Careers in Website Development

Learn about job options in website development, including duties, employment outlook and salaries. For information on education, training and industry certifications, read on. Schools offering Graphics & Multimedia Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Website Developer?

Website developers are computer professionals who design websites based on the client's needs. They manage the performance, capacity and speed of a website. Website developers also create applications and codes to ensure the website functions properly and monitor the traffic on the website. In order to decide what needs to be on the website, they typically work closely with the client. They may also work with a design team to plan the look of the website and integrate graphics and videos.

What Will I Do as a Website Developer?

As a website developer, your job is focused on creating, implementing and maintaining websites. You are responsible for all the technical aspects of creating a website, including knowledge of sophisticated coding languages and current software to produce web designs. Whether you are self-employed or working in the corporate sector, you will be responsible for meeting with business partners, determining technical requirements, establishing timelines, setting deadlines and choosing solutions for the Web designs under development.

Your job duties include creating designs, software applications and databases. You create the visual component and functionality of websites using coding to create interactive features or add interesting graphic features to the websites you design. Website maintenance may include troubleshooting problems, changing code as necessary and updating content as directed.

Other day-to-day tasks you might encounter as a website developer would be:

  • Performing regular backups of databases and system files
  • Inspecting code to ensure cross-compatibility with browsers and emerging operating systems
  • Analyzing site user analytics to determine business needs
  • Collaborating with external content contributors such as marketing, graphic design or advertising representatives
  • Testing external linkages and correcting where necessary

What Education Do I Need for This Job?

You'll need extensive computer knowledge to work as a website developer. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in December 2015, web developers most often need a bachelor's degree in computer sciences or a related field. However, some employers will accept an associate's degree and experience in the field as a substitute (www.bls.gov). Your training will include instruction in current software programs and computer languages including HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, Flash and Photoshop. Courses in computer programming, graphic design, website development and computer security will also be part of any standard website development program.

Do I Need Professional Certification?

While employers do not usually require professional certification, they may consider them when making hiring decisions. Some providers of software in the industry offer the opportunity to sit for exams and demonstrate advanced skill levels with particular brands of software. Adobe, for example, co-ops with educational partners across the U.S. to allow Web experts to sit for professional certification exams in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Flash.

What's My Job Outlook Like?

According to the BLS, web developers earned a mean annual wage of $70,660 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported in May 2015 that web developers in the 25th-75th percentiles earned $46,600-$89,430. The BLS also reported that the job demand for website developers will be exceptionally strong from 2014-2024, growing 27% due to the expansion of e-commerce and increased popularity of mobile devices.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Similar career options include graphic designers and computer programmers. Both of these options require a bachelor's degree. Graphic designers create visual representations of concepts, either by hand or using computer software. They design layouts for different media, including brochures and magazines. Computer programmers create and test codes for applications to work properly. They change the software designs into directions that the computer can understand and recreate.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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