Learning to code and becoming a web developer is a lucrative career option these days. With enough demand in the job market to go around, you could start a tech career in just about any industry – even outside tech companies. We looked at how much web developers make in a previous post. But how much do junior web developers make? What is the average junior web developer salary in 2019?

Knowing how much fresh web developers can make in the current job market can help you decide which skills you need to learn. In other words, knowing the average junior web developer salary can be a nice incentive to start learning web development to launch a new career.

To help you out, I’ll cover a handful of key points you should know about junior web developer salaries in this post. We’ll look at how much entry-level and junior web devs make and differences between front-end or back-end developers.

Let’s get started!

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What does a Junior Web Developer do exactly?

When you start doing research on web developer jobs, you’ll run into a bunch of terminologies that might seem confusing.

Broadly speaking, you’ll usually see three different skill levels in job descriptions:

  1. Entry-level jobs
  2. Junior level jobs
  3. Senior level jobs

What does a junior web developer do then?

Related post: What Does a Web Developer Do Exactly?

Junior web developers are fresh in the job market. They’re just starting their careers in tech. A junior position is a great stepping stone into a long-term career as a web developer.

If you’re just finished a big coding course or graduated from a web development bootcamp, you’re either an entry-level or a junior developer. Sometimes entry-level and junior are used interchangeably, too.

In short, anyone who’s ready for their first web dev job is a junior web developer.

However, a junior web developer can also be someone who’s already gathered their first experiences in their first job. They may have entered the job market as an entry-level developer and worked their way up the corporate ladder.

The bottom line is: junior web developers are proficient enough in a relevant set of skills in order to work on real projects with clients. They need to know how to use their skills to build something useful as part of their team.

But, needless to say, junior web developers are still learning new things constantly. Ideally, they will receive plenty of support from their senior team members.

How much do Junior Web Developers make in 2019?

So, what about the salary levels for junior web developers?

According to Glassdoor, the average junior web developer salary in the U.S. is $65,133 per year (June 2019).

The average pay for junior web developers varies quite a bit, though. The majority of the reported salaries is in the lower range of the scale. Thus, this could suggest that there are limited opportunities for advancement as a junior web developer. And this only makes sense: as your skills improve, you won’t be applying for junior positions any longer.

Looking at another source, according to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a junior web developer in the U.S. is $49,655.

Here we see annual salaries as low as $24,000 and as high as $73,500. Again, there’s a lot of variance in the sample. The majority of the salaries is at the bottom of the scale here, too.

Summing it up, we can say that the average annual salary for junior web developers in the U.S. is between $49,655 and $65,133.

And you know what the best part is?

At the moment, the demand for web developers is relatively high, both across industries and geographical locations. Looking at Indeed, there are currently over 4,200 job openings for junior web developers (June 2019).

These overall figures give a good estimate of junior-level web developer salaries. Furthermore, there’s clearly no shortage of job openings in the market.

However, web development is a vast field with a few different specializations you can focus on. Needless to say, your expected salary could vary depending on your specialization. Let’s have a look:

Junior front-end web developer salary:

Front-end developers are responsible for creating the visible parts of websites and web applications. That includes everything that the user can see and interact with in their web browser.

According to Indeed, the estimated average annual salary for a junior front-end developer in the U.S. is $53,946 (June 2019).

Junior Front End Developer Salaries in the US 2019
Source: Indeed.com

Looking at another source, PayScale gives us an average annual salary of $45,635 for junior front end web developers.

Thus, you could expect some variance in the salaries when you apply for your first junior front end developer job. The biggest factors affecting the final salary level are the geographical location, the potential employer, and your skill level.

You can start applying for junior or entry-level front end web developer jobs when you feel proficient and confident in these three languages:

Check out these best websites to learn web development to get started.

Junior back-end web developer salary:

Whereas front-end developers take care of the visible parts of a website or app, back end developers create the logic and functions of a web project. They’re responsible for how user data is stored, managed, and retrieved on web servers and in databases.

Recommended: Front-End vs. Back-End Development – Free Coding Guide for Beginners

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a back end web developer with 1-3 years of experience is $63,805 per year (June 2019).

Thus, the average junior-level salary for back-end developers is slightly higher than for front-end web developers.

Back-end web developers use different tools and programming languages than front-end developers. Some of the most popular back-end languages include PHP, Python, and Ruby, for example.

Related: What Is the Best Programming Language for Web Development?

Web developer salaries by experience level:

When you land your first junior-level web developer job, you’re only getting started with your career. As the years go by, your skills improve and you can expect your earnings to increase accordingly.

Let’s take a quick look at how your pay will develop depending on the number of years you work as a web developer:

Web developer average salary depending on years of experience - PayScale 2019
Source: PayScale.com

According to PayScale, entry-level web developers with less than a year of experience earn an average of $50,078 per year. Junior web developers with 1-4 years of experience make around $55,966 annually.

