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How much do developers make?

Practically every industry relies on technology to some degree, so it's no surprise that developers play such a pivotal role in the modern business landscape.

If you're considering a career as a developer, you've probably found yourself wondering how much developers make. Well, it depends. Salaries vary between different types of developers, but on average, they earn around $107,510 a year in the United States. That breaks down to an average of $136,320 for the top 25% and $82,430 for the bottom 25%. And while these are good numbers, they're likely to climb even higher as the demand for more and more applications increases over the next several years.

Below, we'll explore what different kinds of developers earn per year and how salaries vary by region in the United States. Note that while we've outlined salaries in the U.S. in this article, careers in web development are lucrative around the world.

How much do developers make on the East Coast?

If you plan on living or working in the east as a developer, you can expect a decent salary.

The average salary for a developer in New York is $116,830, and in Massachusetts, you can bring in an average of $109,130 — both of which are higher than the national average.

A little farther south, in Maryland, you're still above average at $109,130. To the north, in New Hampshire, you're looking at an average salary of $110,740. Regardless of the state, developers on the east coast generally earn over six figures.

Here are some more east coast developer salaries:

  • District of Columbia: $112,510
  • New Jersey: $107,640
  • Virginia: $113,690

How much do developers make on the West Coast?

On the west coast, developer salaries are even higher. This is likely due to the abundance of software giants, like Google and Facebook, in the region. Some of the salaries for developers in the west include:

  • California: $127,950
  • Washington State: $131,790
  • Texas: $108,760

How much do developers make in the middle states?

Developers in the middle states can expect a slightly lower average salary than developers on the coasts. For example:

  • Wyoming: $72,210
  • North Dakota: $80,620
  • South Dakota: $75,000
  • Oklahoma: $86,360

But, if you're an aspiring developer living in the middle states, this doesn't mean you should pack up just yet. Salary isn't everything — you should also take living expenses into account.

The cost of living is far lower in the middle states than on the coasts, so a developer in North Dakota could live just as comfortably (if not more so) as a developer in California.

Plus, with so many jobs, industries, and universities on the east and west coasts, it follows that developers would make more in those areas.

Another factor to consider is the average salary of the state in question. In North Dakota, for instance, the average salary is $35,499, which is significantly less than half of what developers make.

Developer salaries by role

Because each kind of developer has different responsibilities, their salaries differ as well. Let's take a closer look at how your role as a developer will affect your income.

Software developer salary

Software developers design software solutions that meet their company's or client's needs. The national average salary for software developers is $103,620 each year, though many supplement their income with freelance or consulting work.

Front-end developer salary

Front-end developers build the parts of websites and applications that users interact with. On average, front-end developers make about $106,637 a year. Experience does play a role, though, as newcomers to the field usually start around $49,000.

A front-end developers' tech stack will also influence their salary. Learning how to use frameworks and libraries like React.js will help you earn more than you would if you relied solely on JavaScript.

Back-end developer salary

A back-end developer is responsible for building and connecting all the dependencies that a program needs to function. While the front-end may change according to users' tastes, the back-end serves as the foundation of the application.

An experienced back-end developer may bring in around $122,445 before bonuses.

Full-stack developer salary

Full-stack developers make, on average, $108,089 a year. They handle all the work involved in constructing databases, engineering systems, integrating and configuring servers, and managing and deploying clients.

Companies in need of a comprehensive solution may be more likely to turn to a full-stack developer, thanks to their diverse assortment of skills. When asking how much developers make, in the context of full-stack development, this is an important consideration.

Mobile developer salary

Mobile developers make about $117,644 a year, not counting bonuses. Mobile developers build applications for devices like phones and tablets.

With mobile devices generating more than half of total web traffic, it's no surprise that more businesses are turning to mobile development.

Developers may soon be earning even more

One trend driving the shift toward a more software-based job market is the rising popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Many homes already have everyday devices connected to the internet, such as Alexa, TVs, smart speakers, and even appliances, like refrigerators and ovens.

In addition, a wide variety of industries depend on IoT devices such as scanners used for inventory management and point of sales (PoS) systems. All these devices are controlled by software that needs to be designed and developed by skilled professionals.

Also, the demand for web-based applications and websites is unlikely to decline. More and more commerce is being transacted online, so businesses will continue relying on developers to design the apps their customers use to make purchases, operate their businesses, and navigate their everyday lives.

Getting Started

Regardless of role or region, you can expect to make a decent living as a developer. Need help getting started? Check out our courses on web development and mobile development.

If you already know what kind of developer you want to be, our Career Paths may be right for you. Career Paths are designed to teach you all the skills and knowledge you'll need to find an entry-level position in your desired field. You'll also learn how to build a portfolio and earn a certificate upon completion to illustrate your skills to prospective employers. Take your first steps toward your new career with the Paths linked below:

Get more practice, more projects, and more guidance.

Adam Carpenter

Adam Carpenter

Adam Carpenter is a tech, fintech, and business innovations writer. Passionate about user safety, Adam writes about cybersecurity solutions, software, and innovations.

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