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Market update: How much do UX designers earn in Australia in 2022?

By Academy Xi

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Digital transformation is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for most industries and businesses. Now a must-have to survive in competitive marketplaces, mass digital transformation has resulted in the global demand for digital development professionals, particularly those skilled in User Experience. The good news? There are no signs of the demand slowing down. 

Are you weighing up a career in UX Design and keen to find out what’s going on in today’s industry? We’ve put together this market update to bring you all the latest UX Design statistics and insights.

What does a UX Designer do?

UX encompasses all of the interactions that a user (customer or client) has with an organisation, including everything from its website and app interfaces, to customer service experiences and engagements with the products and services they offer. The interactions don’t stop once an order has been placed either; they extend to the aftercare and ongoing communication received by the user from the company.

The role of the UX Designer is to develop an experience for the customer that is easy to navigate and pleasurable to engage with, from the very first moment they interact with that company.

See your earning potential

By 2027, the global UX UI Design market is expected to hit $1.15 billion USD, up from $398 million USD in 2020, with an increase rate each year of 16.4%.

The average salary for a UX Designer in Australia ranges between $95,000 to $160,000 AUD.

Junior UX Designer salary

Entry-level positions in UX design can start out from the $60k mark, but there are junior positions starting at $85k plus super. Industry conditions and the strength of your portfolio will impact your starting income.

Once you get some runs on the board, you can expect your mid-level income to range from $110k-$160k, plus super.

Senior UX Designer salary

According to the Hays 2022/23 salary guide, a senior level UX Designer in Australia can expect to command $130k to $170k, plus superannuation.

Can you be a freelance UX Designer?

Does the notion of working in-house and having a boss to report to not resonate? Rest assured, you can venture into the world of contract work as a UX Designer and work from anywhere with a solid internet connection. Many do.

Be mindful that having in-house experience is valuable before you embark on the freelance path. This means you’ll have a stronger portfolio of work behind you, experience and also professional contacts from your previous places of employment, all of which will positively impact your earning potential.

How much can freelance UX Designers make?

As with many contractors, the rates will vary and depend on your level of experience, training and skill-set. 

Day rates can range anywhere from $400AUD to $1000AUD+ and will be determined by the industry, complexity of the project and the skills needed for the job. 

Remember that as a freelancer, you need to take into account all of the expenses that an in-house salary would usually cover, including superannuation, sick leave, annual leave and learning and development costs. These all need to be factored in when deciding on your rates. A freelancer rate calculator can be a handy tool, as can looking at what your peers and colleagues are charging in the same field.

What skills are needed for UX Design?

In addition to being proficient with industry software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and having experience with HTML, CSS and Javascript, a combination of what are referred to as ‘applied’ and ‘soft’ skills are paramount to being an in-demand UX designer.

While there are a wide range of both applied and soft skills, we’ve rounded up the top three in each category as a starting point. 

Soft skills needed in UX Design

  • Communication

You will be working with a wide range of stakeholders on any given project and the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently is vital. It’s also important to note that you will need to be able to share your ideas, findings and approaches in an easily understandable way. Remember, the audience you are presenting to or meeting with will not necessarily be technically minded.

  • Curiosity

Being forever curious will take you a long way in this industry and enable you to engage meaningfully with all aspects of the role and the people you will work with. As the industry is constantly changing, curiosity will help you to stay open to these changes and continue to learn and grow as a designer. Curious thinking also leads to insight and can support active listening – all amazing attributes for a UX Designer.

  • Collaboration 

UX Designers are continually weaving the ideas and findings of various teams together – from IT developers to client feedback and research outcomes. This process is ongoing and requires high levels of collaboration. 

Tech skills needed in UX Design

  • Wireframing

Wireframes provide a visual template of how a screen will be laid out and help others to see and understand how an app or site will work. They include all of the various elements on each part of the project and show the interactions users will have at each stage of their journey using the interface. While not a final visual design, the wireframe is a literal framework, showing all of the components in grayscale. Knowing how to create and work with wireframes is a must-have skill for your UX toolkit.

  • Visual communication

Many UX Designers also have a graphic design background (although not mandatory, it can be helpful). As a UX Designer you will be working with visual elements, so it’s very important that you have a comprehensive understanding and applied knowledge of visual communication concepts, including colour scheme, typography, icons, images and general design layout.

  • Prototyping

A prototype is a ‘draft’ version of the product and gives the UX Designer the opportunity to run tests to see if the product is functioning optimally. Knowing how to create prototypes will enable you to test, tweak, re-test and so on, until your product function is aligning with the needs and objectives of the client and their user goals. Prototypes will often be tested with user groups to identify any glitches and further improve the product. Being able to create prototypes quickly is a fundamental skill in your role as a UX Designer.

How to start a career in UX Design

Whether you’re looking to upskill or completely change your career, Academy Xi offers practical training in UX UI Design that will get you job-ready at a pace that suits your lifestyle. 

With training offered full-time, part-time or self-paced, all online, you’ll be able to gain the necessary skills and experience to go from beginner to professional UX Designer without putting the rest of your life on hold.

The UX UI Design: Transform offers you the chance to change careers. You’ll be supported every step of way with:

  • Access to Designer-in-Residence mentor program
  • Industry projects for real-life clients
  • Access to a Career Support Program that helps 97% of graduates land their dream gig

The UX UI Design: Elevate enables you to upskill and secure a promotion or take on more exciting responsibilities in your role, with:

  • Tailored support from an industry expert mentor
  • The chance to work on personal projects
  • The choice to complete the course part-time or self-paced

Want to discuss your transferable skills and course options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first step in your UX Design journey.

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