A mid-career web developer can expect quite a leap in their salary: they earn an average total of $65,336. An experienced web developer with 10+ years of experience makes around $70,290 per year.

How to become a junior web developer?

Now you know what junior web devs do and how much they make. If you feel like this could be your thing, there’s one more question on your mind:

How can I become a junior or entry-level web developer?

I’ve covered a few essentials in a past article about how to become a web developer. If you haven’t already, make sure to check it out.

As of how to become a junior web dev, here are a few steps to get you started:

Step #1: Know why you want to do this

Start by figuring out your “why”. This is the reason that got you interested in learning web development to start with.

For instance, if you want more freedom in life, that could be a great why.

If your goal is to spend more time with family and friends instead of colleagues at the office, that’s another great why to follow.

Step #2: Find out more about the job market

You can feel super passionate about a specific web dev topic and spend months or years learning it, which is awesome. But if there’s no demand in the job market, that passion won’t pay your bills in the long run.

Therefore, make sure you know exactly what types of skills are in demand in your area and in your target industry.

Step #3: Start learning relevant skills one by one

Now that you know what employers are looking for, it’s time to start learning the right skills.

Focus on either front-end or back-end development and start with a single tool or programming language. Only when you feel confident working with it, start learning the next one.

Recommended: What Programming Language Should I Learn First?

Step #4: Build relevant projects for your portfolio

Your portfolio is your best chance to showcase everything you know.

Remember this: employers aren’t looking for someone who knows specific tools or programming languages per se. They’re looking for someone who can help them solve problems and build something useful with those skills.

Step #5: Work on freelance projects on the side

If your goal is to become a full-time web developer, you may start practicing your skills with small freelance projects first. This will help you learn how to communicate with clients and manage real-life projects by yourself.

And hey, if you feel comfortable with this approach, why not just become a freelance web developer?

Step #6: Connect with other entry-level web developers

These days, it’s super easy to find others who are learning similar stuff as you are.

You’ll most probably find coding groups in your area on social media, for instance. And if not, you can network with others online, too.

Exchanging ideas with others is more valuable to your learning process than you might think.

Step #7: Start applying for your first jobs

Even if you don’t feel 100% ready, it’s time to send out your first job applications. Unless, of course, you want to stick to freelancing and grow your business as a self-employed web developer.

Don’t be discouraged by job ads that list a dozen skills you should know. Apply for jobs you have a good feeling about.

Don’t exaggerate your skills at this point. Be realistic and honest, but don’t sell yourself cheap.

Step #8: Pass your first interview

Getting an invite to your first interview is so exciting! Congrats!

Now, don’t panic and don’t worry about not getting everything 100% perfectly right.

Interviewing can be nerve-wracking, but each interview will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. That’s when you start seeing great results, trust me.

If there’s one secret to getting any job out there, it’s this: always focus on the problem the employer is struggling with.

If they’re looking for new talent for their web dev team, know exactly what issues they’re having at the moment. Make them feel like you’re the missing link in their team.

Step #9: Rinse and repeat!

As I mentioned above, what’s great about web dev jobs is that there’s plenty of them available. In other words, you’ll have several opportunities to practice interviewing.

Thus, if you don’t get invited to a follow-up interview, don’t worry about it. Keep going, do your best job with every interview. No matter how many times you hear “no, thanks”, it only takes that one “yes” to land your dream job.

While you’re sending out applications, remember to keep learning. Build more projects for your portfolio and become an even stronger candidate for those jobs you’re after.

Final thoughts: Junior web developer salary in 2019

All in all, becoming a web developer is a great career choice these days. You can work pretty much anywhere and find jobs across all industries. Since all businesses require a solid web presence these days, the demand for skilled web developers is relatively high.

The average junior web developer salary varies quite a bit, though. Depending on your location, the employer, and your skills, you could make anything between roughly $50,000 and $65,000 per year in the U.S.

What’s great about becoming a web developer is that you can learn the required skills by yourself at a very low cost. Check out how I taught myself to code in six months and decided to become self-employed. Even if you’re working full-time, you can simply learn one skill at a time and practice by building projects for your portfolio.

When you feel confident enough in your skills, you can gain your first professional experience with small online freelancing jobs. That will not only teach you how to deal with clients and manage projects but also how to use your skills to create something valuable for a real-life website or app.

With a bunch of practical projects in your portfolio, you can then apply for full-time web developer jobs.

Ready to get started? Head over to my post about the best way to learn how to code next – I’ll see you there!

If you’re ready to start learning, check out these top web development courses for beginners.

Here are a few related posts you may want to read:

If you enjoyed this article about junior web developer salary and how much junior web developers make, just drop me a line in the comments below!

P.S. If you found this post helpful, please share it with others! Thanks for your support!

Happy coding!
– Mikke

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