Many of the original professional web designers were graphic designers who regarded web sites as merely another medium in which to publish graphic design and information, and as a first level of design this worked quite well. However today the story is quite different, with professional web design owing much to graphic design principles, but also needing in depth knowledge of the technology that allows different effects to be used, and a new way of looking at websites which are shown on screen, not on paper.
There are many courses available at Web design schools, giving a background of design principles and ways to apply artistic talent, techniques to help work out with a client how to reach their target markets, the technical knowledge that enables designers to utilize the web technology features that can be effectively used in web design, and many other subjects. Some courses feature a large business studies element, enabling designers to learn the basic principles of running their own business, as many web-designers work on contract as self-employed designers. Web design courses range from one year certificates to two and four year courses, resulting in associate degrees and bachelor degrees.
Earnings are still difficult to assess, as this field is relatively new, but it looks like earnings are around the $35,000 mark for a web designer employed by a large corporation working full-time on design.
Directory of Schools Offering Web Development Training