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As a starting point, I'd suggest that you get a copy of the latest annual salary survey from Source EDP (one of the largest national IT industry employment agencies). (Oops, actually renamed to kForce a few years ago...) Just call up your local office. It's broken-out quite finely by job function, industry, and region, and gives a range of salaries by percentile rank.
Quite well done, and they've been doing it forever. I'd recommend it to anyone starting out in the industry.
The median income in my area was as low as $12,000 in some places, so 38k a year seems like an incredible amount of money, I consider someone rich if they make more than 35k a year. If you applied for a design job down here, I'd be amazed if you were offered more than 30k a year.
It costs me just over $500 to rent a five room, 1100 square foot office in a great location, maintenance and electricity is free. That's what I enjoy about our profession, we can do this from virtually anywhere.
im a web developer includes my skills are web designing, php programming and i got paid only $160 converted to dollars because i live in philippines. imagine i took a 4 year course as a bachelor of science in Information Technology and my salary is $160 a month that would be $1920 a year.
thats why i take any freelancer job that i can do.
Hm.. that sounds like a conflict of interest :)
Techies do not designers make. In other words, are you a website designer or a developer? There is a very clear difference. Someone that does both is more like a jack of all trades and I might pay that person at your current rate but I certainly wouldn't pay them any higher. If you focused on one or other, then your more specialized skills deserve a better pay rate.
I should add that you should always carry a mix of skills that are compatable. Someone with your experience level is just getting an idea of what is possible. I'd offer that having a job that pays ok for now is a good thing while you hone your skills and explore all of the career options in this industry. There are so many to choose from.
BTW - I checked the site you mention and they don't have an entry for website designer. What title did you use to find the rate you mention?