Senior Web Developer: Job Info & Requirements

Apr 09, 2019

Explore the educational requirements of a senior web developer. Learn about job duties, skills necessary, employment outlook and salary to make an informed decision.

Career Definition for a Senior Web Developer

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of technological professions, the duties of senior web developers seem to be open to a fair amount of interpretation based on the needs of the employer. However, though the duties for web developers may be interchangeable at times with those of other information technology professionals, such as webmasters and web designers, there are many duties that are consistently required for senior web developers to perform. These duties include using various programming languages to develop websites and network systems, maintaining databases, developing new user interfaces and designing and debugging websites.

Education Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Computer literacy, knowledge of programming languages, good communication skills, and ability to multi-task
Median Salary (2018)* $69,430 (for web developers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 15% (for web developers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

While junior-level web developers may not always be required to earn a degree, O*Net states that senior web developers are usually required to hold a bachelor's degree or higher in a related field such as computer science, information technology, computer engineering or human-computer interaction. However, it is possible, with the right combination of skills and experience, to find employment as a senior web developer without holding a degree in the field.

Skills Required

In addition to basic skills such as familiarity with the technical aspects of Internet and network technologies, as well as through computer literacy, knowledge of certain programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS, C++ and Ruby are essential, though the specific needs of an employer will vary. Additionally, to reach the senior level of web development, you will generally need at least five years of experience in the field, as well as the ability to interact well with others and multi-task, excellent communication skills and good problem-solving capabilities.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for web developers are expected to increase by 15% from 2016-2026, which is much faster than the national average. Median wages for web developers in 2018 were $69,430 annually, and, according to the BLS, those in positions that bear more responsibility, such as senior web developers, can expect their earnings to be on the higher end of that spectrum.

Alternative Careers

Similar careers to a senior web developer include:

Graphic Designer

While both occupations work with website development, graphic designers focus on creating the visual appearance and images seen on web pages. They also work on the layout, text and color scheme of newsletters, logos and marketing materials by using computer software or hand drawings. Most often, a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related art field is required to gain employment. Additional training may be substituted if an unrelated degree is earned. It is also necessary to create a professional portfolio to present to prospective employers.

In May of 2018, the BLS reported that graphic designers earned a median annual wage of $50,370. During the 2016-2026 decade, the BLS expects a 4% increase in job opportunities for these design professionals.

Computer Programmer

For those who like the programming aspect of web development, a career in computer programming may be the desired option. Programmers write code for engineering programs, software and mobile applications, participate in testing and work on fixing bugs in the operation. While some employers may hire those with an associate degree in computer science, a bachelor's degree is more common among programmers. Professional certification in various programming languages is also available for career advancement. The BLS estimates a 7% decrease in jobs for computer programmers between 2016 and 2026. It also reported that programmers received a median salary of $84,280 in 2018.

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