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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.