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Salary and Career Info for Web Programming Professionals

Web programming is generally a major or concentration that teaches students to use computer-programming languages to create and maintain websites. Continue reading for an overview of the training, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Those looking to work in web programming might choose from becoming a web programmer, software developer, or web developer. These positions require a degree as well as computer skills. The job outlook for these positions is mixed, with software and web developers growing much faster than all jobs, while web programmers predicted to decline.

Essential Information

Web programming is a specialty field of study within the computer sciences. Web programming professionals usually have bachelor's degrees related to computer science, but it is possible to move into a computer-programming career with only an associate's degree.

As new technologies emerge at a rapid pace, employers have begun to prioritize specific skills and experience over traditional education paths. Some Web programmers enhance their abilities through continuing education courses, while others learn new skills in the workplace through vendor-specific certification or training. Career titles for graduates to consider may include Web programmer, software developer, or Web developer.

Career Titles Web Programmer Software Developer Web Developer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Associate's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) -8%* +17%* +27%*
Average Salary (2015) $84,360* $102,160* $70,660*

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

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Career Options

Web Programmer

Web programmers take ideas and instructions from clients and write the code, which forms the foundational element of a website using various programming languages. Programmers inspect, repair, and evaluate the existing codes on a website and make the changes necessary to improve the website's function or to create a desired effect.

The majority of programmers hold bachelor's degrees in fields related to computer science. Professionals have to stay current with changing technology, so lifelong continuing education is generally necessary. Programmers who work in certain industries, such as finance or healthcare, may pursue additional training to better understand the technological needs of these industries. It is fairly common and expected of programmers to be certified in various computer languages, and programmers can also become certified in the use of third-party vendor software programs or hardware.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that open positions for computer and web programmers would decrease by 8% between 2014 and 2024. Salary statistics reported by the BLS in 2015 showed that the average annual salary earned by computer and web programmers was $84,360.

Software Developer

Although programmers write the codes, software developers determine what tasks computer codes need to perform. In other words, software developers identify the needs of users and then brainstorm what sort of applications would fulfill those needs. Developers often create flowcharts or other sorts of diagrams to communicate what applications will need to do so that programmers can write the necessary codes.

Employers tend to prefer software developers who hold bachelor's degrees related to software engineering or computer science. Masters degrees may be required by some employers, though. Developers will need a strong understanding of computer codes and programming, since they will have to know what programmers can actually accomplish. Many software developers participate in continued education training to stay up-to-date on programming related topics.

BLS predictions made for the 2014-2024 decade indicated that the number of jobs for software developers would increase by 17%, which is much faster than average. Information from 2015 showed that software developers earned average annual salaries of $102,160.

Web Developer

Web developers work directly with clients to build individual websites. They meet with their clients to discuss what elements are needed for the site, such as functionality, site aesthetics, and branding preferences. Web developers then build their clients' websites, verify all the features operate correctly, communicate with other site contributors, and oversee Internet traffic. Web developers can manage all aspects of website building, although many choose to specialize. For instance, webmasters manage and update sites that have already been built, whereas web architects deal with all the technical aspects of building and updating sites.

While Web developers need an understanding of graphic design and programming, these professionals may only require associate's degrees to find employment. Of course, Web developers in the more technical end of the business, such as Web architects, may require bachelor's degrees and computer programming expertise. Web developers also need extensive knowledge of programming codes specifically for online purposes, such as JavaScript, HTML, or SQL. Familiarity with Flash and other multimedia publishing tools is also essential.

According to the BLS, the number of jobs for Web developers was expected to increase 27% from 2014-2024. The BLS also noted the average salary for these professionals in 2015 was $70,660.

Web programming professionals require at least an associate's degree, while many positions require a computer related bachelor's degree. Certification in related software or systems may be required. The average annual salary for these positions ranged from about $70,000 to $102,000 in 2015.

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