"What is the qualification required to be a web designer?"
First you have to decide whether you would like to get into back-end designing or front-end designing. For front-end designing work you need talent and if you are a graduate from an art school, it will be a plus point. Most companies are particular and would want you to produce your course/degree certificates. The employers would be pleased to appoint you if you posses the piece of paper which shows that you have been trained and experienced by a graphic design school. Basically a graduation from any discipline will do.
There are lots of design studios and schools, which train you with the basics of web design. Some of them are NIIT, Arena Multimedia and art schools.
For back-end work too, you can easily join computer training institutes and attain a diploma. To master the art of web designing you require a lot of hands-on experience.
"What kinds of companies hire web designers?"
Now-a-days websites are the fastest means of communication and have ample amount of information stored in the webpages. So any one and every one who posses a website would require a web designer to help them out. Most commonly the advertising agencies, IT companies, web design studios, multimedia, films and various other sectors will need designers. The scope for a web designer is immense and will grow even more in the years to come.
"I have heard that web design can be done from home too. Where do I begin?"
Yes, web design can be done from wherever you are. If you have a full fledged computer and the required software you can set up a design studio for yourself. You will then be called a freelance web designer. But it would be good if you gain appropriate experience before you venture on your own.
You could have your own website to begin with which will act an advertising media through which your clients can keep in touch with you. Try and meet lots of people to get good contacts and advertise about your talent. Once the flow of work begins you will see that you won't have time to rest, as you will be loaded with ample amount of projects. You could then start a company for yourself by appointing more designers.
"I've heard that the salary scene is very promising. How true is this?"
The more talented and educated you are more the money you can expect. A fresher will get somewhere between Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 80,000 p.a. If you have the expertise in web application and hosting you can expect a lakh and sometime even more per annum. This depends on the employer. Once you have spent a year in this industry, you would be able to demand 2.4 to 3.6 lacs per annum depending on your portfolio.
If you are a Flash designer your salary package will be very impressive, but this will depend on the amount of knowledge and experience you posses.
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