The Best UI Designer Jobs: The Complete 2023 Guide

Camren Browne, contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

In 2023, it’s clear that UI is a must-have for companies to compete in the modern, globalized market. Any industry that utilizes a web-based platform (which is, after all, 95% of all companies) has seen how superb UI can significantly boost the bottom line.

This means UI designers are in high demand.

But what are some of the best UI designer jobs? What is working as a UI designer like, what kinds of employers are hiring, and what’s the average salary? We’ve made this complete guide to answer your questions about UI designer jobs in 2023. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. The best UI designer jobs
  2. Where to find UI designer jobs
  3. Is UI design a good career?
  4. Closing thoughts

Let’s get started!

The best UI designer jobs

As a UI designer, your main focus is visual design, animations, information architecture, and interaction design. Your work will primarily be creating wireframes and prototypes, designing menus, buttons, and navigation, and selecting fonts, icons, animations, and images. 

There are various kinds of UI designer jobs from junior to senior level and across many different subspecialties. What you’re looking for in a career can help you decide which position to pursue. 

Below are a few different UI designer jobs with some info on what you can expect from each one.

Visual designer

A visual designer is someone that focuses on the graphics of UI design. You’ll be in charge of the overall look and feel of the product, ensuring it’s pleasing and in line with the brand’s vision.

For instance, your responsibility will be to design all the banners, icons, font choices, buttons, images, animations, and colors. Visual designers are often called upon to create other graphics, like images for marketing messages or App Store icons.

Requirements

To be a standout candidate for a visual design job, you’ll need strong skills in design principles like branding, color theory, font selection, and balance. You will also need to be skilled in maintaining consistent visuals across interfaces such as Android, Windows, and macOS.

Salary

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a visual designer in 2023 is $68,337 per year. However, there is an estimated bonus pay of $5,319 per year for a total of $73,656 yearly salary.  

UI developer

UI developers are where creativity meets technology. As a UI developer, you’ll be responsible for designing and developing graphical user interfaces using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS software. You’ll likely be working closely with the backend developers on the project.

Requirements

This position requires experience with the software mentioned above and Google Material Design, Apple Human Interface Design, and APIs (application programming interfaces).

UI developers are also adept at user testing as they need to determine the usability of their work with actual users.

Salary

Talent.com estimates the average entry salary of a UI developer at $94,813 and more experienced, senior-level developers at $142,607. The median salary is listed as $112,618.

UI writer

A UI writer does their best to create engaging and compelling copy that easily integrates into the product’s design. You will likely write and design the text for notification and verification messages, onboarding, error and success messages, branding or marketing slogans, and the App Store listing and product description.

Requirements

Most UI writers are competent in both design and writing. An empathetic sense of the type of language users need and how to display it effectively is key.

Great UI writers can easily interpret a brand’s tone of voice and produce copy that reflects it. UI designers should have solid skills in writing and designing catchy copy that drives both the business and the user to meet their goals.

Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, the range of UI/UX writer salaries is wide, from about $23,000 to $166,000. However, most entry-level UI/UX writers are making somewhere within the 25th and 75th percentile, so between $48,000 and $108,000. This variability suggests a lot of potential for career advancement and skill-based salary increases. 

Glassdoor puts the average annual salary at $75,231.

Motion designer

This subset of UI design is all about the dynamic elements of the interface. Motion designers work on helpful animations that keep the user engaged and on track to fulfilling their goals.

Your work will range from detailed designs like button animation to larger and more energetic page transitions. Motions designers commonly work for game design studios or design firms. 

Requirements

Motion designers must have a fundamental understanding of 2D and 3D animation and editing software like Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and Blender. A good grasp of industry-standard frame rates, plug-ins, and formats is also helpful. Motion designers need specialized skills in designing animations that fulfill the users’ needs and stay in line with the company’s brand. 

Salary

Salary.com lists the average yearly income of a Motion Graphics Designer as $72,478. The high and low of this average are stated as $63,599 to $83,082, with salary determined by skillset, years working in the field, and other additional skills. 

UX/UI designer

You’ll probably encounter this term a lot during the job hunt, and it can be confusing to understand. UX and UI are separate specialties but are often listed as one job where the applicant will be expected to design how the product will function and its visual layout and aesthetics.

UX/UI designers typically work for smaller companies that need a designer who can work from product conception to the final prototype.

