What They Do: Web developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability.
Work Environment: Some web developers and digital designers work in the computer systems design and related services industry. Others are self-employed. Still others work in industries including publishing, management consulting, and advertising.
How to Become One: Educational requirements for web developers and digital designers vary, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree.
Salary: The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers is $77,200.
Job Outlook: Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 13 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of web developers and digital designers with similar occupations.
Web developers create and maintain websites. They are also responsible for the site's technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website's speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability. They are responsible for the look and functionality of the website or interface.
Web developers and digital designers typically do the following:
When creating a website, developers and designers have to make their client's vision a reality. They build particular types of websites, such as ecommerce, news, or gaming sites, to fit clients' needs. Different types of websites require different applications. For example, a gaming site should be able to handle advanced graphics, whereas an ecommerce site would need a payment-processing application. The developer decides which applications and designs will best fit the site, and the designer focuses on the look and usability of these elements across browsers or devices.
Some developers and designers handle all aspects of a website's construction, and others specialize in a certain aspect of it. The following are examples of types of specialized web developers or digital designers:
Back-end web developers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website. They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it functions as expected. Back-end web developers also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.
Web and digital interface designers are responsible for creating the look and feel of a website or interface with regard to photos, color, font type and size, graphics, and layout. They also are responsible for the functionality, usability, and compatibility of the website or interface.
Webmasters maintain and update websites. They ensure that websites operate correctly, and they test for errors such as broken links. Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.
Web developers and digital designers hold about 199,400 jobs. The largest employers of web developers and digital designers are as follows:
|Computer systems design and related services||15%|
|Publishing industries (except Internet)||9%|
|Management, scientific, and technical consulting services||5%|
|Advertising, public relations, and related services||4%|
Most web developers and digital designers work full time.
Get the education you need: Find schools for Web Developers and Digital Designers near you!
Educational requirements vary for web developers and digital designers, based on work setting and other factors.
Educational requirements for web developers and digital designers range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree.
Some employers prefer to hire web developer candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a specific field, such as computer science or programming.
Employers of digital designers may prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor's degree in a field such as web design, digital design, or graphic arts.
Web developers and digital designers may not need specific education credentials if they can demonstrate their abilities through prior work experience or projects.
Web developers and digital designers who have a bachelor's degree may advance to become project managers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.
Communication skills. Web developers and digital designers need to communicate effectively with coworkers to coordinate work on projects.
Creativity. Web developers and digital designers often are involved in creating the appearance of a website and must make sure that it is appealing as well as functional.
Customer-service skills. Webmasters have to respond politely to user questions and requests.
Detail oriented. Web developers and digital designers must focus for long periods and write code precisely, because a minor error could cause an entire webpage to stop working.
Problem-solving skills. Web developers and digital designers must check for coding errors and fix any that they find.
The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers is $77,200. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,750, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,430.
The median annual wages for web developers and digital designers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Publishing industries (except Internet)||$123,870|
|Computer systems design and related services||$75,450|
|Advertising, public relations, and related services||$71,930|
|Management, scientific, and technical consulting services||$70,790|
Most web developers work full time.
Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 13 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.
About 17,900 openings for web developers and digital designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow as ecommerce continues to expand. Online purchasing is expected to grow faster than the overall retail industry. As retail firms expand their online offerings, demand for these workers will grow. In addition, a rise in the use of mobile devices to search the web will lead to increased demand for web developers and digital designers. Instead of designing a website for a desktop computer, these workers will have to create sites and interfaces that work on mobile devices with many different screen sizes, leading to more work.
Because websites can be built from anywhere in the world, some developer and designer jobs could move to countries with lower wages. However, this practice may decline because the cost of managing workers in multiple countries can offset the savings to businesses. Furthermore, web developers and digital designers must understand cultural nuances that allow webpages to communicate effectively with users. U.S.-based developers and designers are better suited to this task, curtailing the work that may be moved to other countries.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2020||Projected Employment, 2030||Change, 2020-30|
|Web developers and digital interface designers||199,400||224,900||13||25,500|
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.