Discover the most favorable cities for front-end developers in North America, based on parameters such as job opportunities, salaries, cost of living, and quality of life. Also, get insights into the skills required to excel as a Front End Developer and the potential for career advancement.

Key Insights

  • Front end developers are responsible for creating the user interface of websites and apps using languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They can also work as Web Developers or Web Designers.
  • When considering cities for work, front-end developers should weigh factors like salary, job prospects, cost of living, and quality of life. Some of the best cities for front-end developers in North America are San Francisco, Austin, Montreal, Seattle, and Atlanta.
  • The average national salary for a Front End Developer in the USA is around $103,000. However, this can vary depending on the city, with developers in San Francisco earning about $145,000 a year.
  • Apart from the salary, the quality of life in a city is also a significant consideration. This includes infrastructure, education, law enforcement, and overall standard of living, as well as public transportation, recreation, and culture.
  • Front End Developers can find employment in various sectors, including major corporations, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and government agencies. They can also work with startups and web development companies.
  • Noble Desktop offers several live online Web Development courses, including the Front End Web Development Certificate and the Web Design Certificate. These courses provide hands-on instruction and are suited to individuals with little or no prior coding experience.

Front end web development is an essential component in nearly every industry. In finding work as a Front End Developer, an individual may have to make decisions on where they would like to live. There are several cities throughout North America that offer options for Front End Developers contemplating where to stake their claim.

In finding the right place to live and work, Front End Developers must factor in the likelihood of actually finding employment, cost of living, and quality of life. While finding work in a big city with a good salary may sound fantastic, in some places that money can disappear quickly with the cost of rent, food, and fuel. Prospective employees must consider if they are going to like wherever they end of living.

This section explores several factors to consider when searching for work in the best cities for Front End Developers.

What is a Front End Developer?

Becoming a Front End Developer involves building websites and applications using common front end web development languages. The front end of a website is what users see on their web browsers and is built using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages. 

Web development includes creating websites and apps from scratch. This means applying front end, back end, and full stack web development procedures. Front end development focuses on how a user interacts with a website while back end development concerns the functionality of that website within browsers like Chrome and Safari, for example. Full stack development combines both those functions.

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Skills needed for becoming a Front End Developer can also qualify you for working as a Web Developer or Web Designer.

Read more about what a Front End Developer does.

What Makes a City Good for Front End Developers?

When considering places to work as a Front End Developer, prospective candidates should think about salary, the likelihood of getting hired, and cost of living. 

Working as a Front End Developer is a well-paying position wherever a person ends up working. However, there are cities where working can yield the highest salaries. It’s important to consider whether a city is considered tech friendly as well as the number of major corporations along with other job opportunities available. Of course, a candidate’s skills and experience will factor into whether an individual finds employment, especially in some of the more competitive cities for work.

Job Opportunities

Depending on experience, the salary for a Front End Developer will vary. As expected, the average national salary for an entry level position such as Junior Developer is about $64,000 a year, which is well below the overall national average of nearly $103,000 that more experienced professionals can earn. By contrast, experience as a Front End Developer can lead to an average income as high as $104,000 nationally for working as a Senior Developer. The highest earning job titles for careers related to front end or back end development include working as a Back End Developer making around $116,000 on average, or a Web Developer averaging about $82,000.

Front End Developers can find work with major corporations, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and government agencies. Large companies like Amazon, Wells Fargo, and Apple employ Front End Developers to enhance their web visibility.

Similarly, small businesses in a city like Chicago may hire Front End Developers as full-time employees or contractors through IT staffing companies. Businesses in smaller cities like Rome, Georgia, for example, also need Front End Developers to help expand their online visibility for potential customers in larger surrounding cities and find potential clients who might not have otherwise been aware of that business’s products, services, or existence.

Front End Developers may also find opportunities with startups. There are plenty of young, dynamic entrepreneurs looking for the right talent to help them shock the world. A Front End Developer can help a startup establish its own unique brand and appealing look.

Front End Developers may also find work at web development companies that can benefit from hiring someone who can create appealing web designs for websites and mobile apps.

