Choosing the right tech stack and finding skilled developers is crucial for any project, especially when it comes to its back end. It might be invisible to users, but in fact, back end development is the backbone of any app which powers the client-side. Essentially, back end developers are responsible for developing all server-side logic, maintaining databases, and managing the interchange of data between the server and the users. Usually, the back end developer salary is higher than that of a front-end developer, but the risk and effort associated with their job seem to be higher as well. That’s precisely why hiring a back end developer can be challenging. In order to become competitive and land top talent, recruiters should become familiar with back end developer salary data and the factors that influence it.
To give you a full understanding of the subject, we’ve put together up-to-date, industry-specific data on back end developer salaries across the US.
In this post, we will be addressing the following topics
- An average back end developer salary
- A back end web developer salary
- An entry-level back end developer salary
- A back end developer salary NYC (and other cities as well)
The average back end developer salary in the US
As already mentioned, back end developers have a lot of important responsibilities. To make the server, application, and database communicate with one another, back end developers use programming languages such as PHP, Ruby, Python or Java to develop the product, and tools like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save, or change data and serve it to the user.
The exact tasks they perform depend mostly on the back end developer’s level of experience, knowledge, and skills, as well as the location they are based out of and their employer’s requirements. These factors also affect the average back end developer salary.
According to PayScale, the average back end developer salary in the United States is relatively low: $69,766 per year.
Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Mar 2019 | Individuals Reporting: 53
On the other hand, the average back end developer salary reported by ZipRecruiter is much higher: $96,468/year.
Currency: USD | Updated: 22 Apr 2019 | Individual data sources: –
Yet again, higher salaries are presented by Glassdoor, namely: $117,284 per year on average.
Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jun 2019 | Individuals Reporting: 169
Nonetheless, the highest salaries can be found on Indeed.com, where the average annual pay for a back end developer in the US equals $124,948.
Currency: USD | Updated: 10 Jun 2019 | Individual data sources: 3,317
It’s clear to see that average salaries vary depending on the data source. Where do these differences stem from, though?
It shouldn’t be surprising that salaries change with the level of experience. According to PayScale, for example, an average entry-level back end developer salary stands at $65,000 (bonuses and overtime pay). A back end developer early in their career with 1-4 years of working experience, on the other hand, can count on an average total compensation of $69,766. Interestingly, back end developers with 5-9 years of experience are said to earn $69,800 on average, which doesn’t seem like a big difference.
ZipRecruiter usually reports higher numbers, and the case of the average entry-level back end developer salary is no different: $79,881 a year.
Location: Back end developer salary in NYC, SF, and others
Location is another important factor that affects back end developer salaries across the US. According to PayScale, San Francisco offers an above-average pay rate for back end developers: 28% higher than the national average reported by this source. back end developers can also expect higher salaries in Chicago (+19%) and Boston (6%). The lowest-paying city, on the contrary, seems to be Orlando – with developer salaries 29% lower than the average.
According to Indeed.com, however, the highest salaries can be found in Mountain View, with $170,536 per year. New York, San Francisco, and Boston offer an above-average pay as well: average back end developer salary in NYC stands at $132,337 a year. back end developers in SF and Boston are paid approximately $145,000 per year on average.
Other factors increasing pay
There’s no doubt that the level of experience and location affect average back end developer salaries, yet, knowledge and skills also matter.
Both mobile and web back end development requires the use of a database and some kind of “action” to retrieve and add data to it. The difference is that back end web developers can work directly with the database via an Object Relationship Manager (ORM), which comes with most web frameworks that help to tie client and server-side. Mobile back end developers have to work at a higher level of abstraction, using an Application Programming Interface (“API”). Therefore, skills sets and salaries can differ as well. For example, the average back end web developer salary amounts to $75,487 a year, while back end mobile developers can expect the average pay to be even as high as $117,284, according to Glassdoor.
Useful additional skills
Other skills that positively affect back end developer salaries are:
- Strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
- Analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Soft skills, such as effective communication, ability to work independently and excellent time management
Back end developers are responsible for making sure that everything works well “behind the scenes”, which is why it’s important to look for the top talent for your business. As you can see, there are multiple factors that can influence the salary and thus, the budget of hiring a back end developer. Before starting the recruitment process, make sure you’re familiar with these factors and average developer salaries in the US to offer competitive pay and attract the best developers out there.
Before you go
We also have other great resources devoted to a software developer salary, such as:
- Complete Python developer salary data
- Complete Java developer salary data
- Complete front end developer salary data
Image source: Alexiuz AS