Summary

web developers image
Web developers are responsible for both the look of a website and its technical aspects.
Quick Facts: Web Developers
2015 Median Pay $64,970 per year
$31.23 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 148,500
Job Outlook, 2014-24 27% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 39,500

What Web Developers Do

Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

Work Environment

About 1 in 7 of web developers were self-employed in 2014. Non-self-employed developers work primarily in the computer systems design and related services industry.

How to Become a Web Developer

The typical education needed to become a web developer is an associate’s degree in web design or related field. Web developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design.

Pay

The median annual wage for web developers was $64,970 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of web developers is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for web developers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of web developers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about web developers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Web Developers Do About this section

web developers image
Some developers work on a website from the planning stages to completion.

Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

Duties

Web developers typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients or management to discuss the needs and design of a website
  • Create and test applications for a website
  • Write code for websites, using programming languages such as HTML or XML
  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain
  • Work with graphics and other designers to determine the website’s layout
  • Integrate graphics, audio, and video into the website
  • Monitor website traffic

When creating a website, developers have to make their client’s vision a reality. They build particular types of websites, such as ecommerce, news, or gaming sites, to fit clients’ needs. Different types of websites may require different applications to work right. For example, a gaming site should be able to handle advanced graphics, whereas an ecommerce site needs a payment-processing application. The developer decides which applications and designs will best fit the site.

Some developers handle all aspects of a website’s construction, and others specialize in a certain aspect of it. The following are examples of types of specialized web developers:

Back-end web developers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website. They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it works as expected. Back-end web developers also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.

Front-end web developers are responsible for how a website looks. They create the site’s layout and integrate graphics, applications (such as a retail checkout tool), and other content. They also write web-design programs in a variety of computer languages, such as HTML or JavaScript.

Webmasters maintain websites and keep them updated. They ensure that websites operate correctly, and they test for errors such as broken links. Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.

Work Environment About this section

web developers image
Developers build websites for all types of businesses.

Web developers held about 148,500 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most web developers were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 20%
Educational services; state, local, and private 7
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 5
Other information services 5
Publishing industries (except Internet) 5

About 1 in 7 of web developers were self-employed in 2014.

Work Schedules

Most web developers work full time.

How to Become a Web Developer About this section

web developers image
Developers often have both programming and graphic design knowledge.

The typical education needed to become a web developer is an associate’s degree in web design or a related field. Web developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design.

Education

Educational requirements for web developers vary with the setting they work in and the type of work they do. Requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree in web design or related field is the most common requirement.

However, for more technical developer positions, such as back-end web developers, some employers prefer workers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field.

Web developers need to have a thorough understanding of HTML programming. The most recent version, HTML5, contains new features that web developers need to understand. Many employers also want developers to understand other programming languages, such as JavaScript or SQL, as well as have some knowledge of multimedia publishing tools, such as Flash. Throughout their career, web developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Some employers prefer web developers who have both a computer degree and coursework in graphic design, especially if the developer will be heavily involved in the website’s visual appearance.

Advancement

Web developers who have a bachelor’s degree can advance to become project managers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Web developers must sit at a computer and write detailed code for long periods.

Creativity. Web developers often are involved in designing the appearance of a website and must make sure that it looks innovative and up to date.

Customer-service skills. Webmasters have to respond politely and correctly to user questions and requests.

Detail oriented. When web developers write in HTML, a minor error could cause an entire webpage to stop working.

Pay About this section

Web Developers

Median annual wages, May 2015

Computer occupations

$81,430

Web developers

$64,970

Total, all occupations

$36,200

 

The median annual wage for web developers was $64,970 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,770, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $116,620.

In May 2015, the median annual wages for web developers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Other information services $68,520
Publishing industries (except Internet) 68,020
Computer systems design and related services 67,960
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 63,380
Educational services; state, local, and private 61,560

Most web developers work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Web Developers

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Web developers

27%

Computer occupations

12%

Total, all occupations

7%

 

Employment of web developers is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment of web developers is projected to grow as ecommerce continues to expand. Online purchasing is expected to grow faster than the overall retail industry. As retail firms expand their online offerings, demand for web developers will increase. In addition, an increase in the use of mobile devices to search the web will lead to an increase in employment of web developers. Instead of designing a website for a desktop computer, developers will have to create sites that work on mobile devices with many different screen sizes, leading to more work.

Because websites can be built from anywhere in the world, some web developer jobs may be moved to countries with lower wages, decreasing employment growth. However, this practice may decline because the cost of managing web developers in multiple countries can offset the savings to businesses. Furthermore, web developers must understand cultural nuances that allow webpages to communicate effectively with users, and domestic web developers are better equipped for this task, curtailing the work that may be moved to other countries.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities for web developers are expected to be good. Those with knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools, such as Flash and Photoshop, will have the best opportunities.

Employment projections data for web developers, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Web developers

15-1134 148,500 188,000 27 39,500 [XLSX]

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of web developers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2015 MEDIAN PAY Help
Computer and information systems managers

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.

Bachelor's degree $131,600
Computer programmers

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.

Bachelor's degree $79,530
Computer support specialists

Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

See How to Become One $51,470
Computer systems analysts

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Bachelor's degree $85,800
Database administrators

Database Administrators

Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.

Bachelor's degree $81,710
Information security analysts

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.

Bachelor's degree $90,120
Graphic designers

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Bachelor's degree $46,900
Multimedia artists and animators

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Bachelor's degree $63,970
Software developers

Software Developers

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Bachelor's degree $100,690
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Web Developers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm (visited May 03, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. This tab may also provide information on earnings in the major industries employing the occupation.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's Career InfoNet.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2014

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2014-24

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.