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Web Developer: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a web developer. Learn about certification, salary, job outlook and degree requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

What Is a Web Developer?

There are millions of web pages on the internet. Every one of them was created by someone with the originality and creativity to to put together the information, artwork, and/or animation combined with a theme to sell something, inspire someone or persuade somebody to take some kind of action. Web developers work with clients, companies or schools to build those pages to fill the needs of whoever is paying them.

Web developers work with clients to create colorful and interactive websites that attract attention and are easy for users to navigate. Learn the typical skills of a Web developer as well as the education and certification options.

Degree Required Associate's degree
Education Field of Study Web design, graphic design, programming
Key Skills Problem-solving, creativity, attention to detail
Certification Optional certifications are available for web developers
Job Growth (2018-2028) 13%*
Median Salary (2018) $69,430*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to be a Web Developer?

If you're interested in a career as a Web developer, you might consider enrolling in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in a related area of study. There are a number of degree options to choose from that can give you the training you will need to pursue a career in this field. The most common degree programs that include studies in Web design and development are associate's and bachelor's degree programs in information technology (IT) and computer science. While there are some schools that offer Web design and development as a degree program, most are for-profit schools.

Most IT and computer science degree programs offer coursework in Web development and design. These courses will teach you HTML (HyperText Markup Language), programming, database development, Internet protocols and more. Project management courses prepare you for the business side of Web development, and marketing courses prepare you not only to market websites but also to market yourself and your business.

What Will I Do?

Web developers are responsible for creating websites, from the development stage to the launch of the website. A Web developer uses software programs to create dynamic Web pages, computer graphics and interactive applications. A career as a Web developer will give you the opportunity to use your creativity and your technical skills. You might create animated characters or use sound and video to design a dynamic user experience.

As a Web developer, you could also be responsible for marketing and promoting websites for clients. Your education and creative skills prepare you to work as a Web developer for businesses, corporations, government agencies and more. You could also work as a freelancer and provide your services on a contract basis.

What Certifications Can I Get?

The International Webmasters Association (IWA) offers four designations to Web masters and developers who are looking to get certified (www.iwanet.org). Known as Web Study Certification, the certifications cover Web technologies, Web programming, Web business and Web graphics and multimedia. You can also get certified by the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW), which offers the Certified Professional Web Developer (CPWDV) designation (www.webprofessionals.org).

How Much Money Will I Make?

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary of web developers was $69,430 (www.bls.gov). Some of the highest-paying industries were in semiconductors and other electronic component manufacturing.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Graphic designers and multimedia artists and animators are two major related career fields for web developers. Graphic designers will utilize computer software to create original artwork used in web page layouts, magazine pieces, newspaper ads and internet reports. Multimedia artists and animators will take that artistic talent to another level. These professionals will create digital effects and animation for feature films, television shows and internet videos. Both of these careers require a bachelor's degree to start.