PHP Developer: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for PHP developers. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a PHP Developer?

PHP developers write codes in PHP, a server-side scripting language for building websites, developing software, and creating computer commands. Computer programmers use this language to write code because it is flexible yet powerful. This code language is primarily used for writing apps, web tools, and web-based services. Usually a PHP developer is part of a team within a company as part of the IT or information services department. They make sure that the web-based processes continue to run smoothly.

The table below summarizes the essential career facts for PHP developers.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Computer science, computer engineering
Key Responsibilities Website development, programming in PHP
Certification Optional professional certification available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 27% for all Web developers*
Median Salary (2017) $61,905**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Job Duties Will I Have as a PHP Developer?

As a PHP developer, your main focus is to write and test codes used to create dynamic Web pages, Web applications and computer software. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may also be involved with user interface design as well (www.bls.gov). However, your primary responsibilities as a PHP developer include the technical aspects of building websites for clients, both internal and external. Specific duties may include:

  • Overseeing development projects from start to finish
  • Determining the structure and organization of information
  • Ensuring the completion of projects in a timely manner
  • Testing and maintaining finished products

What Education Do I Need?

In the field of Web development, years of relevant experience and skill level are often more important to employers than educational background. Additionally, you may choose to obtain certification, such as the Zend Certified Engineer designation, to help you stand out amongst other PHP developers. However, you will most likely need at least a bachelor's degree to obtain your first full-time position. Most PHP developers enroll in a computer-related degree program such as computer science or computer engineering, but you could choose a related field and still be on the right track. Common subjects include general computer science topics, data types and mathematics. Specific course requirements may include:

  • Computer programming
  • Algorithms
  • Programming languages
  • Implementing compilers
  • Operating systems

How Much Could I Expect to Make?

According to January 2017 reports on Payscale.com, the median annual income for PHP developers was $61,905. An increasing number of online shoppers and mobile app users should drive a high demand for Web developers. The BLS predicted a 27% increase in employment in the field from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you like writing code, you might also consider a career as an application developer or an Information Technology (IT) consultant. An app developer will typically work for a business in order to help them keep up with the latest technology and web developments. They write apps to be used by consumers on smart devices like phones and tablets. App developers need a degree in an IT field to be hired. IT consultants commonly work for organizations and advise managers on how to use their technology. They must be able to install and maintain hardware and software. Typically a degree in an IT field is preferred.

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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