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Web Developer

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Overall Score
(7.8 out of 10)

Number of Jobs

28,500

Median Salary

$62,500

Unemployment Rate

4.2 percent

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This Job is Ranked in
Best Technology Jobs #3
The 100 Best Jobs #9

Your browser opens the page and your jaw instantly drops. The website's color scheme, layout, main image, user experience – everything really – is absolutely perfect. If you've ever had this experience, it's most likely thanks to the hard work of a talented Web developer. Responsible for designing, coding and modifying websites, from layout to function and according to a client’s specifications, Web developers strive to create visually appealing sites that feature user-friendly design and easy navigation. 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 and CSS, as well as a solid understanding of design principles. 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 on a contract basis as freelancers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 20.1 percent employment growth for Web developers between 2012 and 2022. During that period, about 28,500 new jobs will need to be filled in an industry that already has roughly 141,400 positions. The continued expansion of e-commerce is expected to be the main driver of Web developer growth in the next decade. As more companies offer, or greatly expand, their online retail presence, more Web developers will be needed to build the websites consumers will visit to purchase their favorite products. Increased reliance on mobile search is another reason the industry's employment growth should remain strong in the near future, since this should lead to new opportunities to create sites for mobile devices.

Salary

The BLS reports that Web developers made a median salary of $62,500 in 2012. The highest-paid 10 percent in the profession earned $105,200, while the lowest-paid earned $33,550 that year. The most highly compensated positions are in the natural gas distribution, waste treatment and disposal, and depository credit intermediation industries. Computer systems design employs the largest share of Web developers in the field. The highest-paid positions can be found in the metropolitan areas of San Jose, Calif., San Francisco and New York City.

Salary Range

75th Percentile $83,450
Median $62,500
25th Percentile $44,860

Training

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 Certified Web Developer, 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.

Reviews & Advice

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."

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good Above Average
Stress Level good Below Average
Flexibility good High
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Last updated by Nathan Hellman.


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