Requirements

UX/UI designers are like the jack-of-all-trades of product design. They are tasked with creating an excellent user experience that’s intuitive, accessible, and pleasing to the eye. 

For this position, you’ll need to be proficient in storyboarding, user research and testing, prototyping and wireframing, and graphic design skills like imagery, interactive design, color and font selection, and information architecture. 

Salary

Comparably lists the average salary for UX/UI designers at $97,498 per year with an average bonus of $5,612. However, UX/UI designers are paid the most in San Francisco, CA, with an annual average salary of $118,848.

graph showing different UI designer job salaries

2. Where to find UI designer jobs

Many big and small brands are on the lookout for their next UI specialist. Search “UI designer jobs” and you’ll get flooded with possibilities. Job portals that specify roles are the best way to find your ideal workplace.

The following are excellent places to start:

  1. AIGA design jobs
  2. Dribbble jobs
  3. Smashing Jobs
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Indeed
  6. Glassdoor

But it’s worth knowing that because the UI field and its sub-specialties are still gaining traction in non-tech spaces, many companies will use different terms for advertising available positions.

Therefore, when searching for a UI designer job, be sure to widen your search results by using terms like “visual designer”, “UX/UI”, “graphic designer”, “motion graphics”, and “developer”.

We’ve compiled a list of a few UI designer job listings to give you an example of the jobs available. 

As you can see above, salaries at different UI designer jobs vary depending on the type of company and your experience level. However, these examples are just the tip of the iceberg, and we recommend you thoroughly search through your favorite job search site. 

designers working at their ui designer jobs

3. Is UI design a good career?

There are many reasons why UI design is a great career. However, it’s important to know all aspects of the job to make sure it’s a good fit for you. 

Pros of UI design

Let’s get into some of the benefits of a UI design job:

  • Competitive salary: The potential for pay in the UI design field increases as you gain more experience. Entry levels positions average around $53,000 annually, while more experienced designers make up to double the amount. 
  • Potential for growth: UI design provides you so many opportunities to learn and move up in the field by perfecting your craft or even branching into adjunct areas and learning new complementary skills.
  • Creative outlet: UI focuses heavily on visual and graphic design. There are many mediums to learn and experiment with when working as a UI designer. Therefore, it can be a great way to turn a creative passion into a stable income. 
  • Flexibility: Many UI designers can work remotely from home or abroad or decide their schedule by consulting or freelance work. If you’re more of an in-house designer, you can choose from many unique and exciting environments and industries.
  •  Sense of accomplishment: It’s easy to obtain clear metrics of the success of your designs in the UI field, as most companies keep track of the measurable effects of your designs. Furthermore, your work as a UI designer often helps different communities achieve their goals in pleasing, beautiful, and innovative ways. 

Cons of UI design

There are a few drawbacks to a UI design career. However, depending on what you are looking for in a job, they may be manageable or easy to overcome. Here they are:

  • Unfamiliarity: UI design is a relatively new field, so coworkers and even some of your employers may need a clearer idea of your role. You may have to advocate for the skills you offer and the benefits you provide.
  • Market saturation: While the field is still relatively novel, the number of creatives in tech who hear about UI is steadily increasing. Therefore, as the years go on, finding a job could become increasingly competitive. It’s essential to keep your portfolio up to date and make strong networking connections to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Misunderstanding of skills: Depending on your company, your employer may under or over-utilize your expertise. For instance, some employers hire separate research teams, so UI designers who love the research phase are stuck doing only visuals. Conversely, some organizations may assume you can and want to work on all aspects of product design and may assign you tasks outside your skill set.
  • Critiques and feedback: New designers often struggle with the negative critiques they may receive about their work. It can be hard not to take the feedback personally or feel downhearted about your skills and value as a designer. However, as you spend more time in the field, it’s easier to learn from the critiques and improve because of them. 

Watch this video to get some insight into what it’ll take to get into UI design as a career:

4. Closing thoughts

UI designers are in high demand, and there is a lot of potential for career growth and competitive compensation. There is room to specialize in different subsets of UI design or branch off and learn more about related fields.

To start your journey into UI design, try our free, self-paced UI Design Short Course.

If you’re interested in learning more about UI design and other exciting jobs in tech, check out these articles below:

What is CareerFoundry?

CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back.

Learn more about our programs