Web Developers and Digital Designers

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Web developers design and create websites.

Work Environment: Some web developers and digital designers work in the computer systems design and related services industry. Others are self-employed. Still others work in industries including publishing, management consulting, and advertising.

How to Become One: Educational requirements for web developers and digital designers vary, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree.

Salary: The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers is $77,200.

Job Outlook: Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of web developers and digital designers with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a web developer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Web Developer Jobs

  • Front-End Web Developer - Meta - Hessle

    This role is ideal for a talented web developer with a proven track record delivering high quality web projects. Job Type: * Full Time / Part Time.

  • Web Designer Developer - Meta - Hessle

    This role is ideal for a talented web designer with a proven track record delivering high quality web projects. Proven experience of designing for the web.

  • Entry Level Web Developer - Absowebly - Surrey

    Head Office Absowebly Ltd 2 Station Parade Clarendon Road Ashford Middx TW15 2RX Tel: 0208 941 5151 Email: info@absowebly.com Absowebly Limited is…

See all Web Developer jobs

What Web Developers and Digital Designers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Web developers create and maintain websites. They are also responsible for the site's technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website's speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability. They are responsible for the look and functionality of the website or interface.

Duties

Web developers and digital designers typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients or management to discuss the needs, design, and functionality of a website or interface
  • Create and test applications, interfaces, and navigation menus for a website
  • Write code for the website, using programming languages such as HTML or XML
  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain
  • Work with graphics and other designers to determine the website's layout
  • Integrate graphics, audio, and video into the website
  • Monitor website traffic
  • Create prototypes and mockups of websites or applications
  • Design and develop graphics

When creating a website, developers and designers have to make their client's vision a reality. They build particular types of websites, such as ecommerce, news, or gaming sites, to fit clients' needs. Different types of websites require different applications. For example, a gaming site should be able to handle advanced graphics, whereas an ecommerce site would need a payment-processing application. The developer decides which applications and designs will best fit the site, and the designer focuses on the look and usability of these elements across browsers or devices.

Some developers and designers handle all aspects of a website's construction, and others specialize in a certain aspect of it. The following are examples of types of specialized web developers or digital designers:

Back-end web developers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website. They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it functions as expected. Back-end web developers also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.

Front-end web developers create the technical features for a website's look. They develop the site's layout and integrate graphics, applications (such as a retail checkout tool), and other content. They also write webdesign programs in a variety of computer languages, such as HTML or JavaScript.

Web and digital interface designers are responsible for creating the look and feel of a website or interface with regard to photos, color, font type and size, graphics, and layout. They also are responsible for the functionality, usability, and compatibility of the website or interface.

Webmasters maintain and update websites. They ensure that websites operate correctly, and they test for errors such as broken links. Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.

Work Environment for Web Developers and Digital Designers[About this section] [To Top]

Web developers and digital designers hold about 174,300 jobs. The largest employers of web developers and digital designers are as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 17%
Publishing industries (except Internet) 10%
Self-employed workers 10%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 5%
Advertising, public relations, and related services 4%

Web Developers and Digital Designer Work Schedules

Most web developers and digital designers work full time.

How to Become a Web Developer or Digital Designer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Web Developers and Digital Designers near you!

Educational requirements vary for web developers and digital designers, based on work setting and other factors.

Education for Web Developers and Digital Designers

Educational requirements for web developers and digital designers range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree.

Some employers prefer to hire web developer candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a specific field, such as computer science or programming.

Web developers need to have a thorough understanding of HTML programming. Many employers also want developers to understand other programming languages, such as JavaScript or SQL, and have knowledge of multimedia publishing tools, such as Flash. Throughout their career, web developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Employers of digital designers may prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a field such as web design, digital design, or graphic arts.

Web developers and digital designers may not need specific education credentials if they can demonstrate their abilities through prior work experience or projects.

Advancement

Web developers and digital designers who have a bachelor's degree may advance to become project managers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Web developers and digital designers need to communicate effectively with coworkers to coordinate work on projects.

Creativity. Web developers and digital designers often are involved in creating the appearance of a website and must make sure that it is appealing as well as functional.

Customer-service skills. Webmasters have to respond politely to user questions and requests.

Detail oriented. Web developers and digital designers must focus for long periods and write code precisely, because a minor error could cause an entire webpage to stop working.

Problem-solving skills. Web developers and digital designers must check for coding errors and fix any that they find.

Web Developers and Digital Designer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers is $77,200. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,750, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,430.

The median annual wages for web developers and digital designers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Publishing industries (except Internet) $123,870
Computer systems design and related services $75,450
Advertising, public relations, and related services $71,930
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services $70,790

Most web developers work full time.

Job Outlook for Web Developers and Digital Designers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow as ecommerce continues to expand. Online purchasing is expected to grow faster than the overall retail industry. As retail firms expand their online offerings, demand for these workers will grow. In addition, a rise in the use of mobile devices to search the web will lead to increased demand for web developers and digital designers. Instead of designing a website for a desktop computer, these workers will have to create sites and interfaces that work on mobile devices with many different screen sizes, leading to more work.

Because websites can be built from anywhere in the world, some developer and designer jobs could move to countries with lower wages. However, this practice may decline because the cost of managing workers in multiple countries can offset the savings to businesses. Furthermore, web developers and digital designers must understand cultural nuances that allow webpages to communicate effectively with users. U.S.-based developers and designers are better suited to this task, curtailing the work that may be moved to other countries.

Job Prospects for Web Developers and Digital Designers

About 13,400 openings for web developers and digital designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Job opportunities for web developers and digital designers are expected to be good. Those with knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools, such as Flash and Photoshop, will have the best opportunities.

Employment projections data for Web Developers and Digital Designers, 2019-29
Occupational Title Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29
Percent Numeric
Web developers and digital interface designers 174,300 188,300 8 14,000


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


Explore more careers: View all Careers or the Top 30 Career Profiles


Search for jobs: