Pretty isn't good enough
The AIGA/Aquent annual Survey of Design Salaries is always interesting reading. The just-published 2011 edition is no exception.
I plan to show the section you see here to my Web Publishing I students on the first day of class.
The salary differentials here are telling. This chart says to me is that the most important part of designing a website is not making it look nice—the traditional role of the Designer ($45k).
It's making sure that the content is organized and understandable—the Information Architect ($65k), and easy to use—User Experience Designer ($70k).
Another interpretation of these numbers may be that rather than showing the value placed on these tasks that they simply reflect supply and demand. Thousands of designers graduate from schools across the U.S. every year. The fields of Information Architecture and User Experience Design are newer, with far fewer schools enrolling smaller numbers of students.