A front-end and a back-end developer don’t get the same salary. Even two programmers with similar technologies do not have the same wages. A range of factors like experience and skillset determine how much programmers earn.
We will explore the average salaries of front-end and back-end developers based on different factors like expertise, experience, skillset, and location. You will also learn about the difference between a front-end developer’s and a back-end developer’s skills. We will use data from authoritative websites like Indeed.com, Payscale, and Glassdoor to conduct detailed research on front-end vs back-end developer salaries.
So, let’s dive into facts and comparisons!
What is the Role of Front-End Developers?
Front-end development (or web development) deals with the user experience and user interface of apps and software. A front-end developer designs the layouts, visuals, and interactions of the user-side of the app. As a result, the front-end is responsible for building user experiences.
Whether you’re making a website or a mobile app, software, or a game, you will always need a front-end developer to visualize your ideas. With the help of a UX/UI and web designer, front-end developers will create that visualization with which your users will directly interact.
What are the Basic Front-End Development Skills?
All front-end developers know how to use CSS and HTML. These are the foundations of web development for building the structure and style of any website or app.
Moreover, front-end developers should stay updated on the latest UX/UI design trends, as they collaborate with the designers directly to create the best user experience of the software, website, or mobile application.
What is the Salary of a Front-End Web Developer in the US?
Entrepreneurs and startup owners constantly research the average front-end developer salary to understand the web development cost. According to Glassdoor, a front-end developer earns $71,385 per year in the US. Payscale quotes a little higher salary for front-end developers at $73,044 per year. Indeed.com presents an even higher average salary of $106,233 per year for front-end developers. Additionally, every year they receive cash bonuses of $2,500 on average.
These numbers show what web developers earn for their work. Employers will also need to pay for benefits and allowances if they hire an in-house software developer. They will also have to provide resources like tools and desktops that cost money. However, hiring freelance programmers or remote software developers will not need you to pay such extra benefits. But when you hire a software development team from the outsourcing agency, they will definitely offer higher costs because they include those additional expenses in their prices.
Front-End Developer Salary by Experience
You will need to pay higher salaries if you want to hire experienced senior front-end developers. The average salary of the software developer always depends on the engineer’s skillset, experience, career path, and job title. Let’s take a look at the average front-end developer salary based on their experience:
- An entry-level programmer with experience of less than a year gets a salary of $60,853 per year on average.
- A front-end developer with 1-4-years’ experience earns an average salary of $72,475 annually.
- Senior web developers with experiences of 5 to 9-years get $84,211 per year on average.
- Front-end web developers with more than 10 years of experience earn $88,513 every year on average.
The above data has been compiled from Payscale and remember, that it is only the average salary of a web developer, without additional expenses.
Front-End Developer Average Salary by Location
You will also notice a difference in average salaries as you shift locations within the US. Software engineers in some areas like California, Washington, and New York earn more than the programmers in other locations. According to Indeed.com, in California, front-end programmers earn 20% more than the national average, while developers in New York earn 7% more.
Here are the average salaries you will need to pay to web developers per year across the US:
- New York – $114,200
- Los Angeles – $110,515
- San Francisco – $155,761
- Denver – $107,284
- Chicago – $110,923
- Atlanta – $109,691
- Salt Lake City – $110,833
- Austin – $108,569
The USA has some of the highest salaries for front-end developers. In comparison, if you decide to outsource front-end web development or web design, you have more options to choose from. You can hire software engineers with the same or better quality, same programming language skillset, but with lower prices. Here are the average salaries of front-end developers across different top outsourcing destinations, according to Glassdoor:
What Front-End Developer Skills Demand a High Salary?
Software engineers with specific skills and technology expertise are more in demand. Depending on the technologies and programming languages that are commonly used, the number of developers that can be in demand, some skills can be paid higher. According to Indeed.com:
- Front-end developers with a grasp on Amazon Web Services (AWS) get over 13.46% more than their counterparts.
- Knowledge of machine learning increases web developers average salary by at least 17%, while familiarity with continuous integration boosts earnings by 13.54%.
- Additionally, software engineers that have an understanding of data structures get 11% more salary. The ability to work with enterprise software also increases salaries by 17.82%.
- Natural language processing is also a high-paying skill and increases front-end developer salary by 21.7%.
What is the Role of Back-End Developers?
Back-end developers work on the server-side of software and apps. They write code that helps apps exchange information with the database. Back-end programmers work with server logic, integration, APIs, and several other back-of-the-screen processes. Additionally, they incorporate what front-end developers do with the client side.
What are the Basic Skills for Back-End Development?
Back-end developers know one or two programming languages to build servers, apps, and databases. The programming languages, like Python, C#, or Ruby on Rails, also help them to integrate the user-end with the server-end of your application. According to Stack Overflow, Java (40.2%) and C# (31.4%) are the two most popular languages used by software developers worldwide.
Additionally, back-end developers use database technologies for data structures, the two most popular being Oracle and MySQL in 2021. Regarding managing servers, Linux, Microsoft IIS, and Apache are among the common technologies used by back-end developers.
Working with APIs also pays off, as 66.5% of developers plan to expand the use of APIs in 2021. Popular technologies related to API are JSON and AJAX.
