PHP Developer: Job Info & Requirements

Apr 09, 2019

Discover what type of work a PHP developer performs. Learn about employment outlook and salary as well as skill and education requirements to make an informed career decision.

Career Definition for a PHP Developer

PHP developers are a specific kind of software engineer who create websites, applications, and programs using PHP. PHP developers work for software companies, web design firms, technology companies, and many other kinds of businesses. Common duties of PHP developers include modular programming, object-oriented programming, application design, implementation, troubleshooting, and web application development.

Education Bachelor's degree in computer science preferred
Job Skills Logic, interpersonal skills, analysis, teamwork
Median Salary (2019)* $62,831 for PHP developers
Job Growth (2016-2026)** 24% for software developers

Source: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most positions in PHP development require a bachelor's degree, although it may be possible to get a job with the right combination of education and experience. The most common four-year degree for those seeking a career in PHP development is computer science or a closely related field, such as web programming. Typical courses in a bachelor's degree program that would help ready you for a career as a PHP developer include web programming, data structures and algorithms, quantitative reasoning, computing architecture, object oriented development, and operating systems.

Skill Requirements

Working in PHP development requires very strong math, logic, and analytical skills. Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills are also important because PHP development work often takes place in a team environment.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The employment outlook for computer software engineering, which includes PHP development, is excellent; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of software developers will grow by 24% from 2016-2026. Information from PayScale.com shows that PHP developers earned a median salary of $62,831 as of April 2019.

Alternative Careers

Consider these alternatives for careers in software and programming:

Computer Programmer

Those interested in working with software developers and writing the code for new products and systems should consider becoming computer programmers. Although some duties may overlap those of a PHP developer, computer programmers utilize other languages, such as C++ and Java. Programmers also analyze existing software and get rid of errors and bugs in the program.

A computer science bachelor's degree is most commonly earned by those in the field, but some may find employment with only an associate degree and relevant work experience. The BLS predicts job decline of 7% for computer programmers during the 2016-2026 decade, resulting in the loss of over 21,000 positions. As seen in BLS data from 2018, programmers received a median annual salary of $84,280.

Web Developer

If building websites and designing the layout and visual appearance of online pages sounds intriguing, becoming a web developer could be the right career option. Web development is a generalized career that includes jobs such as webmaster, web designer and web architect. Work duties are dependent on the position and could include selecting elements such as color and text style, monitoring site performance and web traffic, using HTML coding to add features and applications to pages and building the foundation of websites.

To enter the profession, an associate degree in web design or related area of study is usually required, and those desiring a job in web architecture may need a bachelor's degree in computer science. The BLS projected employment opportunities for web developers will grow 15% from 2016-2026, with many of the new jobs focusing on the creation of websites for mobile technology. In May of 2018, the BLS estimated that the median salary for web developers was $69,430.

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