CHOOSING A CAREER / OCT. 10, 2014
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How to Become a Webmaster in the US

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Webmasters play an important role in ensuring the Internet servers its role in enhancing information accessibility. Webmasters are a type of web developers who maintain websites, making sure they are functioning properly and accessible to users. If you have a background in information technology and possess excellent technical skills, this could be the job for you.

What Do Webmasters Do?

The main aim of webmasters is to ensure clients’ websites work efficiently. This involves:

  • Collaborating with web designers to create websites that are user-friendly
  • Improving site speed by making web files smaller
  • Testing the site on various web-browsers and advising users on the recommended browser
  • Managing website traffic – Dealing with heavy volumes of traffic
  • Ensuring servers are in sound working condition
  • Managing the site access rights of different users
  • Implementing SEO strategies to increase websites’ ranking in search engines

Work Conditions

Like most Internet-based jobs, webmasters have the opportunity to work from their own homes or employers’ premises. Although they typically work from 9am to 5pm, webmasters can be called in at any time to handle site crashes, cyber attacks and other emergencies.

Salary

The following table highlights the annual salaries for webmasters at various career levels:

Job Positions

 

Annual Salary

Beginning webmasters

 

$31,000 - $49,000

Experienced webmasters

 

$50,000 - $60,000

Supervisors

 

$61,000 - $75,000

Source: Payscale US.

Entry Requirements

The academic requirements for webmasters vary with the size of employers. While individuals and small businesses with small or low-traffic websites prefer webmasters with an associate degree, corporate firms with high-traffic websites hire bachelor’s degree holders.

So, to get started in this profession, you need to earn at least an associate’s degree in:

  • Web design
  • Computer programming
  • Information systems
  • Graphic design

These programs will enhance your mastery of programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript and SQL, as well as your knowledge of several multimedia publishing tools.

Useful Skills and Abilities

Technology is ever-changing. To stay on top of your game as a webmaster, you should have:

  • A high level of creativity and innovation
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Good writing skills – the job may involve responding to users comments
  • Strong practical and technical skills
  • An interest in information technology
  • The willingness to keep up with trends in IT
  • Good analytical skills
  • Good customer-service skills
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods of time

Career Development

A combination of vast experience and professional certifications is all you need to start scaling the career ladder. Some of the certifications you can earn include:

You can also pursue a master’s degree in IT project management or business administration, and join professional bodies such as the American Association of Webmasters and International Webmasters Association.

Job Opportunities

Qualified webmasters can work for any individual or organization that runs a website: The top employers include:

  • IT firms
  • Schools
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Online retail business

After gaining vast job experience and earning an advanced degree, you could become an IT project manager or computer information systems manager. It is also possible to move into self-employment by establishing an IT consulting firm.

Useful Links

Finally, the employment of all web developers, including webmasters, will grow by 20 percent over the next 8-year period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since this growth rate exceeds the 11 percent average for all jobs in the US, it is safe to say webmasters have a high demand.

If you have the drive and ambition to become a webmaster, there will be plenty of jobs for you.

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