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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Almost without exception, the certifications that are part of the Deep Focus series each year are active credentials. If you read about it here, then you can find it online, figure out what topics are covered, study those topics, and schedule an exam. So CIW Web Design Specialist (No. 61 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is decidedly an oddity.
That's because CIW Web Design Specialist was officially retired on Dec. 31, 2021. Credentials earned prior to that date remain valid, but if you missed the pre-2022 window, then you're out of luck. There are fewer IT certifications that don't expire than there used to be, but "good for life" credentials do still have a presence in the industry.
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: $86,260
Median Annual Salary: $82,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 9 percent
Very Satisfied: 32.1 percent
Satisfied: 41 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 14.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 3.8 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 reliable data. So everything we've got here applies solely to U.S.-based CIW Web Design Specialist holders.
An unusually large contingent of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders who participated in the survey — 27.5 percent of respondents — are women. Most of the rest (71.6 percent of those surveyed) are men, with tiny fractions who are transgender male (0.9 percent), transgender female (also 0.9 percent), gender variant/nonconforming (1.8 percent), or chose not to identify a gender (1 percent). In terms of age, our pool of respondents is deepest between the ages of 25 and 34, where 42.3 percent of those surveyed show up. Everyone else falls either between the ages of 35 and 44 (39.7 percent), between the ages of 45 and 54 (16.7 percent), or between the ages of 55 and 64 (1.3 percent).
More than 97 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 (43.6 percent), master's degree (38.5 percent), doctorate (6.4 percent), associate's degree (5.1 percent), or professional degree (3.8 percent). The only outliers are the 2.6 percent of those surveyed who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training.
A bit less than 72 percent of CIW Web Design Specialist holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time, with 10.1 percent in part-time jobs, 6.4 percent currently on sabbatical, 5.5 percent who are primarily students, and 6.4 percent who are unemployed. Among those who have full-time jobs, 43.6 percent are at work for the standard 40 hours per week, with 16.7 percent putting in between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 24.4 percent on the clock for between 31 and 39 hours per week. The remaining 15-ish percent of those surveyed have a full-time work schedule of either more than 50 hours per week (3.8 percent), between 20 and 30 hours per week (7.7 percent), or fewer than 20 hours per week (3.8 percent).
Tech jobs often come with a degree of flexibility to work from home — especially in the post-COVID-19 era — and many web designers in the modern landscape are freelancers. Among those who responded to the survey, however, 42.3 percent work at home fewer than 10 hours per week, and 34.6 percent work from home for between 10 and 20 hours per week. Nine percent of respondents work from home between 21 and 30 hours per week, while 2.6 percent work from home between 31 and 39 hours per week. That leaves roughly 12 percent of those surveyed who handle their entire weekly schedule from home, enjoying the freedom to drink milk straight from the carton in the, er, "break room" either 40 hours per week (6.4 percent) or more than 40 hours per week (5.1 percent).
In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CIW Web Design Specialist holders we heard from, 26.6 percent, are employed at the senior manager level. The rest, in descending order, are either managers (23.9 percent), senior specialists (17.4 percent), directors (11.9 percent), rank-and-file employees (9.2 percent), executives (6.4 percent), or specialists (4.6 percent).
Almost exactly one-third (33 percent) of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders who responded to the survey are web design journeymen, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between 3 and 5 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (8.3 percent of those surveyed), between 6 and 8 years (27.5 percent), between 9 and 10 years (7.3 percent), or for more than a decade (23.9 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: 27.5 percent
Several times a week: 39.4 percent
Several times a month: 23 percent
Occasionally: 7.3 percent
Rarely: 2.8 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 45 percent
Agree: 33 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 10 percent
Disagree: 5.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 6.4 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 43.1 percent
Agree: 32.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.7 percent
Disagree: 4.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.5 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 35.8 percent
Agree: 41.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 10.1 percent
Disagree: 5.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 7.3 percent
PAST CIW WEB DESIGN SPECIALIST DEEP FOCUS FEATURES