onaquest saidWeb designers get hired by firms for their expertise to create the custom content and apps. They also have to understand the functiionality and design aspects - much more detailed than throwing up a template.
What you need to do is investigate the need for those types of services in your area - and if this is what you are planning on doing - start building a network with the people that might hire you now - via linkedin or some other service.
You might try to volunteer for an internship at a company that specializes - or do some web-design work on the side for a small business that might not be able to pay you much - in order to start building a portfolio of work.
This will help you get noticed by potential employers.
Agreed. If you want a cookie-cutter website, you use a content creator. If you want something that catches people's interest and stands out, you go with a web designer.
What they're paying you for is your artistic eye. Put together something functional that looks great, they'll be happy to pay you $500 for it.
If you want to branch into web design, it's a great way to start. Another possibility you can look at is designing at crowdsourcing design sites like 99designs. You get practice, get to see how others are doing it, and if your design is best, you get some money and something to point to when it's time to show off your portfolio.
For this job, if I were you, I'd take it. They aren't hiring a code monkey, they're hiring an artist.