Web Development Training

students learning to code in a classroom

Becoming a web developer opens the door to a dynamic and fulfilling career where creativity meets technology, allowing you to build and innovate on the digital landscape that shapes our world today.

Additionally, with the tech industry’s rapid growth, web developers enjoy high demand, competitive salaries, and the flexibility to work in virtually any industry or become self-employed.

Education & Training

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Educational Requirements

Degrees

Most workers hold an associate’s degree in web design or a similar field. Many prospects choose to earn an online web development degree.

Some of the more complex jobs in the field, such as back end development, usually require a bachelor’s degree in programming or computer science. All prospects should be familiar with graphic design programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

Self Taught Exceptions

Some even teach themselves the craft through trial and error. Select employers bend educational requirements for talented prospects with no formal web development training or degree.

Necessity for Education

The nature of web development is constantly evolving. There is no shortage of updates, addendums, and new standards to understand. For this reason, many workers take web development classes throughout their careers to keep their skills updated.

Salary

Those who can properly use web development tools have the potential to earn lots of money. The average worker in this field makes over $33 an hour, adding up to about $68k per year.

Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for each state.

State Hourly Annually
Alabama $32.09 $66,750.00
Alaska $47.58 $98,970.00
Arizona $37.32 $77,620.00
Arkansas $23.43 $48,730.00
California $58.41 $121,490.00
Colorado $37.72 $78,450.00
Connecticut $46.06 $95,810.00
Delaware $51.54 $107,190.00
District of Columbia $59.44 $123,640.00
Florida $45.84 $95,360.00
Georgia $51.01 $106,100.00
Idaho $33.65 $70,000.00
Illinois $44.76 $93,100.00
Indiana $31.84 $66,220.00
Iowa $38.25 $79,550.00
Kansas $37.64 $78,290.00
Kentucky $36.38 $75,670.00
Louisiana $30.95 $64,370.00
Maine $44.53 $92,630.00
Maryland $46.88 $97,510.00
Massachusetts $46.16 $96,010.00
Michigan $43.40 $90,270.00
Minnesota $49.31 $102,560.00
Mississippi $31.34 $65,190.00
Missouri $39.01 $81,130.00
Montana $29.33 $61,000.00
Nebraska $39.07 $81,270.00
Nevada $33.94 $70,600.00
New Hampshire $44.70 $92,980.00
New Jersey $41.10 $85,490.00
New York $45.36 $94,340.00
North Carolina $39.48 $82,110.00
North Dakota $33.16 $68,970.00
Ohio $43.52 $90,530.00
Oklahoma $41.05 $85,380.00
Oregon $35.87 $74,620.00
Pennsylvania $49.78 $103,540.00
Puerto Rico $25.97 $54,010.00
Rhode Island $35.94 $74,750.00
South Carolina $43.59 $90,670.00
South Dakota $25.37 $52,770.00
Tennessee $39.39 $81,940.00
Texas $47.16 $98,090.00
Utah $36.16 $75,200.00
Vermont $40.13 $83,470.00
Virginia $54.13 $112,590.00
Washington $58.13 $120,910.00
West Virginia $40.18 $83,570.00
Wisconsin $33.74 $70,170.00
Wyoming $31.04 $64,560.00

Occupation:Web Developers (SOC Code151254)
source: data.bls.gov

Career Overview

Types of Web Development

Most web developers specialize in a certain area of web design, such as the front end or back end.

Front End

Full stack developers are capable of working in every aspect of web design, or the entire “stack” of technology that makes a website function.

Front end developer jobs require technical skill and an eye for design, as workers are responsible for the looks of a website. They integrate content such as retail checkout apps, graphics, and security protocols.

Their job is also known as client side web development, as their work pertains to the part of the site that users interact with most.

Back End

Back end developers, also known as server-side developers, tend to a site’s framework. The framework is a set of software that provides the backbone of a site and supports its development.

It doesn’t have any bearing on the way the site looks, it simply supports some of the site’s functionality. Browser-based content management systems allow workers to edit websites.

Server Side

Server-side developers build the underlying structures that allow sites to run. They optimize a site’s function and perform interface tests to prevent broken pages or other errors.

While their main tasks include working with databases and scripts, back end developers also research new technologies and attend conferences.

Webmasters

Webmasters serve a separate role in the realm of web development. These associates answer emails, update content, and check for bugs or broken links.

