User experience (UX) designer

Experience Designer Interaction Designer Web Designer
Design, arts and crafts

Career outlook for user experience (UX) designer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You’ll be involved in designing sites and software, targeted at specific target groups and end users.

Working to a set of core design principles, you’ll be involved in creating applications and sites that are easy to navigate, good to look at and simple and pleasurable to use.

Handling the full spectrum of user’s interactions with a brand, you’ll be involved in creating engaging experiences – using design techniques to create a unique branding identity for the client company.

As part of your role, you’ll:

  • Use specialist software to design front-end experiences
  • Sketch visual concepts on paper and using applications
  • Work on cross-platform applications to develop user experiences
  • Design user-focused websites

Working conditions


You will typically work 9am – 5pm most days, but you may be required to work evenings or weekends depending on the demands of the project.


You’ll work in an office environment, as part of a multi-disciplinary team.


Based in an office, you may need to travel occasionally to meet clients. If in a senior consultancy role, you may be required to travel internationally.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Reflecting
  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Creative
  • Designing
  • Innovative
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


There are different routes to this role or similar roles in digital design. However, most employers will look for a relevant degree or similar advanced qualifications. You will need the ability to think creatively about design and technical knowledge to help you build solutions. You’ll need to build relevant experience and qualifications to demonstrate this.

You can gain skills and qualifications in the work place through options such as Modern Apprenticeships or Graduate Apprenticeships (combining work and college/university study) in:

  • Digital Marketing (SCQF Level 6)
  • Creative & Digital Media (SCQF level 7)
  • Data Analytics (SCQF Level 8)
  • IT & Telecommunications (SCQF Level 5, 6 & 8)
  • IT: Software Development (SCQF Level 10)
  • IT: Management for Business (SCQF Level 10)

Apprenticeships are advertised as job vacancies, and like any vacancy entry requirements will vary.

Relevant experience and qualifications, such as National 5s or Highers, will be helpful but may not be essential if you can show you would be the right person for the job.

Useful subjects

  • Maths or physics (required by most courses, valued by employers)
  • Computer science or information systems (required by most courses, valued by employers)
  • Other science subjects
  • English and social studies subjects such as business management or psychology

If you are considering a combined-studies option, such as computer science and a language, you should consider subjects that are relevant to all areas of study.

You will also need

To be able to pass any security checks or assessments, i.e. no criminal record. This is a quickly evolving and expanding area of work, on-going training will be needed to stay current.

Industry recognised certificates may be included as part of a course or work-based learning programme, or an employer may be willing to support the right employee to gain certification.

Examples of relevant industry qualifications you may see in job adverts include:

  • Certified Professional for Usability and User Experience (CPUX)
  • BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience
  • Certified Usability Analyst (CUA)
  • Advanced Professional tracks (CXA)

Helpful to have

It would be useful to have qualifications or experience that show a genuine interest in and practical understanding of technology, digital design and how people react to technology, such as a Foundation Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development (SCQF level 6). 

To start your career in UX design, you not only need UX training and education that relates to the field, but you also need to gain experience. You’ll likely find that employers are looking to hire people with prior experience, but you don’t necessarily need a job in UX design to be experienced in UX design. 

If you’re already in a job - particularly within technology or design, you can begin to incorporate UX principles into your work. Gradually, you can work usability testing practices like surveys, content audits, or reviews into your job. Compile examples of your work into a UX design portfolio to showcase what you can do to future employers. 

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