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Back-End Developer: Job Description & Salary

There is a lot of data behind every website or computer app. Back-end developers work with this data and determine how it is stored, modified and accessed. This article explores the job of a back-end developer in greater detail.

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Career Definition of a Back-End Developer

Back-end developers are web developers who concentrate on the data that is stored or accessed on a website or through an app. Their role is to develop systems and programs that ensure that the right data is accessed through the proper means. Their work can involve developing database systems or working with other types of storage systems to secure information. They also determine the requirements for accessing different types of information. They can work with data that's stored on servers or on a cloud.

When you access your account on a website to see how much you owe on a bill, the system needs to be set up so that you receive your account information instead of another person's. Back-end developers are responsible for ensuring that this transfer of data is accurate. In some cases, a person may be searching for information, so the back-end developer needs systems in place that help the search function access the information that's being sought. Back-end developers may collaborate with front-end developers to ensure that website and app designs work effectively with the databases and storage systems that users may be accessing.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Ability to work in teams, database platform experience such as Oracle or SQL Server, communication skills, design skills, problem-solving skills
Median Salary (2017)* $75,575
Job Outlook (2014-2024)** 27% (for all types of web developers)

Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most employers require back-end developers to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a comparable subject. In some cases, employers may prefer applicants with a master's degree. Back-end developers must have a high degree of technical knowledge and experience using database systems, programming languages and programming platforms. Training in languages such as Python, familiarity with Oracle, knowledge of SQL Server and experience using Unix may be required by employers.

Required Skills

Back-end developers need a wide range of computer skills in order to succeed in this career field. They must be capable of using databases, writing programming code and determining how to have website and app interfaces access stored data. They need problem-solving skills in order to address issues with the code they write and attention to detail to identify code issues. They also need to be able to work collaboratively with front-end developers and other web developers. Since they do need to work as part of a team and document their work effectively, they need to have good communication skills. They may collaborate on design plans for the systems they work on, so design skills are also an asset.

Career and Salary Outlook

Back-end developers are grouped with web developers on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. The BLS predicts that this career field will see job opportunities increase by 27% from 2014 to 2024. According to PayScale.com, in 2017 back-end web developers earned a median annual income of $75,575.

Related Careers

Individuals who are qualified to work as back-end developers can also consider entering a wide range of other design and programming occupations. More information about being a computer programmer, a web developer, a front-end web designer or a game software developer is available through the articles linked to in the list provided here.

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