Front-End Developer: Job Description & Salary

When you open a computer app or a website, you are accessing material created by a front-end developer. This article explores more about the specific tasks that front-end developers perform, as well as the training needed to pursue this career.

Career Definition of a Front-End Developer

Although front-end developers may be involved with the design plan for websites and other types of Internet sites or apps, their primary focus is not design. Front-end developers perform programming tasks to make the sites and apps they work on as user-friendly as possible. They may collaborate with designers to ensure that the design plan will enable the site to operate as effectively as possible. They write code using programming languages such as JavaScript and must be familiar with a wide range of computer programming languages and systems.

As part of their role, they may also help identify problems with the app or site and determine how to resolve those issues. This can also involve collaborating with designers to improve the design plan. Front-end developers may work with back-end developers to ensure that the system is working as intended. They are also responsible for ensuring that the site is optimized so that it produces results quickly and can support the amount of data necessary.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Communication skills, problem-solving skills, ability to work as part of a team, ability to take initiative, HTML knowledge, experience with JavaScript, creativity, customer service skills
Median Salary (2017)* $68,786
Job Outlook (2014-2024)** 27% (for all types of web developers)

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

Required Education

Employers look for qualified front-end developers who have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a comparable discipline. They may sometimes consider relevant practical work experience in lieu of a degree, but formal training is almost always required. Front-end developers need considerable experience in using programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS and a range of other computer programming software and platforms.

Required Skills

Front-end developers focus on the experience that clients will have when they interact with a website or app, so they must have good communication skills and customer service skills. These skills will enable them to clarify what the client wants the site or app to do and ensure that their work fulfills the client's needs. They need to have extensive computer and programming skills. They regularly collaborate with program design professionals and other programmers, so they also need to be able to work effectively as part of a team. Front-end developers must have good problem-solving skills in order to address issues with how the site functions.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not distinguish between front-end developers and other types of web developers. The BLS indicates that, from 2014 to 2024, web developers as a group should enjoy a much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 27%. PayScale.com reported that front-end developers earned a median annual income of $68,786 in 2017.

Related Careers

There are a number of other career options that involve writing code for computer programs or applications or determining how computer systems will be designed. Learn more about what software developers, web designers and cloud architects do through the links provided here.


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