So you are curious to know more about front-end developer salary expectations?
If you enjoy HTML and CSS, and like to play around with layouts, fonts, colors, and visual elements, front-end development might be the perfect career for you.
But before you start learning the technologies needed to land your first tech job, you surely want to know how much front-end developers make on average.
Spoiler alert: you will make a decent living as a front-end developer.
In this post, we’ll look at the average front-end developer salary in the US. Specifically, we’ll focus on front-end web developers in this guide.
I’ll walk you through entry-level and senior level average salaries to give you better idea of what to expect once you gain more experience.
I will also share with you my favorite resources and online courses for learning in-demand front-end development skills from scratch.
By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of:
- How much front-end developers make on average
- What skill you should learn
- What soft skills you need
- Where to start your learning journey right now
Let’s get started!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of my links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Table of contents
- What does a front-end web developer do?
- What technologies do front-end web developers use?
- What soft skills do front-end web developers need?
- Should you learn front-end web development?
- How much do front-end web developers make?
- How much do entry-level and senior front-end web developers make?
- Where should you learn front-end web development?
What does a front-end developer do?
Web development is a vast field with tons of different skills and programming languages you can learn.
The two main web development specializations are:
- Front-end web development
- Back-end web development
Both areas require you to learn different tools and technologies if you want to start a web developer career
Let’s take a look:
Front-end web developers are responsible for the visible parts of a web project – the parts that the user interacts with. They take care of the “looks” of a website.
As a front-end web developer, you make sure the interface is easy and intuitive to use and navigate.
Front-end web developers focus on what’s happening in your web browser. Therefore, front-end web development is also called client-side web development.
Back-end web developers are responsible for everything that happens “behind the scenes” of a web project. They take care of the “logic” of a website.
As a back-end web developer, you write code and programs that store, process, and output data from the end users. To do that, you will set up and manage a database where all user inputs are stored.
Back-end web developers focus on what’s happening on the web server. Therefore, back-end web development is also called server-side web development.
For example, let’s say you want to create a Twitter account.
You will enter your email address and your password into their designated fields.
When you hit the button “Create account”, those inputs are sent to the Twitter web servers to be stored and processed.
Twitter’s back-end developers have built the programs that manage your user data.
When you want to log in to your account again, the back-end code checks whether your email address and password match the data stored in the Twitter database.
Thus, front-end and back-end web developers need to work closely together to make sure the website or web application works smoothly and intuitively. Both areas must fit together seamlessly.
What technologies do front-end developers use?
Here are the three most important front-end web development languages and technologies:
- HTML or HyperText Markup Language:
You will use HTML to create the structure and content for your web pages. Structural layout elements include sections, navigation bars, sidebars, and columns, for example. Content elements include headings, paragraphs, lists, hyperlinks, and images, for instance.
- CSS or Cascading Style Sheets:
Once your HTML content is set up, you can use CSS to change how they look. CSS is the language for styling and designing your web page. It allows you to create beautiful, visually appealing web pages by adjusting colors, fonts, backgrounds, and more.
You can learn the basics of HTML and CSS within a few days or weeks, and start building your own web page projects almost instantly.
Once you feel comfortable with the three essential tools, you can:
- Build full-scale websites
- Earn money from freelance jobs
- Apply for your first entry-level front-end web developer job
Simultaneously, you should start learning additional front-end web development technologies to add under your belt.
What soft skills do front-end web developers need?
Apart from the technical skills listed above, front-end web developers also need to master a myriad of soft skills to get hired.
Here are a few essential soft skills you need:
For each project, you need to brainstorm creative ideas for delivering the best possible end product to your clients. This requires a ton of creativity combined with technical knowledge. Creativity allows you to translate the client’s vision into a real-life website or web application.
- Problem-solving skills:
Web development and programming are all about solving problems. Companies don’t simply need beautiful websites. They have a problem that needs to be solved: They want more sales, more leads, more visibility. It’s your job to deliver the best possible solution to them and offer a ton of value.
- Great communication skills:
You need to know how to get your ideas and thoughts across clearly and concisely. Even people who know nothing about web development need to understand what you’re saying. You will communicate with other teams, clients, and your customers on a daily basis.
- Collaboration and team skills:
All front-end web developers work together with back-end developers and designers in teams. Being a team player is absolutely crucial for getting hired and building a successful career.
If you enjoy being part of a tight-knit team and delivering excellent creative and technical solutions, front-end web development might be your thing!
Should you learn front-end web development?
Front-end web development skills offer flexible career opportunities ranging from full-time development positions to freelancing and working remotely.
If you enjoy combining your creativity with problem-solving skills, front-end web development can be a rewarding specialization to learn. You will constantly face new challenges, learn new tools, and improve your skills throughout your career.
Here are a few benefits of learning front-end web development in 2023:
- Positive job prospects:
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developer jobs should grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030. This is faster than the average of 8% for all occupations.
- High demand in the job market:
There are currently 19,908 job listings for front-end developers on Indeed.com.
