Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CIW Web Design Specialist

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The CIW Web Design Specialist credential from CIW is a great way to enter the world of web design.Lost amid the bright lights, big city luster of IT specializations like cybersecurity and Big Data is the meat-and-potatoes utility of good web design. Good web design still plays as important a role in business outcomes as it ever has in the past, after all. The long-established CIW certification program operated by Certification Partners is a premier destination for web design certification.

CIW Web Design Specialist (No. 65 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is an entry-level certification that lays the foundation for the more advanced CIW Web Design Professional credential. It also stands on its own, of course, for those who are looking to hit the ground running in the still important, if sometimes overlooked, field of web design.

As is the case with a number of credentials in the Salary Survey 75, we didn’t field a strong international response. Hence, we only have data to report from U.S. credential holders. 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: $86,190
Median Annual Salary: $85,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 3.9 percent
Very Satisfied: 26.9 percent
Satisfied: 34.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 30.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 3.9 percent

Women often struggle to enter the IT realm, and most of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders we heard from are men (88.9 percent), but the 11.1 percent of respondents who are women is a relatively high number for the Deep Focus series. On the age spectrum, CIW Web Design Specialists are clustered around middle age, with 38.5 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 44 and 42.3 percent between the ages of 45 and 54. The outliers are the 3.9 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 25 and 34 and the 15.4 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64.

A shade more than 80 percent of CIW Web Design Specialist holders who participated in the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most CIW Web Design Specialist holders is either a bachelor’s degree (38.5 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (26.9 percent), associate’s degree (11.5 percent), or professional degree (3.5 percent). The rest either have a high school diploma (8.1 percent of respondents), are currently in school (7.3 percent), or completed some level of technical training after high school (4.2 percent).

Among all CIW Web Design Specialist holders surveyed, 96.3 percent have full-time jobs, while the remaining 3.7 percent are currently in school. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are putting in either the standard 40 hours per week (42.3 percent of those surveyed) or work between 41 and 50 hours per week (38.5 percent). The rest have a weekly schedule that calls for them to put in either more than 50 hours (15.4 percent of respondents) or be at work between 39 and 31 hours (3.9 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CIW Web Design Specialist holders in the survey are at the senior specialist level (37.1 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (33.3 percent), managers (18.5 percent), rank-and-file employees (4.4 percent), senior managers (4.1 percent), or directors (2.6 percent).

A little more than half (55.6 percent) of the CIW Web Design Specialist holders who participated in the survey are veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (22.2 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (7.4 percent), between 6 and 8 years (7.4 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (7.4 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: 59.3 percent
Several times a week: 14.8 percent
Several times a month: [No responses]
Occasionally: 22.2 percent
Rarely: 3.7 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 40.7 percent
Agree: 29.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.5 percent
Disagree: 3.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 7.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 40.7 percent
Agree: 33.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.8 percent
Disagree: 7.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.7 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 44.4 percent
Agree: 29.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 11.2 percent
Disagree: 7.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 7 percent

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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