A web developer is someone who helps an individual or a company build and design a website from the ground up. While there are many software packages and platforms that let you build your own site, developers have extensive experience with Java, HTML and other topics that can make your site look more professional and make a better impression with viewers. If you like working with clients and creating sites, you might consider a career as a developer.
What Do Developers Do?
Developers of websites need strong experience with both designing and implementing new pages. They meet with clients to find out what type of site they want, and they create that site for them. Developers must also understand how to operate and maintain a website. If a site receives more traffic than it can handle, the website might crash. This keeps viewers from entering that site and keeps clients from making money. Developers also need to know how to create firewalls and add extra layers of security to reduce the risk that someone might hack that page.
Do You Need to Go to College?
If you want to work as a web developer, plan to spend at least two years in college working on your associate’s degree. A number of colleges in the country offer web design and web development degrees. Many of those programs will also give you a basic introduction to graphic design. Graphic design classes teach you more about creating logos, taking and editing your own photographs and essentially how to give your clients what they need. Some developers working in the field today have a bachelor’s degree. This more advanced degree gives you more hands on experience and may let you work with clients before you graduate.
Where Do They Work?
Developers can work in a variety of places. The most common of those places is in a graphic design or web design firm. These firms work with dozens or hundreds of clients each week and assign employees to work for specific companies. Some of the larger companies in the country may also have their own in-house design departments responsible for updating their websites and social networking sites. If you prefer having more freedom and being your own boss, you might consider working on a freelance basis and letting clients come to you.
How Much Can Developers Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a developer is $62,500 a year or $30.05 an hour. Keep in mind that the salary you make right out of college will likely be much lower, but once you gain more experience and build a larger client base, you have the chance to make even more. The BLS also reports that web development jobs will increase at a faster rate than the average rate across all jobs. This rate of growth is equal to 20 percent, which indicates that the development field will add more than 28,000 jobs in the future.
Companies of all sizes need designers and developers capable of building new websites and making changes to existing sites. Though you will need to go to college before working in the field, you can seek employment with just an associate’s degree. Working as a web developer lets you help your clients build the perfect sites for their needs.