They avoid downtime at all costs and make sure their websites maintain proper function.

What Do Web Developers Do?

Web developers build internet pages using programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They come up with layouts and color schemes, working with colleagues to share ideas and reduce production time.

Entry level web developer jobs are great for those who have an eye for detail and appreciation for the worldwide web.

Working with Clients

Sites are built for different purposes and types of business. At the beginning of a project, workers meet with clients to discuss a website’s target demographics and overall goal.

During this time they identify the type of demand the site will serve and the information or products to be offered.

Building Fast Websites

A web development degree qualifies workers to keep track of a site’s performance and capacity. These are indicators of a page’s quickness to load and ability to handle traffic.

Important metrics to consider include:

  • Time to first byte – The length of time it takes for the first byte of info to reach a browser
  • Time to last byte – The duration of time required for the last byte of a page’s content to reach a browser
  • Time to title – The amount of time it takes a site’s title to load in a browser
  • Asset count – Determining the value of JavaScript or CSS assets relative to a page’s loading time
  • Conversion rate – Calculating the percentage of total visitors that end up filling out a form or making a purchase

Job Duties

Design Factors

Web developers discuss the design needs of a site with colleagues or clients. They brainstorm site ideas with coworkers and plan out a page’s look alongside graphic artists.

Basically, their job is to turn their client’s ideas into functioning websites featuring smooth layouts and any relevant, necessary information.

Site Creation

Associates implement different applications depending on the nature of the site. For example, an ecommerce page needs a payment-processing application, while a news site may feature a current events widget on the home page.

All of these back end website applications require planning and programming from those with web development skills.

Evaluate Site Performance

Workers examine website traffic to review visitor location data and identify peak traffic periods. At times they run bug tests on website applications to ensure proper function.

Custom Features

Associates also find seamless ways to incorporate video or sound effects into their sites. Some developers specialize in building certain types of pages, such as blogs, ecommerce stores, or news outlets.

Common Development Languages

In order for team members to contribute to a project, they must be educated in the creative use of certain programming languages.

These often include the following:

  • HTML is the markup language websites are made from. It is essential that web developers become familiar with this relatively simple programming language. It can be augmented by other programs such as CSS and JavaScript.
  • CSS is a style sheet language used to control many aspects of a site, including layouts, colors, and font types. It works hand-in-hand with HTML and is one of the best web development tools in a designer’s arsenal. CSS is also used to modify other markup languages, such as SVG and XML.
  • JavaScript is used to make applications and games that can run online or offline. It’s often utilized while designing user interfaces, and its principals carry over to many other languages. It’s a powerful tool when creating the interactive aspects of webpages.
  • Powerful and supported by extensive libraries, C++ is used in back end development. While it’s often applied to video game or software production, its power and flexibility allow its use in web development.
  • SQL is used to extract specific information from large databases. It’s widely utilized by many development companies, especially big players like Microsoft. This language is most often utilized by full stack or back end developers.

What Types of Abilities Should Web Developers Possess?

Developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design, along with SEO and web analytics abilities. These skills are often acquired while studying for a web development certificate or degree.

Useful Skills

  • Concentration to avoid making errors
  • Endurance for working through long hours and mandatory overtime
  • Knowledge of what’s acceptable when approving comments and moderating forums
  • Experience with programming languages, namely HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • An eye for detail to avoid coding errors
  • Creativity to come up with catchy designs and innovative layouts
  • Customer service skills for responding to user emails and other correspondence
  • Patience while working at desks and writing complex code for long periods

Work Environment

Long Hours 

The majority of web developers work full time. Prospects should prepare to sit for long hours at a desk each day, with mandatory overtime common.

While workplace hazards are relatively minimal, staff can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, and backaches if precautions aren’t taken. Constantly staring at screens may contribute to a decline in eyesight.

Places They Can Work

Business and organizations of all types rely on websites to reach their customers. For this reason, talented prospects can find work in almost every industry.

To turn a web development resume into a successful career, consider entering one of these fields:

  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Computer system design
  • Publishing
  • Consulting
  • News
  • Ecommerce

Can You Work Remotely?

Remote work is common in the industry, as one-sixth of web developers are self-employed. Even those who don’t work for themselves have plenty of options when it comes to finding online web development jobs.

The Internet offers endless opportunities for talented front end, back end, and full stack developers.