- Lucrative freelancing opportunities:
- Flexible remote work opportunities:
Front-end web developers can work for companies across the country, or even worldwide, from the comfort of their own homes. Also, working remotely means you can become a digital nomad and work from anywhere in the world.
Also, front-end web development is a financially lucrative career path. Let’s take a look at front-end web developer salaries next.
The average front-end developer salary in 2023
Before we dive into our front-end web developer salary figures, remember these two points when comparing salaries:
- Geographic variation:
Front-end web developer salaries vary depending on the location. The average salary is lower in rural areas and small cities than in big cities like New York and Los Angeles.
- Cost of living:
The absolute salary doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of living. The cost of living in big cities is often higher than in rural areas. Therefore, higher nominal salaries in tech hubs like San Fransisco don’t always tell the whole story.
Now, let’s look at the average front-end web developer salaries. That’s why you’re reading this anyway, right?
According to Indeed, the average front-end web developer salary is $102,534 in the US. Additionally, front-end developers earn an annual cash bonus of $5,000.
The lowest frontend developer salary is around $65K, while the highest is $161K. These numbers are based on 3,700 salaries submitted by front-end developers to Indeed.
Glassdoor reports a lower average front-end web developer salary of $77,776 per year in the US. This total pay consists of an average salary of $73,030 per year plus an estimated additional pay of $4,746 per year.
Payscale states an average front-end web developer salary of $80,270 per year in the US, with a low of $53K and $122K per year.
Based on these numbers, we can say that the average front-end web developer salary in the US is $86,860 per year.
But how does the level of experience affect the average salary?
In the next section, we’ll compare the average front-end web developer salaries according to the level of expertise, experience, and knowledge.
How much do entry-level and senior front-end developers make?
Next, let’s look at front-end web developer salary data for two different skill levels:
- Entry-level front-end developers
- Senior level front-end developers
When browsing through job ads, you will most often see these skill levels in the job titles.
Let’s dive right in!
1: Entry-level front-end developer salary
If you are new to web development, your first role will most likely be an entry-level front-end web developer job.
Entry-level front-end web developers may just have graduated with a relevant college degree, finished a coding bootcamp, or taught themselves front-end skills using online courses and tutorials.
To land an entry-level position, you need to have a professional portfolio to showcase your skills and your best work samples.
While entry-level developers need plenty of guidance from more experienced colleagues, they should be able to finish some tasks independently, too.
How much do entry-level front-end web developers earn, then?
As an entry-level front-end web developer, you can expect to make $70,905 per year, according to Glassdoor.
Payscale reports slightly lower numbers: they list an average entry-level front end developer salary of $64,683 per year in the US.
ZipRecruiter says the average entry-level front-end web developer salary is $60,385 per year in the US.
We see some variation in the numbers, but we can say that an entry-level front-end web developer makes between $60K and $70K per year in the US.
2: Senior-level front-end developer salary
Senior level front-end web developers are the most experienced and therefore the highest-paid front-end web developers on the job market.
On average, a junior front-end web developer will have the required proficiency for senior-level jobs after about 7 to 15 years of work experience.
Yes, it’s a long time and there’s a lot of variation, but that’s just how the industry works.
The exact time it takes to land your first senior-level job also depends on your own motivation and perseverance. Improving your skills, deepening your knowledge, and working on demanding, complex projects help you climb the career ladder faster.
It all boils down to one thing:
Senior level developers offer highly valuable skills and expertise.
They possess in-depth knowledge of a certain industry or a rare combination of tools and technologies that’s hard to find on the job market.
They have worked in the industry long enough to know it inside and out, having created valuable connections and networks.
Thus, senior level developers have a solid overview of what’s happening in tech. They also know how to plan, manage, and execute complex, large-scale projects with their teams.
How much does a senior level front-end web developer make, then?
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a senior-level front-end web developer is $127,989 per year in the US. This total pay consists of an average salary of $106,259 per year plus an estimated additional pay of $21,730 per year.
ZipRecruiter reports a slightly lower average senior-level front-end web developer salary of $113,217 per year in the US. We see a lot of variation: The lowest salary is around $55K, while the highest is $182K.
We see a lot of variation in the numbers, but we can say that on average, a senior-level front-end web developer makes between $113K and $127K per year in the US.
Where should you learn front-end development?
Now that you know how much front-end web developers make, you may be thinking:
“I want to become a front-end web developer, too!”
If that’s the case, congrats!
Front-end web development is relatively easy to learn and you can start practising on your own, small projects almost right away.
But where should you start learning?
How can you find the best front-end web development courses and tutorials for beginners?
If you are new to web development, the most difficult part is to know which resources to use.
With thousands of online courses to choose from, I know you may feel overwhelmed.
I work as a freelance front-end web developer and I’ve been running my own business since August 2017. Since then, I’ve gone though hundreds of courses and tutorials, and I know which ones are really worth your while.
If you want to know more about my background, you can read all about my tech journey here.