Working in similar positions like JavaScript Developer can provide an income of as much as $116,000 a year with an emphasis on work focusing on JavaScript for creating client-facing websites and apps as well as being able to implement front end and back end coding and programming. Working as a UI (user interface) Designer, another web development-related specialization like Front End Developer, can bring in an average salary of about $86,000 for working with Product Managers and various Web Developers to make sure that users are able to easily view and navigate websites. Mobile Developers can earn an average salary of around $121,000 for making sure that users can smoothly interface with web browsers using their smartphones. 

High Salaries

As stated, the average annual income for Front End Developers is around $103,000 in the United States. In larger cities like San Francisco, a Front End Developer averages about $145,000 a year, mainly due to the city’s location in the Silicon Valley region, the hub of the technology industry. Front End Developers can earn an income of around $117,000 in Seattle, which is considered among the most appealing tech sectors on the planet. Additionally, Front End Developers can find work earning nearly $115,000 in Austin or $104,000 in Minneapolis, which are both American cities considered to be on the cutting-edge for tech industry job opportunities.

Strong Front End Developer Community

Computer related jobs can transcend location since there are opportunities for working remotely without ever seeing an employer face-to-face. However, many employers prefer having work done inside their offices. Therefore, it’s important to research the cities where you might best take advantage of your talents and skills in order to optimize your career potential as a Front End Developer.

An important aspect of living–not just working–in any city is finding like-minded individuals for exchanging ideas. Nowadays, most people can find those types of communities online, but there is something appealing about being able to occupy the same personal space among others and experience face-to-face personal interaction and conversation.

Several cities listed among the best places to work as a Front End Developer–San Francisco, Montreal, or Seattle–are also among the most culturally diverse places to live with plenty of exciting activities along with a strong quality of life.

Cost of Living for Front End Developers

There is a reason that Front End Developers can find the highest income for working in a city like San Francisco. It is among the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Working anywhere is a balancing act of finding a good salary alongside being able to enjoy the benefits of that good salary without having to use a great portion of your income to pay for rent, food, and gasoline.

Cost of living is a huge factor when considering where to work. A large salary can disappear quickly in a city where everything is expensive. In contrast, a smaller salary in cities with a low cost of living could end up yielding a higher overall income due to lower basic expenses.

Quality of Life for Front End Developers

When looking for the right city to work and live in, the first thing many people consider is how much they will be making, followed by how much it will cost to live in that city. However, another point to consider is the quality of life in a city that a person chooses for working. The quality of life and work is important in determining which city to work in and raise a family.

Quality of life in a city includes everything from its infrastructure such as water cleanliness, the condition of roads and streets, education, law enforcement, and overall standard of living. Less concerning but important are public transportation, recreation, and culture.

Aside from the city, the relationship between the organization an individual works for and the city should also be considered. The working conditions, atmosphere, and company culture can play a role in anyone’s overall satisfaction with where they work and live.

Top Cities for Front End Developers

While there are cities throughout the world that offer fantastic opportunities for working as a Front End Developer, the following focuses on some of the best cities for working in North America. Candidates should consider several factors for living in a place, so strengths and drawbacks will vary from city to city. 

San Francisco, CA

Front end web development skills can lead to plenty of job opportunities in San Francisco, which benefits from being one of the largest cities in the Silicon Valley region–the hub of the tech industry. Several major tech-related companies are headquartered in or near San Francisco and provide opportunities for working as Front End Developers at organizations like Meta, the main company for Facebook, Netflix, the streaming giant located in nearby Los Gatos, and NTT DATA Services, which is a company providing IT business services. 

Front End Developers can earn about $118,000 annually in San Francisco. Back End Developers can make as much as $157,000 with Full Stack Developers getting about $132,000 a year.

Austin, TX

Austin ranks among the best cities for tech job opportunities in the United States with several major technology companies like Google and Amazon having subsidiaries located there. Austin provides one of the best downtown cultures anywhere, a temperate year-round climate, and simply a great place for outdoor or nightlife activities, including a highly regarded music scene.

