How can you break into this fast-growing field? It might all come down to developing a few crucial, in-demand digital skills.
North America is currently facing a shortage of skilled tech talent, and few positions are in hotter demand than web developers.
“Developers are still probably the most sought-after group of people,” said Andrew Carlson, Digital Talent Recruiter at Planet4iT. “Whether it’s the digital transformation or the online revolution – whatever you want to call it – it’s forced a lot of companies with traditional business models to create a platform that allows their business model to thrive online. Without Web Developers, you can’t do that.”
There’s also no reason to expect that demand to wane. The expansion of e-commerce and an ever-increasing reliance on mobile search will only create further need for talented developers.
In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the job market for web developers is expected to grow another 15 percent by 2026. Mondo’s annual Tech and Digital Marketing Salary guide also found that “Web Developer” was the most in-demand job title in all of digital marketing, as well as one of the top-paying titles in tech.
But that overabundance of opportunity isn’t the only factor drawing people to this quickly growing profession. Here are four other reasons why there’s never been a better time to be a Web Developer.
Web Developer Salaries Are on the Rise
The average salary for Web Developers in the United States is $71,531 according to Indeed, with Senior Developers averaging $95,325. That makes web development one of the most lucrative positions that do not require a degree.
It’s almost certain that those numbers will continue their upward trajectory. Every year, average salaries for Web Developers increase as demand intensifies, and those with experience in the field report a big difference compared to even a few years ago.
“When I first started out as a full-time freelancer, I was charging only $50 per hour, just scraping by; and quickly discovered that I could charge a lot more hourly, as well as doing more value-based project pricing,” said Rachelle Wise, an Orange County-based Web Developer and Digital Marketing Consultant.
“I am now easily pulling in six figures a year and have more work coming in than I can handle.”
There is a Lot of Development Work Available
If you’re the type of professional who prefers a full plate of projects, web development is the right field right now.
According to Stack Overflow’s 2018 survey of web developers, which polled 101,592 Developers from 183 countries around the world, 83.2 percent of professional Web Developers in the United States are employed full-time, with another 10 percent working on a freelance basis or part-time. Those freelance developers are hardly left wanting for work.
“Freelance life is amazing. I have been increasingly busy year after year,” Wise said.
“In fact, it might not be the norm, but I’ve been a full-time freelancer for over six years and have never had to advertise my services,” she added. “Work just keeps rolling in, and has definitely increased over time, thanks to referrals from happy clients.”
Developers Are (Mostly) Happy
Aside from the myriad practical perks to possessing an in-demand skill set, there are many more non-monetary benefits to life as a Web Developer.
In Stack’s worldwide survey of developers, 72.8 percent of respondents reported positive job satisfaction (as opposed to only 18.9 who said they were dissatisfied, with the rest feeling neutral). U.S. News and World Report, meanwhile, ranked Software and Web Developers as the best and eight best overall tech jobs in its 2018 report.
For many Web Developers, especially those who freelance for a number of clients, work-life balance is an appealing part of the job.
“I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is to work for yourself, or even just to work remotely,” Wise said.
“As more and more tech companies move towards hiring subcontractors or going remote, it gets easier for more developers to jump on this train. Set your own schedule, have less stress, travel more, work anywhere with WiFi, work from home in your pajamas, spend more time with your family – it is life-changing, and the best decision I have ever made.”
Further, Wise notes, the abundant opportunity in the field allows her to be selective, taking on projects that inspire her while referring other work she feels less passionate about to colleagues who might be a better fit.
Developers Are Always Learning
Technology changes quickly, which means Developers have to stay on top of the new languages, tools, and trends. Unsurprisingly, Stack’s survey found a direct correlation between technical competency and salary.
That helps to explain the increasing popularity of certification and training programs among seasoned developers and those hoping to break into the industry. BrainStation, for example, offers full-time programs and part-time courses Web Development, both online and at our campuses. These courses were designed to be collaborative, replicating the kind of working and learning experience Developers would experience in the field.
“If you’re a good web developer, you will have the opportunity to learn with a lot of other people in the community, just by virtue of doing the work on a daily basis,” Carlson said.
“The opportunity for personal growth in that field is second-to-none.”