Other Career Options for Web Developers

Info Sys

Experienced web developers with a bachelor’s degree can move on to become information systems managers. These workers earn over $60 an hour planning and directing computer-related tasks within a company.

They oversee the activities of many colleagues, including support specialists, software developers, and web designers.

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers write code for applications used in PCs and smartphones. They turn diagrams created by engineers into functioning applications capable of carrying out complex tasks.

Most programmers need to earn bachelor’s degrees and their average salary sits somewhere around $84k per year. Duties of computer programmers include the following:

  • Using languages like C++, Java, and Ruby to write applications
  • Making updates to existing programs based on client requests or user feedback
  • Testing and debugging software to pinpoint issues that need resolved
  • Making use of code libraries to speed up the coding process
  • Ensuring applications meet the needs of clients or employers

Career Outlook

Thanks to the rise of ecommerce and mobile internet devices, web developer jobs are becoming more common. The career outlook is at 15 percent, which is well above the national average of 6 percent. Over 160,000 people enjoy employment in this thriving occupation.

Interview with a Web Developer

An interview with Duane Harrington, a web developer and part owner of the company Twins Inc., located in Alpharetta, GA.

What is the most requested service you provide?

Search Engine Optimization. The most highly sought after goal of most website owners who are looking to create a successful business online is search ranking. Our program of organic search engine optimization works to deliver even the smallest websites to the highest ranking available per the content involved. Our success sometimes hinges on a website finding a good rank overall after we have completed our work.

How long have you been operating Twins Inc.?

Eight Years. While I was attending college, I created this business to allow me an opportunity to practice some of the skills I was learning while getting my degree. Through all the hard work that has occurred since then, me and my partner are now able to earn a good living from our efforts with our clients.

Can you tell us a little about your training and school experience?

I began developing Internet content while in school at the University of Pittsburgh. The classes I was taking did not center on web development, but because of my business background, I looked to advance my knowledge of business online by taking HTML, PHP, and other designing languages for use on my own programs. Now that I have my degrees, I take the business knowledge I learned and mix it with the Internet business opportunities that have been available now for over 20 years online. Because I found my love of the Internet to be real during a time when the Internet was first booming, it was a natural fit for me to utilize my love of the Internet with my love for business. Because of that, I am now able to do what I love to do, and have the business smarts to do it right.

What’s your favorite part about being a web developer, and in contrast, what is the worst part?

To answer what I like most about developing Internet content, I would say freedom and creativity. Because I am able to direct and design the solutions that people want, I am able to feel like I have full control over the work I do. There are not many industries where someone can become a leader in their field in such a short amount of time. Those are two of the top reasons I like being a web developer. The contrast you’re looking for would probably be the customer service side of any business. Unless you have some experience dealing with clients that are happy and clients that are mad, you won’t be able to fully understand how unpleasant client interaction can sometimes be. What creates the most friction between client and developer sometimes is in the lack of knowledge on the client side. My partner and I have made it our goal to become excellent customer service agents for our business and this has allowed us an opportunity to excel at this as well. What used to be a pain is now a great part of the operation.

Tell us about an average day at Twins Inc.

Oh, that’s hard to describe. I’d like to say in at 8, out at 5, lots of work was done. That’s entirely too easy though. Our staff arrives at the office at 9AM, contacts that are needed to be made will be made, and new contacts will be given a reply to any and all questions prior to the developers arriving. Our business is web development and we feel that developers should develop and service employees should be there to support the developer. When the developer arrives at his desk, there are maps of the current, past, and next day’s work. Client needs are handled on a “Hot” / “Not Hot” basis outside of the three day organized plan. The work begins moments after the developer arrives, and goals are met on-time, every time. The exact work that is done daily depends on the bids and offers that have been accepted. We could build an entire website or e-commerce shopping cart. We do search engine optimization, directory submissions, and much more, so every day is different.

If you ever take the next step in business, what would that be?

I want to run my company as an owner should. Less work and more supervision, that’s my goal.

Did your previous work history have anything to do with your current business position?

I can’t say that it did. Prior to me entering college, my interest in the Internet and web development was just that, an interest. The more I found ways to involve my business training with my love for design and creative works, the Internet naturally pulled me in. Because I love working with this electronic media and with being able to make a good living while I do what I enjoy, I learned naturally how to utilize my enjoyment without having much work history to fall back on.

As a web developer, what kind of benefits do you receive from the work place?