Moreover, it pays to have a basic understanding of front-end technologies like HTML and CSS. It helps back-end developers to understand the process deeper from both the client-side and server-side.
However, no front-end web developer or back-end developer knows all the frameworks and technologies. Usually, employers do previous research and know what programming languages they prefer to be used for their web design and development and which technologies they want for back-end development. Then, they look for a candidate with a matching technical skillset. So, you will not find any programmer who knows everything out there, as it’s pretty unrealistic. But a skilled developer can always pick up a new programming language or framework in less time than a junior programmer.
What is the Average Salary of a Back-End Developer in the US?
In comparison, the average salary of a back-end developer is higher than a front-end developer. According to Indeed.com, back-end programmers in the US earn $120,999 yearly on average. Additionally, they get an average bonus of $4,000 per year.
Payscale quotes a lower salary for US developers at $79,996 per year. When we refer to Glassdoor, the average salary for back-end engineers in the US is $92,719. The lowest engineer salary you can expect is $59,000, while the highest is around $145,000.
But remember, you will need to pay additional benefits when hiring an in-house programmer. You will also need to provide resources like a desktop and tools for software development. Some of the employers also cover health insurance and retirement plans.
You will not need to pay any allowances or benefits if you hire a remote software developer. However, you may need to pay the charges for using a freelance hiring platform. And if you hire programmers with an outsourcing agency, the cost will be higher, too.
Back-End Developer Salary by Experience
The salaries of back-end developers range depending on the experience and job title – the same way they range regarding front-end web developers. Let’s explore how much you will need to pay a programmer based on their working experience and career path, according to Payscale:
- Entry-level back-end developers with less than 1-year experience get an average salary of $61,042 per year.
- Middle back-end programmers with 1 to 4-years’ experience earn $74,180 yearly.
- With an experience of 5 to 9-years, the senior back-end developer salary would be $90,824 annually.
Back-End Engineer Salary by Location
Back-end developer salaries vary highly based on where they are located. And if you hire programmers from the country with lower salaries, you can save your costs.
If you are looking for a US developer, back-end developers in California earn 11% more than the national average, according to Indeed.com. Developers in Colorado make 10% more, while those in Washington get 5% more salary.
Here are the average salaries of back-end programmers across the US, as per Indeed.com:
- New York – $142,465
- Seattle – $134,435
- San Francisco – $165,982
- Chicago – $119,618
- Mountain View, California – $139,550
- Las Vegas – $102,853
- Boston – $141,413
- Washington – $126,846
- Dallas – $106,199
- Colorado – $132,886
Below are the salaries of back-end developers in leading outsourcing regions:
Outsourcing may be a cost-effective choice for US projects going by the high salaries. You can save more and access global talent by hiring a remote programmer.
Is there a Difference between Web Developer and Mobile Developer Salaries?
Website and mobile app development are two different projects with different processes and requirements. So, can mobile and web developers earn the same salaries?
Web developers from the US have an average salary of $73,601. Of course, it also depends on the experience and skills of the developers.
In comparison, a mobile developer can earn $118,768 in the US. The reason is, sometimes mobile developers attend to both front-end and back-end responsibilities and demand higher pay.
What Back-End Developer Skills Demand a High Salary?
Software developers who make an effort to acquire the latest skills and demanding programming languages, earn more than their colleagues. Back-end engineers can earn more by taking up the following skills, as reported by Indeed.com:
- Back-end developers with Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) skills earn 51.06% more than average.
- Knowledge of Haskell can increase salaries by 19%.
- Familiarity with Go can help developers earn 10.35% more.
- Developers that know Scala get 9.85% more salary.
- Grasp over C and C++ increases salaries by 8.05%.
- Knowledge of Pig increases salaries by 34.86%.
- Developers who know Python can earn 6.11% more.
- Machine learning skills help a developer earn 13.08% more salary.
Are Front-End Web Developers or Back-End Developers More in Demand?
When front-end programmers will help you build your user interface and all the interactive features, back-end developers will handle the server-side of things and background processes, by adding all functionality. You will need both front-end and back-end developers to build your app or software, and it’s always about great teamwork. Or you can hire an experienced full-stack developer, who can create front-end and back-end for your project.
But if we are talking about the software development market, there are 1401 open vacancies for front-end developers in New York, and 686 for back-end engineers, which means that front-end specialists are more in demand.
It can be explained by the fact that nowadays, there are a lot of easy-to-use software platforms that eliminated a lot of customized backend work, and some companies can work without hiring a back-end developer. Also, front-end engineers can often be hired to improve already existing websites or apps, to help add some simple features and work part-time in a non-development team to help them with tech tasks.
A comparison of front-end vs. back-end developer salary is essential when hiring the right talent for your software development needs. You may need to pay $71,385 to $106,233 every year in salaries to your front-end developer. Additionally, your pay will also include benefits and bonuses, expenses on hiring and onboarding processes, and different tools and equipment. For hiring back-end developers, you will need to pay an average salary between $79,996 and $120,999 annually. You can also consider full-stack development, which may be a more cost-effective solution. The salary of your developer will also vary based on their location and experience. After learning all this data, you can compare and analyze different specialists and understand which engineers you want to hire and where to look for.