Web Developer Job Description, Salary, and Skills

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Are you interested in a job as a web developer? If you love web design and development, enjoy working independently, and are willing to work at home, your job prospects are rosy; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that industry demand is anticipated to increase 15% by 2026. A few other “pluses”- many entry-level jobs only require an Associate’s degree, most web developers enjoy the freedom and work / life balance of being self-employed, and the median salary for web developers was $32.69 an hour ($67,990 a year) in 2017.

Here's information about web development, including a job overview, education requirements, skills, and additional salary information. 

Web Developer Job Description

Web developers build and shape a visitor’s experience at a website. They do this through the creation of page layouts (headings and paragraphs), website styling (colors and fonts), and page features (animations and pictures).

Web developers work closely with project managers and designers to ensure the final product adheres to the predetermined budget, scope, and design. While a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science is not required for many positions, numerous years of hands-on experience coding both websites and web applications is strongly desired.

Along with strong technical skills, front-end web developers must have excellent written and oral communication skills, a solid grasp of graphic design, and exceptional time management capabilities.

They must be able to troubleshoot issues quickly and to stay up-to-date on current and emerging technologies, standards, and trends.

Through the use of code, such as HTML or JavaScript, web developers bring a website or web application to life. Continued testing, maintenance, and updates are handled by the web developer throughout the lifecycle of the website.

Web developers work for a variety of employers in the government, non-profit, and corporate sectors. However, many also work independently on a contract basis or for web development firms. While many web developer jobs can be performed within a telecommuting setting, those who prefer a traditional workplace will find the most opportunities in the states of Washington, California, New York, Texas, and Florida. The top-paying states for web developers in 2017 were Washington, the District of Columbia, California, New York, and Virginia

Education and Training

Education requirements can vary anywhere from a high school degree to a bachelor's degree, and are dependent upon the job and employer requirements. However, a bachelor's degree is typically required for advancement to a project manager role or for back-end development positions. 

Web Developer Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers earned an average salary of $67,990 in 2017. The bottom 10% of web developers earned an average annual salary of $ 36,830, while the top 10% earned at least $ 122,320.

Web Developer Skills

Here's a list of front-end web developer skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. 

Technical Skills: Employers often emphasize the following top technical skills on their job advertisements for web developers.

  • Actively Seek New Programming Knowledge
  • Build Products Using HTML/CSS/JS and Other Front-End Technologies
  • Code and Deploy Applications in a Cross-Platform, Cross-Browser Environment
  • Document Project Build and Maintenance
  • Experience Building User Interfaces and Prototypes from Wireframes and Designs
  • Familiar with Development and Debugging Tools for Cross-Browser Issues
  • Follow and Implement Industry Accepted Best Practices and Tools
  • Solid Understanding of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
  • Update Current Websites to Meet Modern Web Standards
  • Write and Maintain Web Applications

Tools / Software Programs / Platforms: While many of these programs, tools, and platforms can be self-taught, you’ll gain a slight advantage over other job candidates if you’ve pursued formal training and obtained certification in their elements and use. Certification providers include Microsoft (MTA and MCSD), Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer), and Oracle (APEX, OCP, OCM, OCE).

  • Experience with Git and Github
  • Experience with Photoshop
  • Familiar with Social Media and Third Party APIs
  • Knowledgeable of REST-Based APIs
  • Knowledgeable of Web Application Development Frameworks
  • Proficient with Javascript
  • Solid Understanding of HTML5/CSS3, jQuery, and Responsive Design
  • UI / UX
  • WordPress, Theming, and Module Development Experience


“Soft” Skills: “Soft” skills are the interpersonal / “people” skills, personality traits, and work habits that enable people to work productively, both independently and in team environments.  

  • Detail-Oriented
  • Handle Frequent Feedback
  • Keen Attention to Details
  • Manage and Prioritize Multiple Projects
  • Self-Starter Attitude
  • Strong Problem Solver
  • Thrive in a Team Environment
  • Troubleshoot and Communicate Effectively
  • Work Well Under Pressure

Quick Facts: Web Developer (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.