UX Designer Average Salary in the USA
Help other designers form realistic expectations about their salaries — submit your salary.
How much should you expect to make as a UX designer in the USA? We gathered our information through anonymous submissions from our global community of over 140,000 designers. Based on this data, UX designers who work in the United States make an average of $85,000 every year, $50,000 being the lowest reported salary and $165,000 being the highest one.
Let’s break down our findings on average UX designer salaries by experience.
Entry-level UX Designer salary in the USA
Entry-level UX designers are those who are just starting out and have no professional experience in the design industry. They may be recent university graduates or people who have decided to shift careers. If this description of entry-level UX designers matches you and you work in the USA, you can expect to make an average of $50,000 per year.
Junior-level UX Designer salary in the USA
Junior UX designers usually have 1 to 3 years of experience in the field. They are still getting to know the industry, but they can already work in a team setting and produce very valuable work. In the USA, junior UX designers usually make about $67,500 per year.
Mid-level UX Designer salary in the USA
Mid-level UX designers are those who have been working in the field for quite a few years (usually 3 to 8) and have gained significant experience. They are proficient in their craft and tend to produce higher-quality work than junior UX designers. If this description of mid-level UX designers matches you and you work in the USA you can expect to make an average of $95,000 per year.
Senior-level Product Designer salary in the USA
Senior UX designers usually have upwards of 8 years of experience in their field. They are proficient in what they do and often produce the highest-quality work in the shortest time. In the USA, senior UX designers usually make about $125,000 per year.
Are you a UX designer from the United States? Help other designers form realistic expectations about their salaries — submit your salary now.
What Do UX Designers Do?
There's always been some confusion around the job title "UX designer." Some candidates struggle to explain what user experience design is and add the abbreviation "UX" to their resumes to sound more trendy. So what do UX designers actually do?
A UX designer is a user advocate. They're responsible for investigating the target audience through user research and ensuring users have a seamless, helpful, enjoyable, and accessible interaction with a product, service, and process. UX designers are involved in all stages of product development, including ideation, research, prototyping, testing, and design, and even in aspects of marketing and branding.
Common tasks of UX designers include:
- Research: UX designers must be familiar with various user research methods to identify user needs, pain points, goals, and motivations.
- Analysis: UX designers are often responsible for analyzing and interpreting research data, building user personas, and creating user flows. At this point, UX designers usually start working on the information architecture for structuring content.
- Wireframing and prototyping: UX designers sketch low-fidelity wireframes to represent different screens or stages of the product throughout the user journey. These can be used in the first stages of testing or brainstorming sessions with a team. UX designers can also participate in creating interactive prototypes for more practical and illustrative user testing.
- User testing: UX designers get involved in user testing to validate ideas, evaluate usability and accessibility, and identify problems that should be fixed before the final design stage.
Skills to Increase UX Designer Salaries
A UX designer's salary ranges based on their skills, education, certifications, and experience. Investigate and improve the design skills that you might need for applying for your dream job:
- Leadership abilities, including project management, design thinking, and workshop facilitation. Depending on your level of seniority, team management skills may also be required. Test your skills with Uxcel's Leadership assessment and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
- Team working and communication skills, as well as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity, and openness to feedback. Empathy is especially important, both toward your teammates and your users. Test your skills with Uxcel's Core Qualities assessment and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
- Prototyping and wireframing in high and low fidelity, which will help you communicate your designs to developers and stakeholders and test them with users. Test your skills with Uxcel's Prototyping and Wireframing skill tests, and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
- An eye for detail, which guarantees that you will spot mistakes before launching a product. Test your skills with Uxcel's Attention to Detail skill test and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
- The ability to conduct user research and usability testing and analyze your findings, both qualitative and quantitative. Take Uxcel's Research assessment to put your skills to the test, or take the Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, and Usability Testing skill tests to see where you currently stand.
- UX writing and knowledge of information architecture are particularly useful if you are a one-person team, but they can always be helpful in deciding how to organize content. Test your skills with Uxcel's UX Writing skill test and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
- Proficiency with some UX design and handoff tools like Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, Avocode, and Zeplin. Test your knowledge of design tools with Uxcel's Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch skill tests, and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
- An understanding of HTML and CSS can be a plus if you work closely with developers. and it can help when it comes to prototyping. Test your knowledge of these languages with Uxcel's HTML and CSS skill tests, and see how you measure up to other designers worldwide.
Once you've completed a couple of courses and tested your knowledge with skills assessments, consider taking professional UX certifications to gain credibility and stand out among other designers.
Career Paths for UX Designers
Many UX designers come from related fields like graphic design, web development, marketing, information technology, or product design. While a degree or experience in design is a huge advantage for beginning your UX design career, it’s not a magic pill. A background in psychology, computer science, or the social sciences can also help you understand the mechanics of conducting user research and implementing its findings in design.
Developing empathy and cultivating skills in listening, giving and receiving feedback, and collaborating with a team are more important for those pursuing a UX design career.
By taking Uxcel's UX Designer career path, you’ll lay a solid foundation for your future UX design career. You will learn UX Design foundations, wireframing techniques, common design patterns, the essentials of UX writing, and accessibility.