That’s funny. No, really, our employees receive a basic package of medical benefits. Our employees are able to take vacations after a period of continued employment with the company, and other than that, I think our business model reflects the same interests as other companies in Alpharetta. Now, for myself personally, being the owner, I can take what benefits I find an opportunity to take. I am medically insured, and if I had time, I would take a vacation. If those are benefits, then those are the benefits I enjoy.

What kind of money do you make in this business?

Well, the money I make is exactly that. We make our money by doing what our clients want, when they want it. The better we perform those duties, the more money we make. Beyond the run-around answer, our company is currently operating on $900,000 a year in revenue. What is left after all the bills and employees are paid sometimes differ. A safe estimate of average salary for myself and my partner is in the $90,000 range. The developers we employ are paid an average of $46,000 a year.

What makes someone good at this profession?

Attention to detail. Being able to follow directions. Creativity. A love for the Internet. Those are what got me going, and I think that if you start there, you’re well ahead of others who are trying to do the same thing as you.

Now that you are totally involved in the web development process, would you recommend this career path to others who are looking for the same things you were when you started?

I would definitely recommend this industry to others. I would hope that those who get involved with web development have the same desires as I do. There are many times you will find yourself alone in front of a computer for long periods of time. I would want others who look to this industry as a career path to realize all that is needed to be successful. Training, intelligence, creativity, desire, ambition, and hope are all great, but for someone to be truly successful, they must be good at what they do, and at the same time love what they do. For those folks, I recommend web development as a great career choice. For those that are undecided, I hope they find what they love to do even if it isn’t web development.

Interview with a Web Site Designer

An interview with Greg, who owns a freelance Web design business and completed the Web Site Designer Program at Florida Career College.

Why did you decide to get this type of training?

I have always had an interest in computers and technology, but I also wanted to have my own business. I suppose you can say I am not someone who likes to work for other people. So, I was looking for a way to have a work from home career that would allow me to be my own boss while doing something that I like to do.

What is your current career?

I am currently building up my own web design company. It is kind of difficult because there are a lot of other people out there who are also trying to start their own work from home businesses. Competing against people from countries with a lower cost of living makes it difficult to command the rates I think I deserve. Things are still in the early stage, but I think I will be able to get this business off the ground.

How did your training help you get into this career?

Since I am still in the early stages of building up my business, I think it is difficult to say. Still, I really feel like the training is going to help me. Not only has it taught me some of the tricks of the trade, it also looks good on my resume when I am competing with other people for a job. I think the training helps make me stand out from other people in the business because many people who are trying to start web design businesses don’t actually have training in the area.

How would things be different for you if you hadn’t received this training?

The program really provided me with a lot of great resources and information that has helped me hone my craft. I already knew some things about web design before I enrolled in the program, but it helped take things further. If I hadn’t enrolled in the program, I am sure I would have continued to learn things on my own, but it would have taken me a lot longer to get to the point that I am today.

Were you happy with the training that you received?

Yes. The teachers were helpful and knowledgeable.

What was your favorite class?

I would have to say that the graphics and animation classes were the most fun. You can really do a lot of cool things where that is concerned.

What class do you think was the most useful?

Definitely the programming classes. I had taught myself some of that information, but the classes helped fill in the gaps in my knowledge and helped me learn how to do it more efficiently.

How long did it take you to complete the program?

About a year.

How much did it cost for you to complete the program?

Wow. That is difficult for me to say. I got some financial assistance to help me with the cost and I didn’t really keep track of all of the expenses. I would say my total personal costs were around $2,000.

Did you go to school on a full-time or part-time basis? What was it like? What kind of hours did you attend?

I went full time, which really wasn’t too bad because I was using the skills I gained to work toward building up my business. So, I wasn’t trying to balance a day job while going to school, it was more like I was building my business as part of my homework.

Would you recommend this school to someone else? Why or why not?

Yes, I would. I found the coursework to be very helpful and the teachers really knew what they were talking about.

If you could do it all over again, would you?

Yes. I am confident that the time I took to complete the program will really pay off in the end.

What was the most difficult part of the program for you?

That’s hard to say. I didn’t find anything to be particularly difficult because I really enjoyed what I was learning. I suppose dealing with my impatience was the most difficult part. I just wanted to be done so I could focus completely on getting my business going.

About how many other students were in your classes?

I don’t think there were ever any more than 20 students in any of my classes.