Increase in Web salaries ‘slows’

Web design salaries are climbing less steeply than last year, but consultancies are still willing to pay extra for exceptional creative talent, says a new survey.

The study, by recruitment consultancy Corps Business, reports that digital media design wages rose by up to 50 per cent last year. The 1999/2000 year has seen smaller increases or even a slight decrease in pay. A change in Corps Business listings category may be partly responsible for a 4.9 per cent fall in Web designer wages. However, salaries are still above the national average with talented Web designers in high demand and short supply.

“Outstanding talent will always be in demand and command high salaries: those people are always great value for money,” says Harvey Flinder, group creative director at digital media group Pres.co. “It’s the people paid a salary out of line with their abilities who are really the expensive ones.”

This shortage of experience in the marketplace seems beneficial for Web-savvy graduates, who find it easier to consider well-paid employment. According to Corps Business, graduates are taken more seriously in digital media design environments than in traditional design.

Corps Business recruitment manager Karen Norris says Web salary growth is slowing, as employers train existing staff, even at a senior level, and locate graduates.

“It’s a money market out there. Consultancies offer skilful employees more than their asking price: they’re in big demand and many don’t realise it,” says Norris. “Designers call the shots, and consultancies are willing to pay.”

The Web’s impact has led to demands for more versatility from digital media designers, reflected by the 5 per cent fall in traditional multimedia design salaries since last year. Multimedia designers are becoming rarer, says the report, and must adapt.

The survey also reveals consultancies are having trouble recruiting artworkers, as it is difficult maintaining their interest. As a result, salaries have stayed level.

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