Web Developer Salaries: Overview and Outlook

Web developers at work
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The general definition of a “web developer” is someone who creates website and web applications. Some developers are more responsible for the appearance of the site, while others focus on the "backend" and performance. Some developers even do both (often called "full-stack"). 

When it comes down to it, the title web developer can carry a range of responsibilities and technologies. Below we’ll look at what web developers earn, in general, throughout the United States.

National Salary Overview

Depending on where you look, national salary averages can vary.

  • According to PayScale, as of late 2016, the median pay is $57,662 nationally. (This includes bonuses and profit sharing.)
  • However, if you turn to Glassdoor, as of early 2017, the national average is $66,238.
  • Indeed.com has estimated the average salary of a web developer as $78,279 in early 2017. (Much higher than the other sources!)

Regardless of which source you confide in, one thing is certain:

Salaries for web developers are higher than the average total for all occupations. According to the BLS, it pins the median annual wages of all occupations at $35,540.

The Highs and the Lows of Web Developer Salaries

Similar to the national salary data, the highest and lowest percentiles vary depending on where you look.

However looking at BLS, the highest 10% earn $112,680. On the other hand, the lowest 10% earn $33,790.

The Highest Paying States

Again considering the BLS data, the five highest paying states for web developers are:

  1. Washington, annual mean wage = $82,420

  2. Delaware, annual mean wage = $81,440

  3. Virginia, annual mean wage = $80,690

  4. California, annual mean wage = $79,520

  5. District of Columbia, annual mean wage = $78,710

    Best Cities for Web Developers

    When it comes to specific cities, according to a PayScale the top five are:

    1. San Francisco

    2. Washington DC

    3. Seattle

    4. New York City

    5. Boston

    Keep in mind, though, that these cities tend to cost a lot more to live in than average.

    Salaries by Experience

    Again considering PayScale’s data, more experience web developers earn more:

    “Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $50K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $62K. For Web Developers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $71K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $80K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.”

    Outlook to 2020

    Job prospects for web developers should continue to be favorable through to 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    There were 148,500 positions in 2014. This figure should grow by 27% by 2024 to about 188,000 positions.

    This growth rate is higher than other computer occupations, which is 12%. And when looking at all jobs across the U.S., the figure is only 7%. All of this considered, it is very lucrative to be a web developer.