The web design and development industry is an attractive career path for those interested in computer science or information technology. With so many companies and organizations depending on their online presence today, the people who design, develop, and manage websites are in high demand—a trend that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
What is a Front-End Web Developer?
There are three main types of web developers: front-end developer, back-end developer, and full-stack developer. A front-end developer is responsible for what users will interact with on a web page, while a back-end developer focuses on the behind-the-scenes side of the website the end user can’t see. As the name suggests, a full-stack developer works with both front-end development and back-end development.
In your role as a front-end developer, you’ll use a combination of design, technology, and coding to ensure that web visitors can easily interact with web pages and web applications. Depending on your job, your responsibilities could include:
- Bringing a concept to life through coding
- Producing and maintaining websites and web applications
- Implementing design for mobile sites
- Maintaining software workflow management
- Testing the site for usability and fixing any bugs
The Job Outlook for Front-End Web Developers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of web developers in the US is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS estimates that there will be an average of 17,900 job openings for web developers and digital designers each year over the decade.
Whether you’re just starting your professional life or embarking on a new chapter, career prospects are endless in this industry with full-time job opportunities that include front-end developer, web app developer, web designer, web integrator, and web content strategist, just to name a few.
Front-End Web Developer Salaries
It’s not just the potential job growth that makes the web development industry appealing—it’s lucrative, too. Indeed reports that the average salary for a front end developer in the United States is $102,144. San Francisco is the highest paying city for front-end developers in the United States, with the average salary coming in at $144,179 per year according to Indeed.com.
How to Become a Front-End Web Developer
Step 1: Learn the Basic Programming Languages for Web Development
Though an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field has been a traditional starting point for aspiring front-end web developers, you can build the technical skills necessary to succeed without earning a degree.
Learning computer science fundamentals such as abstraction, algorithms, and how computers work can make understanding web development easier. Harvard’s award-winning CS50x introduces key computer science concepts and teaches students how to think like a developer.
Step 2: Learn Any Additional Skills Required for Your Desired Job
Depending on the specific role you’re interested in, web developer jobs may also require knowledge in graphic design applications, responsive and mobile design, cross-browser development, content management systems, e-commerce platforms, SEO, testing, and debugging.
Step 3: Build a Portfolio
Building a portfolio is one way you can showcase to potential employers that you have the skills you need to be a front-end developer. When building your first few projects, make sure you start small first and are familiar with basic micro components such as lists, slides, form logic, etc. Once you get comfortable with your skills, you can build websites with major functionalities such as forum sites or apps.
If you don’t have any web development work experience yet, you can include projects you completed for your online courses, bootcamps, or training programs in your portfolio as proof of your skills.
Step 4: Develop Soft Skills
Soft skills are just as critical for success in a web development job as technical skills. One of the most important soft skills you can have as a web developer is problem solving. From how to best implement a design to figuring out how to make your front end code with the back end code, your day-to-day job will require a lot of problem solving.
Other soft skills that will be helpful in a front-end developer’s work environment include being a team player, the ability to communicate effectively with project managers and stakeholders, critical thinking, adaptability, and attention to detail.
Your Pathway to Job-Ready Skills and Career Advancement
In fast-moving industries such as web development, staying on top of the curve as a great web developer means that you should never start learning. Since employers are always looking for developers to be up to speed on the latest technologies, it’s important to continue taking online courses to advance your skills even after you’ve landed your first job as a web developer.
Explore all of our current and upcoming online web development courses for learners of all levels to find the one that fits your career goals.