Web Development


Quick Facts: Web Developers
2017 Median Pay $67,990 per year 
$32.69 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 162,900
Job Outlook, 2016-26 15% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 24,400

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Web Development Career, Salary and Education Information

What web developers Do

Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site's technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website's speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

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Web development

Duties of web developers

Web developers typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients or management to discuss the needs and design of a website

  • Create and test applications for a website

  • Write code for the website, using programming languages such as HTML or XML

  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain

  • Work with graphics and other designers to determine the website's layout

  • Integrate graphics, audio, and video into the website

  • Monitor website traffic

When creating a website, developers have to make their client's vision a reality. They build particular types of websites, such as ecommerce, news, or gaming sites, to fit clients' needs. Different types of websites require different applications. For example, a gaming site should be able to handle advanced graphics, whereas an ecommerce site would need a payment-processing application. The developer decides which applications and designs will best fit the site.

Some developers handle all aspects of a website's construction, and others specialize in a certain aspect of it. The following are examples of types of specialized web developers:

Back-end web developers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website. They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it works as expected. Back-end web developers also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.

Front-end web developers are responsible for how a website looks. They create the site's layout and integrate graphics, applications (such as a retail checkout tool), and other content. They also write webdesign programs in a variety of computer languages, such as HTML or JavaScript.

Webmasters maintain websites and keep them updated. They ensure that websites operate correctly, and they test for errors such as broken links. Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.


Work Environment for Web Developers

Web developers hold about 162,900 jobs. The largest employers of web developers are as follows:

Computer systems design and related services: 17%

Self-employed workers: 16%

Publishing industries (except Internet): 5%

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 4%

Advertising, public relations, and related services: 4%

Work Schedules for web developers

Most web developers work full time.


How to Become a Web Developer

Educational requirements for web developers vary with the setting they work in and the type of work they do. Web developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design.

Education

Educational requirements for web developers vary with the setting they work in and the type of work they do. Requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree in web design or related field is the most common requirement.

However, for more specialized developer positions, such as back-end web developers, some employers prefer workers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field.

Web developers need to have a thorough understanding of HTML programming. Many employers also want developers to understand other programming languages, such as JavaScript or SQL, and have knowledge of multimedia publishing tools, such as Flash. Throughout their career, web developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Some employers prefer web developers who have both a computer degree and coursework in graphic design, especially if the developer will be heavily involved in the website’s visual appearance.

Advancement

Web developers who have a bachelor’s degree can advance to become project managers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Web developers must sit at a computer and write detailed code for long periods.

Creativity. Web developers often are involved in designing the appearance of a website and must make sure that it is appealing as well as functional.

Customer-service skills. Webmasters have to respond politely and correctly to user questions and requests.

Detail oriented. Web developers need to have an eye for detail, because a minor error in coding could cause an entire webpage to stop working.


salaries for Web Developers

The median annual wage for web developers was $67,990 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,320.

 

In May 2017, the median annual wages for web developers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Publishing industries (except Internet): $71,060

Computer systems design and related services: $68,500

Advertising, public relations, and related services: $66,230

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 65,620

Most web developers work full time.


Job Outlook for web developers

Employment of web developers is projected to grow 13 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment of web developers is projected to grow as e-commerce continues to expand. Online purchasing is expected to grow faster than the overall retail industry. As retail firms expand their online offerings, demand for web developers will grow. In addition, an increase in the use of mobile devices to search the web will lead to increased demand for web developers. Instead of designing a website for a desktop computer, developers will have to create sites that work on mobile devices with many different screen sizes, leading to more work.

Because websites can be built from anywhere in the world, some web developer jobs may be moved to countries with lower wages. However, this practice may decline because the cost of managing web developers in multiple countries can offset the savings to businesses. Furthermore, web developers must understand cultural nuances that allow webpages to communicate effectively with users, and domestic web developers are better equipped for this task, curtailing the work that may be moved to other countries.

Job Prospects for web developers

Job opportunities for web developers are expected to be good. Those with knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools, such as Flash and Photoshop, will have the best opportunities.

Employment projections data for Web Developers, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 162,900

Projected Employment, 2026: 187,200

Change, 2016-2026: +15%, +24,300


Careers Related to Web developers

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.

Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to computer users and organizations. These specialists either support computer networks or they provide technical assistance directly to computer users.

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, study an organization's current computer systems and procedures, and design solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Database Administrators

Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and secure from unauthorized access.

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Software Developers

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

OccupationENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION2017 MEDIAN PAY
Computer and Information Systems ManagersBachelor's degree$139,220
Computer ProgrammersBachelor's degree$82,240
Computer Support Specialists$52,810
Computer Systems AnalystsBachelor's degree$88,270
Database AdministratorsBachelor's degree$87,020
Information Security AnalystsBachelor's degree$95,510
Graphic DesignersBachelor's degree$48,700
Multimedia Artists and AnimatorsBachelor's degree$70,530
Software DevelopersBachelor's degree$103,560

Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Web Developers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm