Web Developer- Skills, Responsibilities & Salary (2023)
Learn about the essential skills, duties, and earning potential of a web developer in 2023. Get started on your career path with this comprehensive guide.
There's no doubt about it - web developers are still in demand. That's because the Internet is here to stay, and so are websites. So if you're considering developing skills that would enable you to do this job, we say go for it. Or are you looking to hire one? Irrespective of your category, we discuss the skills necessary to be successful and the salaries for this kind of job in today's blog.
To help you understand the current nature of web development and ensure we are on the same page, let's define who a web developer is.
Who is a Web Developer?
A web developer is a professional who creates and maintains websites. They are responsible for the look, feel, and functionality of a website. They use various programming languages and techniques to make the website you see on your screen.
We have various types of these web ninjas too.
Types of Web Developers
Depending on their area of expertise and technical skills, web developers can be categorized into the following three sub-groups:
- Back-End Web Developer - A backend web developer is responsible for the functionality of a website. They create and maintain the technology that allows a site to function like storing data structures, databases, servers, and APIs.
- Full Stack Web Developer - A full stack web developer is responsible for the frontend, backend, and everything in between. They have a wide range of skills and are familiar with everything from HTML to server technology.
Looking to Hire a Top Web Developer?
Duties and Responsibilities of web developers
Now that we know who web developer is and what they do let's take a closer look at the day-to-day responsibilities of this profession.
What is the typical day in the life of a web developer?
Web developers typically spend their days performing the following tasks:
- Debugging code - Web developers must constantly debug their code to ensure websites are functioning correctly.
- Optimize - Web developers must also optimize their code to make sure websites load as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Test - Web developers also test websites across various browsers and devices to ensure compatibility.
- Research - Web developers must constantly research to stay up-to-date on the latest web development trends, techniques, and technologies.
- Designing user interfaces - Web developers will create appealing and intuitive user interfaces using U.I. design principles.
- Collaborate: Web development is a collaborative process that involves clients, designers, and developers working together to create a website.
Other web development related duties and responsibilities may include:
- Develop site navigation by categorizing content; funneling traffic through content.
- Manage web hosting, domain name registration, and email systems.
- Administer content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.
- Develop landing pages to support SEO and SEM initiatives.
- Define site objectives by analyzing user requirements; envisioning system features and functionality.
- Optimizing websites for performance and search engine ranking
- Keeping up to date with new web technologies
- Ensuring site functionality across various browsers and devices
- Creating high-quality mockups or prototypes
- Understanding client needs wants, and limitations
- Providing estimates for work
As you can see, the duties and responsibilities of a web developer are vast and varied. It's no wonder this is one of the most in-demand jobs in the tech industry.
What are the skills web developers need?
Web developers need to know how to use their tools effectively. This means they must be well-versed in various programming languages and tools.
They require a combination of hard and soft skills to be successful.
Hard skills refer to technical knowledge and abilities specific to a trade or profession. In the case of web development, some hard skills include:
- Use code editors: Popular code editors include Visual Studio Code and Sublime Text.
- Working knowledge of web development frameworks: Frameworks provide developers with a structure for their code and templates and tools. Popular frontend web development frameworks include Foundation and Bootstrap, while popular backend frameworks include Django, Ruby on Rails, and CakePHP.
- Experience with web development tools: There are many different tools used in web development, including the following:
- Version control software: Git and Subversion.
- Web server: Apache and Nginx.
- Database management system: MySQL, MongoDB, and Cassandra.
- Application platform: Microsoft Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services) Frontend build tools: Gulp, Grunt, and Bower.
- Some experience with design software: Photoshop and InDesign.
The list of web development tools goes on. Depending on the project, developers need to know how to use these tools successfully.
Soft skills are interpersonal or personal qualities that enable people to interact effectively and harmoniously. In the case of web development, some soft skills include:
- Communication: Web developers must communicate effectively with clients, designers, and other developers. This includes listening and responding to feedback.
- Problem-solving: Web developers need to identify and solve problems promptly, using creativity and research to find the best solution.
- Adaptability: Web developers must adapt their processes and tools as needed. The technology sector is constantly changing, so developers must keep up.
- Teamwork: Web developers often work in teams, so they must collaborate effectively.
- Time management: Web developers must manage their time effectively to meet deadlines.
- Learning: Web developers must be willing and learn new skills as needed.
The soft skills listed above are essential for all web developers. Others may be needed depending on the project and team.
Salary - How much do web developers make?
Let's be clear - web development can be a very lucrative career. And as with other professions, the salary of a web developer depends on various factors, including experience, skillset, and location.
That being said, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics of the United States, the median annual salary for web developers was $77,200 per year or $37.12 per hour in 2020. And that number is only expected to grow.
Glassdoor estimates that the average salary of web developers in the U.S. is $70,863 annually. On the low end, that's still $45,000 per year. The best-paid web developers make $110,000.
Other sources (web developer salary US):
Comparing the salaries of Frontend vs. Backend vs. Full Stack Web Developers
What a web developer would earn depends on the niche they pursue and what programming languages/tech-stack they've mastered. But on the whole, front-end developers tend to make less while full-stack developers earn the most salary.
The average reported salary for a frontend developer:
The average reported salary for a backend developer:
The average reported salary for a full-stack developer:
- Glassdoor - $74, 179/year
- Indeed - 1$06, 167/year
- Payscale - $75,057/year
- Ziprecruitter - $102,744 /year; $49 /hour
Salary of web developers based on experience
Junior web developers salary:
As per Ziprecruiter, Indeed, and Glassdoor, the Average Junior Web Developer Salary per year can be $50,392, $60,409, and $50,123, respectively.
Senior web developers:
Senior web developers with experience can make as much as $104,827 according to Ziprecruiter's database, $103, 069 in Glassdoor's records, and $98,001 on Indeed.
Salary of freelance web developers
Freelancers are also not to be left out in the cold. According to Ziprecruiter, freelance web developers earned an average of $72,208 annually in the U.S. as of Feb 1, 2022. That's the equivalent of $34.72/hour or $1,389/week and $6,017 every month.
The freelance web development market is very competitive, and many freelancers offer their services. The most successful have specialized skillsets, and they ensure that their profiles are complete, exciting, and informative.
Job Outlook for web developers
The need for web developers won't be going away any time soon. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is projected to grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030. That's a lot of new jobs. And that's more than two times greater than the average growth rate for all other occupations.
So, what does this mean for you? If you're a web developer, it means that you're in high demand. If you're thinking of becoming a web developer, it means that now is a great time to do so. And if you plan to hire one, you'll have no shortage of candidates to choose from.