When I was seven years old I asked my mother for a job. She told me to sweep the leaves in the driveway and put them in refuse bags. Of course I agreed – finally, a paid labour job. I spent all afternoon sweeping and packing, arduous tasks, before she helped me carry the heavy bags to the driveway to be removed later that week. When I’d finally finished, she gave me one Rand, the equivalent of about 7 US cents. Naturally, I complained bitterly, but she wouldn’t change her mind. “You need to know what your labour is worth upfront,” she said to me – well, I’m sure she used simpler language, but that was the essence of the message. It was a lesson well learnt. And as an adult before switching careers into web development, it’s useful to know expected web developer salaries.
Here’s a general rule of thumb: senior developers in a major tech area with 5-10 years experience can expect to earn between $100 000 – $150 000 per year and up. Junior developers with not much experience can expect to earn about half of that. However, here’s the really good news, if you’re thinking about a career change to web development, then: be aware that a web developer’s salary growth and future salary expectations increase much faster than most other jobs. So you might not start out with your ideal salary but after one year of work, your salary grows quickly and significantly. You can sign up for a three-month Full Stack Web Developer part-time course via HyperionDev.
Interestingly, one of the biggest factors affecting web developer salaries concerns where the developer works. “For instance, the median salary in the US is considerably higher than in Canada, Germany, UK or France,” states TechWorm. Based on data from Stack Overflow, a developer who has at least five years experience could, on average, earns $34 000 more in the US than in Canada, Germany or the UK.
If you want to check out your potential salary, have a look at Stack Overflow, which is a popular developer community. Not only does it offer a Q&A for coders, but it also has a new salary calculator that lets you work out what you should be earning as a result of variables like your role, location, education level, experience and areas of expertise. It’s based on a survey that the company conducts annually with about 65 000 developers.
So, for example, if you’re a London-based back-end developer who has 3 years experience, a graduate degree and knows Python, C# and PHP, you could expect, if you were earning at the 50th percentile, to earn a web developer salary of £36 000 per annum. And at the 75th percentile, you’d be getting £44 000. Here’s an interesting graph outlining average software developer salaries by nation. If you want to learn these skills, take a look at HyperionDev’s Web Development or Python course.
Bear in mind, however, that a software engineer builds (or engineers) software, including desktop, mobile and web applications, whereas a web developer is a software engineer who only builds web application (like Gmail, Facebook, Instagram etc.). A software engineer and a web developer working on a web application are really doing the same work.
So where is it worst to be a web developer? The lowest developer salaries are in these countries: India ($4600), Indonesia, Egypt, Kenya and Argentina. What is the average web developer salary in South Africa? According to PayScale, the average salary for an experienced web developer is R353 749 ($26 414) per annum, and people don’t generally have more than 10 years’ experience.
Web developer salaries are not only influenced by country but also by city. Compare an entry level web developer in Cape Town (R182 711 or $13 733) with Johannesburg (R172 445 or $12 967). What are the top web developers salaries for cities in the US? In descending order, they are San Jose, California ($107 500), San Rafael, California ($104 580), San Francisco ($97 400), Framingham in Massachusetts ($95 350), and Seattle ($91 740). It’s no surprise that California comes out top!
There’s more good news: web developer salaries are continuing to grow. Half the top-paying jobs are in the tech industry, reports CNBC, for September 2017. Also, the supply of tech talent is lower than demand, which places IT workers in enviable positions for negotiating higher wages. The Harvey Nash Tech Survey 2016, which involved 2959 technology professionals from 36 countries, stated that the tech shortage is particularly acute in Europe (56% of technology hiring managers reported shortages), and 44% of hiring managers predict that the shortages will get worse in the future.
So, how best to negotiate those high salaries? Lifehacker proposes two strategies:
1. Strategy One: Noel Smith-Wenkle Approach
Noel Smith-Wenkle was a top job headhunter who used this approach for his clients to get the highest possible salary for them. According to this method, you must never tell the employer how much you want. The organization must name the first number. To avoid naming your number, tell the company that you’re more interested in doing [type of work] at the specific company than the salary when asked how much you want. Even if the company asks you straight out, just say you’ll consider any reasonable offer, and add that the company is in a much better position to make an offer based on what you’re worth. Once the offer is made, if it’s above your minimum, then you take it. If it’s too low, tell them, but not by how much.
2. Strategy Two: Jack Chapman Method
Career coach Jack Chapman, author of the book Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute, states five rules for negotiation:
- Only discuss salary negotiations after you’ve been offered the job.
- Let the other side make the first offer.
- When the offer is made, repeat it – and then stop talking. This is called “the flinch”; often your silence prompts a raise. The silence also gives you a chance to think while putting pressure on your potential employer.
- Research the market, the company and the value of your skills. Counter an offer with a well-research response.
- Even after the deal is clinched, carry on negotiating: lock in other benefits, such as extra days leave or a company car etc.
Whichever strategy you follow, think about changing careers and studying one of HyperionDev’s coding courses. They can be done part-time and online. You’ll also have access to on-demand code reviews by our full-time coding educators.