(7.8 out of 10)
|Number of Jobs:||65,700|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Technology Jobs||#4|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#9|
We often take for granted the design and layout of websites we frequent. The ease with which we navigate through information, the page layout and typography, the color and graphic elements that grab us—this is the work of a Web developer with an eye for design and functionality. These professionals design and maintain websites, including site layout and function, to a client’s specifications. The creative side of the job includes crafting a user-friendly design, ensuring easy navigation, organizing content, and integrating graphics and audio, while the more technical responsibilities include monitoring website performance and capacity. Developers must take into account a client's products or services as well as its target market to create a site that appeals to its customers or intended audience. The job requires a knowledge of software programs, Web applications, and programming languages such as HTML, as well as a solid understanding of design principals. Work environments for Web developers vary widely, from large corporations or governments to small businesses. Developers may be full-time employees, part-time consultants, or work as freelancers on a contract basis.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 21.7 percent employment growth for Web developers between 2010 and 2020. During that time period, about 65,700 jobs will need to be filled. The profession's strong expected growth helped boost Web developer to the No. 9 spot in our ranking of The Best Jobs of 2013.
The BLS reports that Web developers made a median salary of $77,990 in 2011. The highest-paid 10 percent in the profession earned $124,860, while the lowest-paid earned $42,770 that year. The most highly compensated positions for Web developers deal with securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage. The highest-paid positions can be found in the metropolitan areas of Reading, Pa., and San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, Calif.
Employers generally prefer a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field such as computer science or information technology, but you may be able to snag a Web developer position if you have technical skills and practical experience. Web developers may also get certifications, including CWP (Certified Web Developer), CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster), and Advanced Web Developer, all of which demonstrate varying levels of expertise. If you really want to be on the cutting edge, consider getting a certificate in Mobile Application Development, recommends Nelly Yusupova, chief technology officer of Webgrrls International, a networking group and community of professional women who leverage technology to become more successful in their careers and businesses. However, "experience is always more important than certifications," Yusupova wrote in an email. "There are good and valuable certification courses offered at most universities across the country, but whether you take courses or learn on your own, highlight your knowledge by building something that showcases your experience," she says.
Yusupova's biggest piece of advice: "Network and make connections. No one will be able to hire you if they don't meet you, and now in this economy, the best opportunities will come from your network of contacts." In addition to recommending a solid foundation on the basics of Web development, she suggests that those aspiring to enter the field familiarize themselves with both design and usability, and "always know what is current."
|Upward Mobility||Above Average|
|Stress Level||Below Average|
Last updated by Katy Marquardt.