There are plenty of options for those who have skills in front end web development. Front End Developers can earn an average salary of around $115,000 a year in Austin. Training in front end web development could also lead to a career as a Back End Developer making about $134,000 or a Web Developer with an annual income of around $81,000.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Located in Quebec, Montreal is the second-largest city in the nation of Canada and a mostly French-speaking city, which is a great place to work if someone doesn’t want to leave North America but yearns to live in a place that feels like an old European city. Montreal is also Canada’s most important tech sector along with Vancouver, British Columbia.

Montreal offers plenty of options for those who have skills in front end web development, especially with the city’s emphasis on artificial intelligence and video game development. Front End Developers can earn as much as $82,000 a year through work in Montreal’s well-established tech sector. In addition to working in the video game industry or AI, training in front end web development could lead to work as a Web Developer, who can make around $69,000, or as a Web Designer, who can make as much as $47,000.

Seattle, WA

Many consider Seattle among the most cutting-edge cities in the United States. The city has been a trendsetter in technology since the 1980s and offers a pleasant year-round climate that allows for outdoor activities at almost any time.

Seattle provides among the best salaries for Front End Developers anywhere in the country with an average of around $117,000 a year. Back End Developers average about $146,000 in the city.

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is among the most tech-friendly cities in the country and provides a variety of tech job opportunities through having an abundance of major corporations headquartered there. Additionally, Atlanta has among the lowest costs of living for any major city in the United States. 

Due to the inherent versatility, front end web development skills can lead to a variety of career opportunities in technology. On average, Front End Developers can earn about $108,000 a year in Atlanta. There are also options for working as Back End Developers earning about $124,000 and around $100,000 for Web Developers.

Why Become a Front End Developer?

A Front End Developer must have knowledge and experience in web development and coding with an emphasis on the front end, which focuses on the user side for designing and building websites. Working as a Front End Developer allows for creativity while working on a flexible schedule. Work in front end web development also provides good salaries for an in-demand profession that continues to grow. 

Many organizations have websites and are looking to maintain or improve their web presence in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape. Becoming a Front End Developer also provides plenty of options with the increasing expansion of technology. Companies not only have websites that need constant updating, but people also use their mobile devices for handling more and more functions with everyday life. Along with that, front end web development has become essential because of the increased use of ecommerce for purchasing products online instead of venturing out to brick-and mortar stores.

Skills with front end web development are relatively easy to pick up for becoming a Web Developer, which is a job an individual can qualify for without getting a college degree. Knowledge and experience with web development or familiarity with coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are good starting points. And as stated, the schedule for working as a Front End Developer is flexible, with many able to work remotely. Skills with front end web development can lead to working with corporations like Amazon or Accenture, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or startups.

Read more about whether Front End Developer is a good career.

How to Find a Front End Developer Job

There are options available if you’re looking for work as a Front End Developer. Corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and small businesses seek out Front End Developers to create dynamic, user-friendly websites. Work as a Front End Developer requires having an aptitude for time management, communication, and business. There are also plenty of opportunities for a Front End Developer working as an independent contractor or freelancer, which provides flexibility with scheduling and location. 

You can find Front End Developer jobs on several websites and platforms. You can search for Front End Developer opportunities on Indeed, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor.

Learn the Skills to Become a Front End Developer at Noble Desktop

People have several options for learning to become a Front End Developer, which include in-person and live online training courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs that provide real-time hands-on instruction. Noble Desktop offers several live online Web Development courses.

For example, with hardly any prior coding experience, an individual could complete the Front End Web Development Certificate and get headed in the right direction for their new career with training in how to build the user side of a responsive website. This course aims to keep class sizes small so that students can receive tailored advice and guidance from their instructors.

If you would like to learn about designing websites or email programs from coding with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, you can train for the Web Design Certificate. In addition, this course will teach you how to build websites using WordPress.

If you would like to learn about more options for building websites or apps from scratch through skills in front end web development, Noble Desktop provides information on their Learn Front End Web Development page, which can guide you through learning about several options for becoming a Front End Developer, including what free resources are available and career advice.