Typically, web developers apply their skills to not only build websites but also to maintain websites and web applications.
This, along with the myriad benefits often leads to front end developers being largely regarded as the “rock stars” of the digital age and it also adds to the allure of becoming a web developer.
Having said that, every web developer, whether a rookie or a seasoned professional, has an exhaustive list of tasks and responsibilities to undertake. Some broad responsibilities include:
- Designing the architecture of the website or web app based on the requirements of the project
- Fixing bugs and resolving issues
- Running a detailed QA (Quality Assurance) and troubleshooting the website/web app under different conditions on different browsers
- Working with clients and designers
- Staying updated on new trends and programming languages
While these tasks involve careful planning and may seem overwhelming, the rewards make up for the effort involved. Salaries of web developers are some of the best across a host of industries.
What is The Typical Front-End Developer Salary?
It is said that front-end web developers today have one of the most bankable skill sets on the job market. This makes the average salaries for front-end developers to be relatively higher than most other skillsets.
In fact, stats from ZipRecruiter indicate the national average salary for front-end developers is about $103,000. This number was further backed by data from Grid Dynamics (formerly Daxx).
According to Grid Dynamics, the United States offers some of the highest-paying compensations for front-end developers with the average salary being around $104,000 per year. The report further stated that a junior front-end developer with 1–3 years of experience makes around $72,000 and a mid-career front-end software engineer makes around $100,000 a year.
In another study by Indeed.com, the average salary for an entry-level web developer in the United States is around $47,509 per year. This figure goes up a few notches to $54,793 for a junior front end developer, and further increases $99,085 for a senior web developer.
The average salaries mentioned here are purely indicative ballparks of what a front end developer can look to earn in the US. These numbers are not precise values since there is a multitude of other factors that determine the salaries of front-end developers and back-end developers.
Salary Ranges For Front-End Developers Are Based On Experience
A major reason why the projected average salaries indicate such a large disparity is primarily down to the skills accumulated and the overall experience and expertise of the web developer. Their job title may change based on skills and experience.
A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates an employment growth of 27 percent from 2014 to 2024 for web developers. That’s a staggering growth number as compared to other occupations.
The classification of front end web developers is usually as follows:
Entry-level front-end developer
Entry-level or junior-level web developers who have just kickstarted their career after completing a programming course or a coding boot camp can easily code and address issues in one programming language. These programmers have the smallest compensation packages given their nascent level.
Mid-tier front-end developer
Mid-tier developers typically have a few years of coding and web development experience and are acclimated to how the industry works. Ideally, a mid-tier developer will have the skill to manage deadlines, solve bugs and issues, and code in at least two languages. However, these developers still require supervision and project management in order to deliver quality outputs. The income levels of mid-tier developers tend to be right in the middle of the spectrum.
Senior front-end developers
Senior web developers are industry veterans who are experts in solving bugs and issues. They are characterized as developers who know how to code in multiple languages and also have sufficient project management and client management skills. Senior developers rightfully command salaries in the higher end of the band owing to their comprehensive experience in the field of developing websites and web apps.
According to Grid Dynamics, the salaries of front end developers in San Francisco and San Jose start around $87,000 a year for entry-level professionals and can go up to $174,000 for senior specialists.
The compensation packages for front-end developers in New York City and Los Angeles are very similar. An entry-level developer can earn anywhere around $68,000 a year, while a senior professional can draw $142,000 in LA and $149,000 in NYC.
In Chicago, front-end developers who have up to two years of web development experience can make $62,000 a year whereas mid-level and senior developers can command from $89,000 up to $130,000 or more a year.
Location Can Determine What a Front-End Developer Makes
While the level of experience definitely plays a critical role in determining the salary of a front end web developer, the location also impacts pay scales. As one might expect, the average base salary for web developers is much higher much higher in urban areas as compared to non-metropolitan cities. For instance, the annual mean salaries of web developers in California is pegged at $86,160. This figure is much higher than the national average of $69,430.
According to a 2019 report from Forbes, there is a significant difference in the annual mean salaries of web developers in 2018 varied greatly based on where the location.
Despite the high salaries in cities like New York and San Francisco, several web developers choose to move to smaller cities citing high living costs in leading metropolitans. A recent labor market report suggested that many places like Jacksonville, Florida, and Texas are becoming areas of interest for web developers to move to.
On a global scale, the UK leads as the country that offers some of the highest salaries to front end developers. Being a tech hub, London attracts a large number of web developers. According to daxx.com, an entry-level developer can draw up to $32,000 a year while a mid-tier developer and a senior level developer can expect to earn between $50,000 and $69,000.
Software Programming Languages Affect Front-End Developer Salaries
Here’s a complete competitive breakdown of the top programming languages listed below.
Freelance or Full-Time Work Impacts Salary Potential as Well
Being a front end web developer is a highly flexible job. This means there are all sorts of jobs on the market from freelance to part-time to remote to full-time. Based on the work schedule, experience, confidence, and project requirements, a web developer has the option of earning either more or less.
In the case of part-time, remote, and freelance web development jobs the question of hourly rates is inevitable. The rates vary based on the experience of the developer and the quality of services offered. Arc.dev reports an average hourly rate in the range of $61-80, while Ziprecruiter indicates an hourly range of $25-43.
A great way to augment hourly rates or freelance wages is to gain experience and become an expert in a few programming languages. This will not only increase the chances of earning more but also make finding clients an easier task.
Conclusion: Developer Jobs And Salaries Are On The Rise
Given the abundant benefits and high salaries, a career in web development is definitely one to consider. This is especially true for those looking for a reliable source of income and meaningful work.
The average salaries mentioned here can serve as an effective guide for those looking to build a career in front end web development or those looking to scale their efforts and grow to new heights. In fact, according to the BLS, there will be a 13 percent increase in web developer jobs from 2016 to 2026.
The level of experience makes a big difference to the earning potential of a web developer. Developers who’ve worked on complex projects and have more knowledge of the various programming languages tend to command higher pays.
However, there has been a devaluation of seniority levels. While a developer in the early 2000s needed a minimum of ten years to qualify as a senior, the bar has been lowered to 5 years in 2019.
Similarly, developers who keep up with the ever-evolving front-end tech stack can earn more since they are up to date with the latest happenings in the world of front end development.
The bottom line is that if you are a web developer looking to grow or if you are just starting out as a web developer, remember that there is a lot to learn and accomplish but there are plenty of reasons and incentives to do so.