The digitization of nearly every industry is making it easier for customers to conveniently access services and products — and a lot easier for Software Developers to find jobs. The kinds of jobs you can do as a Software Developer vary widely, but they break down into three basic categories: front-end development, back-end development, and full-stack development.

Read on to learn how much each type of developer earns, what’s involved in their day-to-day work, and about our Career Paths, which you can use to get started. While the salaries for each of these jobs are based on data from the United States, these careers are lucrative no matter where you are in the world.

How much Front-End Software Developers make

Front-End Developers make around $119,224 a year. This relatively high figure doesn’t come as a surprise because Front-End Developers play an important role in the development process.

How Front-End Developers earn their pay

You can think of a Front-End Developer as the person who designs everything you see and touch while using an app. It’s similar to the engineer who designs the interior and exterior chassis of a car. They design the elements you sit in, grab hold of, the buttons you press, the knobs you twist, and the glass you look out of.

All of these elements play a key role in your driving experience. A Front-End Engineer ensures your “driving” experience with an app is effective, comfortable, efficient, and pleasant.

Front-End Engineers also need a solid foundation in how the “unseen” elements of an app work to create the user’s experience. As a driver, you may never interact with the insides of the engine or think much about the physics of the suspension system. But even though a Front-End Engineer works on the things you actually use, they need to understand how all the different parts work together to impact the user’s experience. This includes understanding the various dependencies that form the foundation of an application.

The daily activities of Front-End Engineers

On a daily basis, the job of a Front-End Engineer tends to involve working with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are the coding languages that browsers and operating systems read and translate into things users view, tap, click on, and swipe.

Front-End Engineers typically work within a team environment, either creating new apps or making changes to existing ones to improve their functionality. So, they need to meet with others on the team, write and review code, test how apps function, and incorporate feedback from stakeholders.

Front-End Engineers may also interpret and use feedback gathered from target users. This way, they can adjust their design choices to maximize the app’s usefulness for those who use it to improve their jobs and lives.

A Front-End Engineer’s six-figure salary is earned through a combination of hard work designing solutions and solving intriguing challenges. To start your journey as a Front-End Engineer or simply to learn more about what it takes to do this in-demand job, check out our Front-End Engineer Career Path.

How much Back-End Software Developers make

Back-End Developers typically make around $108,507 a year. As a Back-End Developer, you earn your wages by creating the elements that power the front end. You may also be called upon to troubleshoot issues with existing applications to improve how they work.

How Back-End Developers earn their pay

Returning to the car analogy, a Back-End Developer is like the engineer who designs the engine, the transmission, the suspension system, and other elements essential to a vehicle’s proper function.

The engineer who designs the interior may choose the material for the steering wheel, its size, position, and the different angles in which you can position it. But without the axles, shocks, struts, wheels, tires, and proper weight displacement, no matter what the driver does, the car won’t turn correctly.

Similarly, a Back-End Engineer designs the code that the Front-End Engineer’s tools and code connect to. In this way, a Back-End Engineer provides a functioning base onto which the Front-End Engineer builds the user experience.

The daily activities of Back-End Engineers

A Back-End Engineer will spend their days working with technology involving:

  • Creating databases, as well as integrating them with systems
  • Managing databases
  • Using frameworks that support server-side software development
  • Developing content management systems (CMSs)
  • Integrating application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Using technologies that govern how web servers function
  • Integrating cloud computing architectures
  • Working with server-side programming languages
  • Generating and analyzing reports regarding how the app is using its resources and how it’s performing
  • Discerning the best ways to protect the app from security threats

All of this requires working with other members of the DevOps team, gathering feedback from them, and implementing it. Back-End Developers also work with Front-End Developers to ensure their solutions complement each other.

A Back-End Developer’s pay is well-deserved, but the monetary benefits are only part of the reward. Back-End Developers design the underlying systems that solve some of the world’s biggest problems. To get started as a Back-End Developer, you can begin with our Back-End Engineer Career Path.

How much do Full-Stack Software Developers make?

Full-Stack Developers make around $96,578 a year. Compared to Front-End and Back-End Engineers, you can think of a Full-Stack Developer as a jack/jill of all trades. But this doesn’t imply a Full-Stack Developer is “master of none” — and this plays out in their compensation as well.

Even though Full-Stack Engineers may earn a little less, on average, than Front- and Back-End Engineers, the amount they get in equity compensation is around twice as high as that of their front- and back-end counterparts. Equity is the number of  company shares you own. In other words, it’s an investment in your employer, and when the company makes money, so do you.

Full-Stack Developers earn their keep by handling the entire tech stack, including the front and back ends. A company may give a Full-Stack Developer a problem, and they will design both the front-end user experience and the back-end infrastructure that powers it.

The daily activities of Full-Stack Engineers

On a daily basis, a Full-Stack Engineer may work alone or with a team, ensuring all elements of an application are designed to work well with each other. They use many of the same tools that Front- and Back-End Engineers use, and their skill sets also overlap. Additionally, a Full-Stack Engineer has to meet with management to ensure that their solutions align with the organization’s goals.

As a Full-Stack Engineer, you bring the whole package to the organization you work for. To get started with this rewarding career, use our Full-Stack Software Engineer Career Path.

Regardless of the type of Software Developer you choose to be, your job prospects will only increase as the world shifts more and more towards digital solutions. Take a few minutes to explore our course catalog and our Career Paths can help you decide which tech job is right for you. In addition to knowledge and experience, you’ll also gain valuable networking connections and build a robust portfolio to help you stand out in your job search. To learn more, get started today for free!

Related articles

7 articles