Wondering how much a web developer earns? We’ve created an in-depth guide to the web developer salary in the US based on data from PayScale, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed.com. This roundup will help you to make a competitive salary off when hiring a web developer. Take a look!
In this article, we’re going to cover the following topics:
- What is a web developer and what does a web developer do?
- Average web developer salary
- Web developer starting salary
- Entry-level web developer salary
- Junior web developer salary
- Senior web developer salary
- Freelance web developer salary
- Web developer salary NYC
What is a web developer and what does a web developer do?
Let’s start with the most straightforward definition possible – a web developer creates web-based applications. Most web developers are focused on either the back end of a web app (databases, applications, servers) or on the front end (interfaces, the visual side). Some web developers cover all of these aspects. These are known as full-stack developers. This variety makes web development a quite broad field. A developer may be responsible for the backbone of a web application, its user-facing side or both of them. What’s more, web developers are often confused with web designers. There is a fundamental difference between these two: a designer is only responsible for creating the concept of a website, while a developer is the one who makes it functional through coding. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for web developers (especially front-end ones) to have design skills, too. Web development is all about collaboration, and we’re going to talk more about that below, together with describing the most important web developer skills.
Average web developer salary in the US
For now, though, let’s focus on the average salary for all web developers in the US. To give you an example, Glassdoor reports that it’s around $75,487 per year.
Indeed suggests a very similar number – $72,002 annually.
The same goes for ZipRecruiter. The salary aggregator claims that the average web developer salary in the US is $74,635 per year.
On the other hand, PayScale reports a significantly different number – $59,132 per year. It’s probably because this is the median salary, not an average one.
As can be seen, there are some differences in average web developer salaries reported by various sources. These differences stem from many factors, including the experience of the candidates. How exactly does it affect the average web developer salary?
Experience: Entry-level, junior, and senior web developer salary
As reported by PayScale, the web developer starting salary is quite low, as the average entry-level web developer salary only comes to $50,081. The average junior web developer salary, on the other hand, amounts to $56,249. Web development professionals with 5-9 years of experience can expect a total compensation of $66,003, while the average senior web developer salary exceeds $70,000.
According to Glassdoor, though, the average junior web developer salary in the US is $65,133 per year.
On the contrary, average salaries for senior web developers are closer to the 100k mark as stated by sources other than PayScale. For example, according to Indeed, the average annual salary of a senior web developer is $97,920.
It is hardly different in the case of Glassdoor, which reports $96,500 per year.
Last but not least, ZipRecruiter claims that the average salary of a senior web developer is $103,682 annually.
What about freelance web developer salary?
The data mentioned above is focused on web developers employed by a company. What is the case when it comes to freelancers, though? Is it more profitable to work as a freelance web developer?
It’s not that easy to decide, as freelance web developers usually charge their clients per hour. According to Codementor, the average hourly rate for a web developer in the US falls between $61 and $80. In general, the rates range from $40 to $160 per hour, depending on the seniority level.
Location: Web developer salary – NYC vs San Francisco
The salaries of web developers vary quite significantly depending on the state and the city. Here’s what PayScale says about pay difference by location.
As can be seen, in San Francisco and Seattle, the salaries are respectively 36% and 20% higher than the national average. The average web developer salary in NYC is also higher than that of other locations. Other cities with salaries higher than the average include Los Angeles (11%) and Chicago (9%).
Other factors increasing pay
As you already know, not all web developers are specialized in exactly the same field. Back-end and front-end developers have different areas of expertise, which means that if you compare two web developers, they won’t necessarily share the same skills.
Popular additional skills
According to PayScale, the most popular skills among web developers are mostly associated with front-end development.
Is there anything else that would come in handy? USA TODAY claims that other popular skills for web developers include Adobe Photoshop, WordPress, and SEO-related knowledge. Artisan also mentions object-oriented programming (OOP), cross-browser compatibility, internet security standards, and analytical skills.
Useful additional skills
It is also important for a web developer to be a team player. Instead of only focusing on lines of code, they need to cooperate with graphic designers, UX professionals, and content writers. It’s crucial for them to learn how to express ideas clearly and work together with people specialized in different areas to achieve the goal.
Once again, web development is quite a broad term. If you’re interested in the salaries for other job titles, you might also want to check our reports on front end developer salaries and back end developer salaries.
Before you go
We also have other great resources devoted to a software developer salary, such as: