In the current employment landscape, UX professionals remain in relatively short supply, but demand for UX/UI designers continues to be strong. Still, even with these favorable conditions, it's extremely important for these job seekers to remain informed about general salary numbers and other information in order to create a competitive application.
"In the last 3 months we've seen a large uptick in the need for UX/UI designers, specifically in visual design with very clean modern styles and easy accessibility throughout the sites," said Elissa Barnes, Executive Recruiter for Profiles Placement Services. "There are definitely more jobs than people."
According to data collected by Profiles, the average salary attained by one of their placed UX professionals for the past six months was approximately $60-$65,000 per year for junior applicants, $80-$85,000 for mid-level candidates and anywhere above $95,000 for senior-level professionals. Salaries for workers in this career are especially high in the Washington, D.C. metro area – 51 percent of UX designers making over $100,000. A UX professional seeking an advantage in the marketplace will find that an IT employment agency can drastically increase his or her chances of finding a job at a high-quality organization.
The first step is to create an excellent resume. To achieve these high quality positions and competitive salaries, resumes must be catered to an individual job. Recruiters are an excellent source, as well as industry association job boards and mailing lists like IxDA, UXPA and ACMSIGCHI to determine what companies are looking for in a candidate. The recruiter at a staffing firm will also be a highly effective resource for a job candidate as he or she updates or tweaks a resume.
"What I'm looking for in a great candidate is a strong knowledge of wireframes and roadmaps, and a lot of data integration into their wireframes. They also have to have an understanding the complexity of large enterprise websites," said Barnes.
The second greatest asset any UX professional can have as they navigate the job market is an online portfolio that displays their best work and the versatility they have as an employee. According to UX Magazine, portfolios are meant to showcase the breadth and quality of a UX professional's work. Make sure to detail how, when and what was required to produce a project. This will help demonstrate the contributions made and give a potential employer a much greater understanding of the skills used.
Every aspect of a portfolio item will be examined by a hiring manager, so it is up to a UX professional to make sure that the content is engaging and easy to navigate. Remember, it's supposed to demonstrate the entire skill set of a worker and showcase why one UX professional is better than another to a company representative.
Finally, research the type of companies you want to work for in your market. Do you want to develop small or large sites? Start from scratch, or help maintain enterprise-level sites. A UX professional seeking an edge in the marketplace could benefit from the drive, experience and connections of a staffing agency that knows the industry. Tips, tricks and other helpful pieces of advice could help a worker improve their odds of landing the job they've always wanted.