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What Is a PHP Developer?

PHP developers write, test and maintain the code for web pages and computer graphics programs. Read on to find out how PHP developers create and use the code that instructs computers to complete certain tasks.

Overview for PHP Developer

PHP developers use PHP, a widely used scripting language, to build websites, programs and applications that computers follow to perform functions. PHP developers are responsible for writing, troubleshooting, testing and maintaining the source code for computer programs. This code must be well documented, reusable and able to be altered to fit changing needs. PHP programmers work for companies or independent contractors, typically on a temporary basis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual earnings for computer programmers, such as PHP developers, was $77,550 in May 2014.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2018) $84,280 (for all computer programmers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -7% decline (for all computer programmers)
Key Skills Analytical and troubleshooting skills; detail oriented, concentration
Work Environment Office setting or telecommute
Similar Occupations Software Developer, Web Developer, Computer Support Specialist

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Responsibilities

In some cases, PHP programmers may simply need to modify or customize basic, existing code for an application. PHP developers also may be called on to develop and write new code. According to PHPDeveloper.org, some employers look for PHP developers who are adept in technologies other than PHP, such as FTP, SSH and SQL. Job prospects will be best for those with experience in a variety of programming languages, reports the BLS. Other responsibilities of PHP developers include:

  • Testing and debugging new programs
  • Programming databases
  • Developing back-end and front-end applications
  • Collaborating with other departments to ensure timeliness and quality
  • Starting projects from scratch or working on existing projects
  • Remaining aware of PHP security issues
  • Assisting team members in problem solving

Education Requirements

Some employers simply require applicants to have a high school diploma and relevant PHP experience. Others may require PHP certification, which may be obtained through an online certification examination. Many PHP developers also may have a bachelor's degree in computer science, but a 2-year degree may also be adequate.