How to Become a Front-End Web Developer

For those who love information technology (IT) and design and have a creative streak, a career as a Front-End Web Developer could be an ideal match. These IT professionals create and tweak Web sites.

Job Overview

Bachelor's Degree
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

When you spot a particularly attractive Web site, you can link it to the creativity and skills on a Front-End Web Developer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a developer is also responsible for site technical details like capacity and performance. After designing a site, some create its content.

As a Front-End Web Developer, you’ll use programming languages such as HTML and XML to write code for a site. You’ll have a lot of contact with other IT professionals and will be responsible for incorporating video, graphics and audio content into If you become the site.

You might work full-time as an employee, part-time as a consultant or own your own freelance business. Types of developers include Web architects or programmers, Webmasters and Web designers, though some jobs are a combination of these.


A Front-End Web Developer’s objective is designing, building, maintaining and updating sites focused on what the client sells, O*Net OnLine says. You must have a grasp of various software and programming languages, including a thorough knowledge of HTML. You’ll also need to be familiar with various Web applications and how to monitor site traffic.

Important attributes you’ll need in this career include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Ability to perform needs analysis
  • Knowledge of design principles
  • Customer and personal service skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Good oral and written communication
  • Programming knowledge
  • Active listening
  • Ability to concentrate for long periods
  • Tolerance for stress

Similar Jobs

If Front-End Web Development sounds interesting, you might wish to consider similar careers:

  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Systems analyst
  • IT support specialist
  • IT instructor
  • Computer programmer

Salary and Job Outlook

The BLS reports that in 2010, the median salary of Front-End Web Developers and related professionals was $75,660 a year, or $36.37 an hour, adding that a 2012 survey showed the range for developers was $61,250 to $99,250.

The job outlook for this occupational group is a 22 percent increase between 2010 and 2020, or faster than average. A trend toward farming out jobs overseas might be offset due by an emerging practice of hiring in low-cost U.S. areas.

Much of the projected growth is due to continued expansion of ecommerce and increasing online purchasing.

Typical Education

Although most professional IT jobs require a degree from a four-year college or university, the education you’ll need to be a Web developer varies according to the type of work you need to perform and where you do it. For some jobs, high school graduation is sufficient.

If the work requires little programming, an associate’s degree might be acceptable. Many employers are looking for individuals who have four-year degrees in computer science or information technology, plus classes in graphic design. Some require developers to understand SQL and be comfortable with multimedia publishing tools like Flash.

As a Web developer, you will need to learn new computer languages, applications and other tools as technology changes.

Steps to Become a Front-End Web Developer

You can start searching for your first job by creating a portfolio while you’re still getting training. Pick a school project on which you did a great job and use it to begin your portfolio after making sure it contains no proprietary information.

Next, send your resumé to local IT companies, including those that specialize in Web development. It’s possible that you could snag some part-time work while finishing your education.

Once you have the appropriate technical skills and some experience, you might want to start earning certifications to advance. Several certifications denote increasing levels of expertise in this career.

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