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Web Developers

At a Glance

  • Design, create, and program websites
  • Usually know several program languages
  • Know how to use several web design software programs
  • Often work long hours
  • Are creative and analytical
  • Have an associate degree

Career summary

Web developers design and create web pages. Clients include companies, organizations, and individuals.

Web developers are also known as web designers, web developers, webmasters, and website, Internet, or intranet developers.

Developers talk to clients to find out what they need. They take into consideration the website's audience and purpose. Some websites provide information to a limited audience while other's sell products to a wide audience. Some websites are very simple and others connect to complex databases.

Web developers create the overall look of a site. They integrate graphics and colors.

They may write the code for websites. Websites use several different types of code and programming language. Most developers know several programming languages but some specialize in one language. They make sure that everything works together seamlessly. They ensure that websites work well on different types of computers (PC or Mac) and on different types of browsers.

Web developers protect websites from hackers and other security threats. They often work with network administrators to make sure websites work well. They make sure that websites are backed up in case data is lost. They fix problems with websites. They usually learn of problems through clients or through users who may call or e-mail about an error message.

Developers are constantly working to keep their skills up to date. They do this by attending conferences, workshops, and trainings. They also read journals and magazines (in print or online) to find out the latest trends and updates in programming and design.

Related careers

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to web developers.

Common work activities

Web developers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, web developers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Web developers frequently:

It is important for web developers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for web developers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Web developers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a web developer, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Educational requirements vary with employer. Requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree in web design or a related field is the most common way to prepare. A bachelor's degree in computer science, programming, or a related field may be required for more technical work, such as back-end web design.

In general, being able to demonstrate proficiency with computer programming combined with strong design skills is the most important asset to a college graduate. You need to have a thorough understanding of programming languages, such as HTML, JavaScript, and SQL. It is also helpful to have knowledge of multimedia publishing tools, such as Flash.

Work experience

You should consider participating in an internship while in college. An internship is usually part of a four-year degree program. It offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.

On-the-job training

Many new developers receive on-the-job training. In general, training lasts up to six months. You work under the guidance of experienced developers. As you gain knowledge and experience you receive greater independence and work on more difficult websites.

Because of the fast changing nature of this field, employers often offer training in the newest Internet technologies, computer languages, and applications.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum (external link) may be different from your state's graduation requirements (external link).

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

Many web developers are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups (PDF file) that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers often prefer applicants who know several programming and markup languages and tools, such as PHP, Java, Python, HTML, and XML. Employers also seek developers who know how to use a variety of web development and design software, including Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Employers also prefer applicants who can explain technical concepts to customers and non-technical staff. Students can improve their job prospects by completing an internship.

In general, employers look for people with excellent design and programming skills. They also look for applicants who can think logically and pay close attention to detail. This occupation requires patience, persistence, and the ability to be both analytical and creative, especially under pressure. In addition, the ability to work with abstract concepts is especially important.

Employers also look for workers with good spelling and grammar to minimize corrections which can be time consuming once text has been added to a website.


Gain experience by creating your own website or by volunteering with an organization that needs a site set up or maintained. Internships while in school are also valuable. Some middle school, high school, and college students gain experience by working on their school's website.

Costs to workers

Workers may want to join a professional organization, which may have annual dues.

#Took over national content to edit programming info 2/28/17 cj.


Certification, although not required, may be helpful. Web developers may become certified through organizations such as the WebProfessionals.Org (external link). A portfolio that contains examples of websites applicants have created or worked on is important.



Web developers (SOC 15-1134)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $23.92 $31.88 $43.11 $56.48 $72.01
Monthly $4,145 $5,525 $7,471 $9,788 $12,479
Yearly $49,760 $66,320 $89,660 $117,470 $149,780
    Bellingham Hourly $19.47 $24.37 $30.92 $41.39 $50.58
Monthly $3,374 $4,223 $5,358 $7,173 $8,766
Yearly $40,496 $50,678 $64,322 $86,078 $105,203
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $19.19 $27.72 $34.42 $41.09 $65.46
Monthly $3,326 $4,804 $5,965 $7,121 $11,344
Yearly $39,911 $57,666 $71,599 $85,481 $136,153
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $14.52 $22.70 $35.21 $42.74 $49.59
Monthly $2,516 $3,934 $6,102 $7,407 $8,594
Yearly $30,197 $47,217 $73,243 $88,905 $103,142
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $23.38 $26.18 $29.56 $41.22 $50.28
Monthly $4,052 $4,537 $5,123 $7,143 $8,714
Yearly $48,641 $54,459 $61,470 $85,733 $104,585
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $19.87 $32.60 $40.91 $46.92 $50.12
Monthly $3,443 $5,650 $7,090 $8,131 $8,686
Yearly $41,325 $67,793 $85,089 $97,609 $104,245
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $26.65 $34.74 $45.90 $59.53 $75.27
Monthly $4,618 $6,020 $7,954 $10,317 $13,044
Yearly $55,420 $72,270 $95,463 $123,826 $156,554
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $16.21 $18.43 $23.24 $31.81 $42.87
Monthly $2,809 $3,194 $4,027 $5,513 $7,429
Yearly $33,702 $38,332 $48,335 $66,184 $89,168
    Vancouver Hourly $18.36 $23.43 $33.21 $42.74 $54.58
Monthly $3,182 $4,060 $5,755 $7,407 $9,459
Yearly $38,196 $48,747 $69,070 $88,898 $113,527
    Wenatchee Hourly $16.67 $18.76 $21.56 $24.10 $38.11
Monthly $2,889 $3,251 $3,736 $4,177 $6,604
Yearly $34,655 $39,021 $44,839 $50,142 $79,280
    Yakima Hourly $20.38 $28.03 $37.93 $50.27 $67.20
Monthly $3,532 $4,858 $6,573 $8,712 $11,646
Yearly $42,384 $58,298 $78,883 $104,552 $139,766
United States Hourly $18.24 $24.51 $33.38 $45.68 $59.84
Monthly $3,161 $4,248 $5,785 $7,916 $10,370
Yearly $37,930 $50,990 $69,430 $95,020 $124,480

Wages vary widely based on the developer's level of education and experience. Wages also vary based on the tasks performed. In addition, wages vary by employer and area of the country.

Benefits also vary by employer. Full-time developers usually receive typical benefits. These include vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and a retirement plan. Self-employed web developers must provide their own insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Web developers (SOC 15-1134)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 8,099 40.8% 16.1% 1,338
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 39 35.9% 13.4% 6
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 37 13.5% 8.6% 3
    Benton and Franklin Counties 20 20.0% 15.0% 2
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 116 19.0% 11.9% 13
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 312 41.3% 15.2% 52
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 134 38.1% 14.1% 21
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 121 24.0% 14.6% 15
    King County 6,191 45.3% 19.6% 1,090
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 31 9.7% 13.8% 2
    Pierce County 215 15.3% 15.2% 22
    Snohomish County 393 36.6% 12.4% 61
    Spokane County 323 37.5% 13.9% 51
United States 160,500 13.0% 5.2% 15,100

National employment

About 16% of web developers are self-employed.

Major employers:

A growing number of web developers work on contract or as independent consultants.

National outlook

Job growth for web developers will continue to be strong due to the rise of social media and the use of mobile apps. Many businesses will improve the appearance and functionality of their websites to attract more customers.

Employers will continue to look for developers who have strong technical skills. Prospects should be best for college graduates with knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of programming languages and digital multimedia tools. Job seekers should stay up to date with the latest skills and technologies.

Other resources

Association for Computing Machinery (external link)
1601 Broadway, 10th Floor1
New York, NY 10019-7434
Association for Women in Computing - Puget Sound Chapter (external link)
3743 S. 170th Street
Sea-Tac, WA 98188
Computing Technology Industry Association (external link)
3500 Lacey Road, Suite 100
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Engineering & Science Career Videos (external link)
IEEE Computer Society (external link)
2001 L Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
National Association of Government Web Professionals (external link)
8120 Lehigh Avenue, Suite 100
Morton Grove, IL 60053
Society for Technical Communication (external link)
3251 Old Lee Highway, Suite 406
Fairfax, VA 22030
Society of Internet Professionals (external link)
Washington Technology Industry Association (external link)
2200 Alaskan Way, Suite 390
Seattle, WA 98121
WebProfessionals.Org (external link)


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

Holland occupational cluster