Web Developer — Income and Opportunity

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Before we learn about the money, let’s get this question out of the way:

What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer is a programmer who specializes in the development of websites or applications viewed on web browsers, mobile devices, and large desktop screens that are transported over private or public networks such as the Internet.

This video nicely explains some of the most recent trends in web developments including Web3 and Blockchain:

Who Do Web Developers Work For?

Web developers either work independently as freelancers or as employees for companies, government organizations, or non-profits.

Lately, many web developers have started to work for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) in the crypto ecosystem due to their expertise in native web technologies and philosophies.

Now that you know about what it is, let’s have a look at what it earns next!

Annual Income

How much does a Web Developer make per year?

The average annual income of a Web Developer in the United States is between $68,732 and $110,438 with an average income of $88,054 and a median income of $90,000 per year according to our meta-study of 11 aggregated data sources such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

The following graphic shows the individual data sources, as well as the average and median income level of a web developer in the US:

Average and Median Income of a Web Developer in the US by Source
Figure: Average Income of a Web Developer in the US by Source. [1]

If you need the raw data, this is it:

SourceAverage Income
Glassdoor.com$110,438
USNews.com$77,200
Kinsta.com$105,590
Indeed.com$68,732
Talent.com$90,000
CareerExplorer.com$69,038
Salary.com$96,495
SalaryExplorer.com$82,500
Comparably.com$70,554
SalaryExpert.com$92,833
Builtin.com$105,224
Table: Average Income of a Web Developer in the US by Source.

Let’s have a look at the hourly rate of Web Developers next!

Hourly Rate

Web Developers are well-paid on freelancing platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr.

If you decide to go the route as a freelance Web Developer, you can expect to make between $30 and $50 per hour on Upwork (source). Assuming an annual workload of 2000 hours, you can expect to make between $60,000 and $100,000 per year.

Note: Do you want to create your own thriving coding business online? Feel free to check out our freelance developer course — the world’s #1 best-selling freelance developer course that specifically shows you how to succeed on Upwork and Fiverr!

Industry Demand

But is there enough demand? Let’s have a look at Google trends to find out how interest evolves over time (source):

This graphic shows that the supply of people interested in learning web development has declined from its peak in 2005-2007 and has remained steady since 2013.

However, if you look at the demand for web developers—it has only increased over the last two decades!

As in any market, if there is high demand for a resource with low supply, prices of this resource tend to increase. That’s why it can be a super lucrative decision to become a freelance web developer in the 2020s and 2030s and beyond.

Learning Path, Skills, and Education Requirements

Do you want to become a Web Developer? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with Web :

You can find many additional computer science courses on the Finxter Computer Science Academy (flatrate model).

But don’t wait too long to acquire practical experience!

Even if you have little skills, it’s best to get started as a freelance developer and learn as you work on real projects for clients — earning income as you learn and gaining motivation through real-world feedback.

🚀 Tip: An excellent start to turbo-charge your freelancing career (earning more in less time) is our Finxter Freelancer Course. The goal of the course is to pay for itself!

You can find more job descriptions for coders, programmers, and computer scientists in our detailed overview guide:

Web Developer Comparisons

web developer vs web designer

A web developer creates the core functionality of a website whereas a web designer is a graphic artist responsible for designing the layout, usability, and visual appearance of a website. A successful web designer often has outstanding skills in creativity, graphic design, and technical understanding.

  • The average income of a web developer in the US is $88,054 per year.
  • The average income of a web designer in the US is $60,000 per year.

web developer vs front-end developer

A web developer creates the core functionality of a website whereas a front-end developer is concerned with the functionality of the user interface on the browser. Compared to a web designer, a front-end developer is more concerned with the functionality and user experience (e.g., implementing buttons and user inputs functionality rather than designing them).

  • The average income of a web developer in the US is $88,054 per year.
  • The average income of a front-end developer in the US is $105,224 per year.

web developer vs software developer (programmer, software engineer)

A web developer specializes in web applications such as websites, e-commerce, and mobile apps, whereas a software developer (engineer) specializes in creating software for the underlying operating system, network, or platform.

All web developers are software developers but not all software developers are web developers!

  • The average income of a web developer in the US is $88,054 per year.
  • The average income of a software developer in the US is $110,140 per year.

web developer vs ux designer

Web developers focus more on the technicalities of running and scaling a web application to Internet-scale whereas UX designers focus on the engineering of the user experience which often involves a deep understanding of the users’ needs and psychological motivations when using the website or web app.

  • The average income of a web developer in the US is $88,054 per year.
  • The average income of a UX designer in the US is $90,000 per year.

web developer vs data analyst

Web developers create websites and web apps for companies whereas data scientists (data analysts) draw insights from structured and unstructured data using a multitude of tools such as machine learning, visualization, and statistical analysis.

  • The average income of a web developer in the US is $88,054 per year.
  • The average income of a data scientist in the US is $122,700 per year.

The following statistic shows the self-reported income from 9,649 US-based professional developers (source).

💡 The average annual income of professional developers in the US is between $70,000 and $177,500 for various programming languages.

Question: What is your current total compensation (salary, bonuses, and perks, before taxes and deductions)? Please enter a whole number in the box below, without any punctuation. If you are paid hourly, please estimate an equivalent weekly, monthly, or yearly salary. (source)

The following statistic compares the self-reported income from 46,693 professional programmers as conducted by StackOverflow.

💡 The average annual income of professional developers worldwide (US and non-US) is between $33,000 and $95,000 for various programming languages.

Here’s a screenshot of a more detailed overview of each programming language considered in the report:

Here’s what different database professionals earn:

Here’s an overview of different cloud solutions experts:

Here’s what professionals in web frameworks earn:

There are many other interesting frameworks—that pay well!

Look at those tools:

Okay, but what do you need to do to get there? What are the skill requirements and qualifications to make you become a professional developer in the area you desire?

Let’s find out next!

General Qualifications of Professionals

StackOverflow performs an annual survey asking professionals, coders, developers, researchers, and engineers various questions about their background and job satisfaction on their website.

Interestingly, when aggregating the data of the developers’ educational background, a good three quarters have an academic background.

Here’s the question asked by StackOverflow (source):

Which of the following best describes the highest level of formal education that you’ve completed?

However, if you don’t have a formal degree, don’t fear! Many of the respondents with degrees don’t have a degree in their field—so it may not be of much value for their coding careers anyways.

Also, about one out of four don’t have a formal degree and still succeeds in their field! You certainly don’t need a degree if you’re committed to your own success!

Freelancing vs Employment Status

The percentage of freelance developers increases steadily. The fraction of freelance developers has already reached 11.21%!

This indicates that more and more work will be done in a more flexible work environment—and fewer and fewer companies and clients want to hire inflexible talent.

Here are the stats from the StackOverflow developer survey (source):

Do you want to become a professional freelance developer and earn some money on the side or as your primary source of income?

Resource: Check out our freelance developer course—it’s the best freelance developer course in the world with the highest student success rate in the industry!

Other Programming Languages Used by Professional Developers

The StackOverflow developer survey collected 58000 responses about the following question (source):

Which programming, scripting, and markup languages have you done extensive development work in over the past year, and which do you want to work in over the next year?

These are the languages you want to focus on when starting out as a coder:

And don’t worry—if you feel stuck or struggle with a nasty bug. We all go through it. Here’s what SO survey respondents and professional developers do when they’re stuck:

What do you do when you get stuck on a problem? Select all that apply. (source)

To get started with some of the fundamentals and industry concepts, feel free to check out these articles:

Where to Go From Here?

Enough theory. Let’s get some practice!

Coders get paid six figures and more because they can solve problems more effectively using machine intelligence and automation.

To become more successful in coding, solve more real problems for real people. That’s how you polish the skills you really need in practice. After all, what’s the use of learning theory that nobody ever needs?

You build high-value coding skills by working on practical coding projects!

Do you want to stop learning with toy projects and focus on practical code projects that earn you money and solve real problems for people?

🚀 If your answer is YES!, consider becoming a Python freelance developer! It’s the best way of approaching the task of improving your Python skills—even if you are a complete beginner.

If you just want to learn about the freelancing opportunity, feel free to watch my free webinar “How to Build Your High-Income Skill Python” and learn how I grew my coding business online and how you can, too—from the comfort of your own home.

Join the free webinar now!

Resources

[1] We used the following code to create the income graphic:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

data = [110438,
        77200,
        105590,
        68732,
        90000,
        69038,
        96495,
        82500,
        70554,
        92833,
        105224]

labels = ['Glassdoor.com',
          'USNews.com',
          'Kinsta.com',
          'Indeed.com',
          'Talent.com',
          'CareerExplorer.com',
          'Salary.com',
          'SalaryExplorer.com',
          'Comparably.com',
          'SalaryExpert.com',
          'Builtin.com',]

median = np.median(data)
average = np.average(data)
print(median, average)
n = len(data)

plt.plot(range(n), [median] * n, color='black', label='Median: $' + str(int(median)))
plt.plot(range(n), [average] * n, '--', color='red', label='Average: $' + str(int(average)))
plt.bar(range(len(data)), data)
plt.xticks(range(len(data)), labels, rotation='vertical', position = (0,0.6), color='white', weight='bold')
plt.ylabel('Average Income ($)')
plt.title('Web Developer Annual Income - by Finxter')
plt.legend()
plt.show()
        

You can check out our article on Matplotlib to better understand the code.