Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CIW Web Design Specialist
Posted on
June 12, 2020

Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.‍‍


Get started in web design with the CIW Web Design Specialist certification.

Some certifications are designed to verify practiced skills and deep understanding acquired via repeated practical application over a lengthy period of time. Others are designed to help newcomers gain entry-level familiarity with a particular technology or set of skills. CIW Web Design Specialist (No. 54 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) falls squarely into the latter category.

The official CIW certifications website puts it this way: "The CIW Web Design Specialist course is for the individual who wants to develop the skills necessary to specialize in Web site design. In this course, you will build upon your basic Web authoring skills to learn the essentials and best practices of Web design, including design theory, tools and technologies."

Here's what the salary picture looks like for CIW Web Design Specialist holders who responded to the Salary Survey:‍

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $96,380
Median Annual Salary: $90.630
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 35.3 percent
Satisfied: 35.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 17.6 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 11.8 percent

The CIW certification program has global reach, but we didn't hear from enough credential holders living and working outside the United States to formulate good data. So everything we've got here applies solely to U.S.-based CIW Web Design Specialist holders.

Most of those we heard from, as is typical of the IT realm, are men: just 9.9 percent of CIW Web Design Specialist holders who participated in the survey are women. In terms of age, our pool of respondents is deepest between the ages of 35 and 44, where 58.8 percent of those surveyed show up. Everyone else falls either between the ages of 25 and 34 (11.8 percent), between the ages of 45 and 54 (23.5 percent), or between the ages of 55 and 64 (5.9 percent).

More than 80 percent of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of formal education completed by most CIW Web Design Specialist holders is either a bachelor's degree (41.2 percent), a master's degree (17.6 percent), or an associate's degree (23.5 percent). The outliers are the 11.8 percent of those surveyed who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training and the 5.9 percent who are currently in school.

Nearly all of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time (89.5 percent of respondents), with 5.5 percent in part-time jobs and 5 percent currently in school. Among those who have full-time jobs, 70.6 percent are at work for the standard 40 hours per week, with 17.6 percent putting in between 41 and 50 hours per week. The remaining 12 percent of those surveyed put either more than 50 hours per week (6.5 percent) or between 31 and 39 hours per week (5.3 percent).

Tech jobs often come with a degree of flexibility to work from home, and many web designers in the modern landscape are freelancers. Among those who responded to the survey, however, 71.8 percent work at home fewer than 10 hours per week, and 17.1 percent work from home for between 10 and 20 hours per week. That leaves just the 6.5 percent of respondents who work between 21 and 30 hours per week, and the 4.6 percent who handle their entire weekly schedule (40 hours) from home.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CIW Web Design Specialist holders we heard from, 26.8 percent, are at the rank-and-file employee level. The rest, in descending order, are either senior specialists (26.3 percent), managers (25.8 percent), specialists (15.8 percent), or executives (5.3 percent).

Nearly half (44.8 percent) of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders who responded to the survey are web design veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (15.8 percent of those surveyed), between 3 and 5 years (also 15.8 percent), between 6 and 8 years (10.5 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (13.1 percent).

Finally, here's the view of CIW Web Design Specialist holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:‍

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification:
Several times a day: 57.9 percent
Several times a week: 21.1 percent
Several times a month: [No responses]
Occasionally: 15.8 percent
Rarely: 5.3 percent‍

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 31.6 percent
Agree: 42.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 10.5 percent
Disagree: 10.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.3 percent‍

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 16.3 percent
Agree: 57.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.3 percent
Disagree: 6.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.2 percent‍

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 31.6 percent
Agree: 36.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16 percent
Disagree: 10.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.2 percent‍




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