To help you get started, I’ve gathered some of my favorite online learning resources for you:
1: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (Udemy)
The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 was the first web development course I took back in 2016 – with no experience in tech or coding. And it’s been my #1 recommendation to all aspiring web developers ever since.
The course will also teach you back-end web development skills such as PHP, Python, and MySQL.
Thus, you will learn the basics of both front-end and back-end web development – in just one course.
The best part?
You get lifetime access to the entire course curriculum. In other words: you can learn at your own pace and use the course contents for reference in the future.
If you are serious about becoming a web developer and want to learn all the skills you need using a single course, this course is one of the best places to start your journey.
Not familiar with Udemy? Then read my full Udemy review for more details.
2: The Complete 2023 Web Development Bootcamp
The Complete 2023 Web Development Bootcamp is similar to the course above, but it covers even more technologies and lessons.
With over 65 hours of video lectures, you will learn and practice front-end and back-end web development by building 16 portfolio-ready projects.
With over 700,000+ students, this course is one of the most popular and highest-rated web development courses on Udemy.
If you are entirely new to web development, no worries: you don’t need any programming experience to start learning. All you need is a computer with an internet connection.
Step-by-step, Angela – your instructor – will walk you through each lesson and show you how to put all your new skills together to build beautiful web projects from scratch.
The skills you will learn allow you to build any website project you want, apply for junior-level jobs, and work as a freelance web developer.
3: Intro to HTML and CSS (Udacity)
Intro to HTML and CSS is a free course for absolute beginners to learn how to design and build beautiful web experiences from scratch using HTML and CSS.
Along the way, you’ll also learn about code editors and a browser’s Developer Tools.
If you are new to tech, this course is a risk-free starting point for your front-end web developer journey.
4: Front-End Engineer Career Path (Codecademy)
Codecademy is one of my favorite platforms for learning tech skills at your own pace. The Front-End Engineer Career Path is a guided learning curriculum helps you get job-ready by teaching you an entire toolkit of in-demand skills.
Not only will you learn the necessary languages and technologies for front-end web development, but also how to think like a front-end engineer, too.
By the end of this path, you will have a portfolio and the interview skills you need to land your first front-end web developer job.
Not familiar with Codecademy? Check out my full Codecademy review for all the details.
freeCodeCamp is a beginner-friendly platform for learning front-end web development and other tech skills for 100% free.
The interactive lessons and exercises run directly in your web browser, so you can start learning and practising right away. No need to install any software on your computer.
freeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design certification covers essential front-end web development skills like:
- CSS fundamentals, animations, and transforms
- CSS Flexbox and CSS Grid
You will also learn about Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and Functional Programming (FP).
All in all, freeCodeCamp is an excellent place to start learning front-end web development from scratch.
Throughout the lessons, you will build real-life projects to add to your portfolio. Use them as a starting point for building your own personal projects to practice and improve your skills.
This course teaches you:
- Structure of an HTML page
- HTML forms
- CSS class selectors and style sheets
- Sizing and box model in CSS
- and more!
7: Web Development Foundations (The Odin Project)
The Fundamentals Track on The Odin Project is a comprehensive, free learning path to get familiar with front-end web development with no prior experience.
The best part?
You will also learn helpful web development fundamentals and computer science basics. You get valuable motivation and mindset tips, and tips on where to find help.
Throughout the course, you will get tips for setting up everything from installing the necessary software on your computer to learning how to use Git and GitHub for version control, too.
And to make things even better: you will also build a bunch of fun, hands-on projects for your front-end web developer portfolio.
Did I mention learning with The Odin Project is 100% free?
8: Become a Front-End Web Developer (LinkedIn Learning)
Become a Front-End Web Developer is a learning path with 11 courses and 26 hours of content.
You will also learn user experience (UX) design fundamentals, best practices for responsive design, and version control basics with Git and GitHub.
Front-end web development guides on MikkeGoes.com:
- The Best Way to Learn Web Development (With No Experience): The Ultimate Guide
- 27 Best Web Development Courses for Beginners (Free and Paid)
- 100+ Best Web Development Tools And Resources
- Book Review: “HTML and CSS – Design and Build Websites”
- 30+ HTML and CSS Projects for Beginners (With Source Code)
- How to Build a Website From Scratch Step-by-Step: The Ultimate Guide
- How to Become a Freelance Web Developer: The Ultimate Guide
Final thoughts: Front-end developer salary – How much do front-end developers make?
There ya go! Now you should have a better overview of the average front-end developer salary levels in 2023.
Let’s sum it up real briefly:
Entry-level front end web developers make the least amount of money since they’re just entering the job market. They’re still learning on the job and they need help and support from their teams.
On the other end of the spectrum are senior-level front end web developers with around 7 to 15 years of experience in the industry. Needless to say, they’re the highest-valued people on the job market.
The more experience you gather, the more interesting you become for other potential employers in your field, too. This, in turn, brings about more flexibility and negotiation power for you as an employee.
If you’re interested in becoming a front-end web developer, make sure you check out my previous article on how to become a web developer.
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