’s best to always look at all the job description details and focus less on the title.

UX Designer

UX Designers develop meaningful and relevant experiences for users. Their main focus is on the overall feel of the product and making sure it logically flows from one step to the next. 

They apply design thinking principles to solve complex problems and find desirable solutions for users. They may not always be responsible for the final visual design, but they ensure that the logic and flow of the user interface are sound. To do this, they work closely with user interface (UI) designers, who focus more on the look and feel of the product.

Average Salary

The average salary of a UX Designer depends on the role, responsibilities, location, and various other factors. It generally revolves around $175K per year.

General Requirements Needed

To become a UX Designer, you’ll need a combination of education, design skills, and practical experience. 

While it’s not mandatory at every company or for freelancers, a degree in fields such as Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), or a related field can be beneficial. Besides understanding UX principles and best practices, you’ll need proficiency in wireframing and prototyping tools such as Sketch or Figma and a basic understanding of coding (such as knowledge of HTML, CSS, and/ or JavaScript).

Senior UX Designer

Compared to UX Designers, Senior UX Designers generally have more experience and responsibilities. For example, they don’t just execute design tasks; they also lead projects, mentor team members, and contribute strategically to the product development process.

They’re also very well-versed in planning and overseeing project timelines and defining the final product strategy and user experience vision.

Average Salary

Senior UX Designers have an average salary of $148K per year.

General Requirements Needed

To get promoted from UX Designer to Senior UX Designer, you need more than gaining experience over time (typically over five years).

You’ll need certain soft skills, such as contributing to product strategy and making design decisions that impact the end product. You’ll also need a strong portfolio and evidence of successful UX projects.

UX Architect

The main responsibility of a UX Architect is to design the structural and logical framework of a digital product, which involves organizing, structuring, and labeling content effectively, thus making it accessible and understandable for users. 

UX Architects also conduct research to understand the behaviors and motivations of users and often work on creating wireframes and prototypes to demonstrate user flows and interactions within the product.

Average Salary

A UX Architect typically earns an average salary of $170K per year. 

General Requirements Needed

While there’s no one-size-fits-all path, specific credentials are seen among UX Architects, such as either a BA degree in fields like Graphic Design or Computer Science or an MA degree in UX Design or related fields.

Although not always required, certifications from recognized bodies like Nielsen Norman Group or courses from platforms like Springboard are always beneficial.

UX Researcher

Between conducting user research to gather insights about user needs, behaviors, and motivations and analyzing and presenting these findings to inform design and product decisions, UX Researchers perform various tasks central to creating user-centered designs. 

They are advocates for user-centered design, helping other teams to create and foster a shared understanding of who their users are and how to develop better products and services that fit those users.

Average Salary

In the US, UX Researchers usually earn an average of $117K annually.

General Requirements Needed

With research being their primary responsibility, UX Researchers need knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including interviews, surveys, usability testing, ethnographic studies, and data analysis.

They need to be proficient in user testing tools such as Hotjar, Userbrain, or CrazyEgg. Some companies also request senior UX Researchers to be competent in using data analysis software — think SPSS, R, or Python.

Senior Interaction Designer

Most Senior Interaction Designers focus on creating engaging interfaces for a positive user experience but often take on leadership and strategic roles. They can mentor junior designers and establish design standards and best practices with the team.

When they’re not busy performing user research and testing alongside UX Researchers, they interpret data to inform business decisions and act as a bridge between various departments.

Average Salary

Senior Interaction Designers earn an average salary of $156K per year.

General Requirements Needed

In addition to the foundational skills required for a UX Designer, you’ll need significant professional experience in interaction design – often ranging from 5 to 10 years. 

This often means experience in design and prototyping tools such as Adobe XD, Sketch, Figma, or InVision, as well as user research and testing tools. Some Senior Interaction Designers could have an unfair advantage by being proficient in animation and motion design tools such as Adobe After Effects.

UX Engineer

UX Engineers are responsible for translating design concepts into products. They take designs from wireframes or mockups and turn them into working digital experiences. 

This involves working closely with UX and User Interface designers to understand the design intent and the user needs and then collaborating with developers to ensure proper implementations.

Average Salary

UX Engineers earn $109,038 per year, with lower and higher compensations based on their years of experience.

General Requirements Needed

UX Engineers need to be proficient in front-end development and JavaScript frameworks and libraries such as React, Redux, or jQuery. 

They need proficiency with Git for version control and platforms like GitHub and GitLab. As one of the most important roles in a UX design team, engineers need familiarity with web technologies like Web Components or Shadow DOM and the newest AI technologies and capabilities.

UX Manager

A UX Manager usually guides and oversees the entire user experience design process within an organization, but their role extends beyond just supervision to strategic involvement.

They often collaborate with stakeholders and manage resources or budgets for projects. 

Average Salary

UX Managers can earn between $143K – $231K annually.

General Requirements Needed

UX Managers should be familiar with various roles within UX, such as UX Design, UX Research, or Interaction Design, and should have more than five years of experience with a proven track record of successful projects.

UX Managers often take advanced UX certifications or enroll in UX bootcamps to improve their knowledge and skills. 

UX Director

UX Directors are the strategic leaders of the UX team. They define and drive the overarching UX strategy and company vision, overseeing the UX team, including the designers, researchers, and managers.

In the grand scheme of things, they establish and enforce UX standards across the company and provide oversight and direction on major design projects.

Average Salary

UX Directors earn an average – and very rewarding – salary of $227,000 annually.

General Requirements Needed

UX Directors usually have proven experience leading and managing UX teams, including hiring, mentoring, and developing designers and researchers. 

While they don’t do hands-on design as frequently, they must deeply understand UX tools, technologies, and methodologies.

UX Consultant

Usually, UX Consultants have dynamic roles since they might work with different clients and projects.

Their day-to-day activities are diverse, starting with meetings to discuss goals and challenges and various other interactions. They develop user personas and journey maps to bring a project from concept to reality and brainstorm and propose design solutions.

Average Salary

Although UX Consultants don’t have a salary because they are technically not employed, they can earn an average of $67/hour, depending on experience and the project.

General Requirements Needed

The most powerful requirement for becoming a consultant is a compelling UX resume and portfolio demonstrating your ability to research, analyze, and create user-centered designs and, most importantly, your ability to drive direction and work within an already-established team.

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Tips To Land a High-Paying UX Design Job (or Boost Your Salary)

Here are some practical tips to help you land a higher-paying UX design job.

Gain Experience 

This might speak for itself, but you should always take on personal projects, such as redesigning existing websites or proposing improvements for your favorite products. 

Internships and volunteering opportunities are also good ways to get more experience. They are also a very valuable addition to your portfolio.

Upskill

Identify areas where you might need more knowledge, such as prototyping or user testing, and enroll in relevant courses. There are various platforms with tons of resources that help you learn UX. 

Specialize

You can specialize vertically by focusing on a particular aspect of UX (like transitioning from research to design) or horizontally by concentrating on a specific industry (like moving from SaaS to educational technology). Specialization often leads to higher pay and opportunities with prestigious companies.

Build Your Network

Online events and connecting with fellow UX designers on LinkedIn are good ways to build your network. You will discover hidden career opportunities and new perspectives.

Boost Your Leadership and Managerial Ability

Even if you don’t aspire to become a manager, you can always enhance your leadership skills because they are valuable for project management and team collaboration and can increase your perceived value as an employee.

Negotiate the Job Offer or Ask for a Salary Review

If you’ve been with a company for a couple of years, it’s reasonable to negotiate your salary, especially if your responsibilities have increased. 

Schedule a meeting with your manager or superior to discuss a salary review. List your contributions and the projects you’ve handled over the years, emphasizing your value to the company.

Consider High-Paying Companies and/or Locations

The global nature of UX design allows for flexibility in where you work. 

Never hesitate to explore opportunities in different locations or with companies known for higher pay. This can lead to better pay and more fulfilling work experiences.

Have Your Career Track in Mind

Think about where you’d love to see your career in the next three years — what does that picture look like? Set some reachable goals and regularly check in with yourself to tweak your career path if needed.

FAQs About High-Paying Design Jobs

We answer your most frequently asked questions.

Can a UX Designer Make 200K?

Yes. With the average salary of a UX designer being around $175K per year, it’s natural that some UX designers are on the high end of the spectrum and can even reach $505K.

Who Gets Paid More: UX or UI?

Generally, UX and UI designers have comparable salary ranges, especially at entry and mid-levels. UX designers may earn slightly more at senior levels due to the broader scope of their responsibilities, which often include research, strategy, and user testing.

What Pays More: Product Design or UX Design?

Product design and UX design are closely related, and their salary ranges are often similar. Despite that, product designers, who typically oversee the entire design process of a product, including both UX and UI, may sometimes ask for higher salaries.

Since you’re here…
Are you a future UX designer? Enroll in our UI/UX Bootcamp and join over 10,000 students who have successfully changed careers with us. Want to get wireframing right this second? Check out our free UX design course today.

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.