Dive into the world of front end web development and explore the promising career path of a Front End Developer. Understand what the role entails, the skills required, job prospects, and potential earnings, opening doors to a variety of work environments.

Key Insights

  • Front End Developers are tasked with building the user-side of websites and applications, requiring proficiency in programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SQL. A portfolio demonstrating these skills can be as valuable as a computer science degree.
  • Key responsibilities of Front End Developers include maintaining user interfaces, optimizing user experiences, coding websites and apps, and ensuring graphic standards and brand consistency. This role demands good time management, effective communication, and adaptability to technological changes.
  • Front End Developers play a crucial role in businesses as they are responsible for the initial user experience on a website or app, impacting customer retention and ROI.
  • The work environment for Front End Developers is diverse, spanning major corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, small businesses, and startups. Freelance or independent contract work is also a viable option.
  • With an average salary of around $91,000 a year in the United States, Front End Developers have promising earning potential. Other similar career paths include Back End Developer, Full Stack Developer, and Web Developer.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive training courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs in front end web development, equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge required to become a Front End Developer.

Becoming a Front End Developer involves building websites and web applications from knowledge of front end web development, which includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The front end of a website is what users see on their web browsers. Front end web development focuses on how users interact with a website within web browsers.

What is a Front End Developer?

Front End Developers are responsible for building the front end–the user-side or client-side–of websites and web applications. Front End Developers can find work with major corporations, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, government agencies, and startups. Front end web development requires good time management skills and the ability to communicate effectively in a working environment. Skills as a Front End Developer also provides opportunities for freelance or independent contract work with salaries that are comparable to what a person might earn working at a major corporation. 

Front End Developers must create websites and apps from scratch. This means applying front end, back end, and full stack web development procedures. Front end web development focuses on how users interact with websites while back end web development emphasizes the powering and functionality of those same websites operating within browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, for example, along with mobile browsers. Full stack development combines both functions.

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

Job Requirements

Anyone seeking a career as a Front End Developer must demonstrate proficiency with programming languages like HTML/CSS , C#, JavaScript, and SQL. A thorough understanding of web design and search engine optimization could also help with appealing to potential employers. Organizations usually seek out candidates with portfolios that demonstrate their knowledge in coding and web design.

A college degree is optional for becoming a Front End Developer. That said, many Front End Developers have a four-year computer science degree. However, thorough coding knowledge and experience are essential to qualify for the position with or without a degree. Individuals can make themselves more marketable by demonstrating proficiency with the skills required for front end web development, including certifications or a portfolio displaying projects supporting your capabilities. 

While there are no certifications specifically tailored for qualifying as a Front End Developer, there are coding bootcamps and certificate programs that can provide individuals who have no college degree or direct working experience with the qualifications for employment as a Front End Developer.

Read more about the job requirements for a Front End Developer.

Job Responsibilities

Front End Developers build the user-side of websites and web applications. Front End Developers can find work with major corporations, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, government agencies, and startups. Front End Developers must keep websites and apps updated as well as making sure those sites and apps are always accessible for users. Responsibilities associated with working as a Front End Developer include

  • Developing and maintaining user interface (UI)
  • Optimizing user experience (UX)
  • Coding websites and apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Optimizing design for apps on mobile browsers
  • Working with Back End Developers and Web Designers to maintain website or app usability
  • Create requirements and guidelines for developing and maintaining websites
  • Ensure quality graphics standards and brand consistency.

Skills

A Front End Developer must understand the basics for developing and building websites. The front end of a website is what users see on their web browsers and is constructed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding. Other skills required include knowledge of JavaScript frameworks and libraries such as React and Node.js.

A Front End Developer focuses on how a user interacts with a website. Web development courses and bootcamps could enhance skills associated with front end web development. Working in front end web development requires a detail-oriented attitude and self-motivation. A Front End Developer must be a problem-solver who has no problems working under pressure or meeting deadlines. The profession also demands being able to adapt to change, as there are always new methods for doing things when working with technology.

Read more about what skills you need to become a Front End Developer.

Why Do Businesses Need Front End Developers?

Businesses need Front End Developers because they are responsible for what users first see when opening a website or app. A Front End Developer makes sure that a site looks appealing and that the links lead to where they are supposed to go. Front End Developers place where images go on web pages, determine how the navigation should look, and assure that the information on each of those web pages adheres to what it should.

As the world becomes increasingly dependent on digital interaction, business websites must make a good first impression the moment a new user lands on their page. Front End Developers are responsible for not only making a website or web application visually appealing but must also make sure that visitors find what they need on that site or app. With these responsibilities, Front End Developers play a crucial role in how apps and websites load, which goes a long way toward maintaining customer retention and optimizing ROI (return on investment).

Where Do Front End Developers Usually Work?

Front End Developers can find employment options for a wide range of working environments, including major corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, small businesses, and startups. Many types of organizations seek out Front End Developers for creating user-friendly websites and smartphone applications. 

Front End Developer Salary and Job Outlook

There are plenty of career options for those who have skills in front end web development. Front End Developers can earn an average salary of around $91,000 a year in the United States. The position can earn a qualifying professional as much as $114,000 in a place like San Francisco, which, of course, is the largest city located near Silicon Valley, the hub of the tech sector. Front End Developers can also earn salaries of about $105,000 in Seattle or $98,000 in Atlanta. 

Occupations similar to Front End Developer include Web Developer, which averages around $67,000 nationally, and Web Designer, earning around $52,000.

Read more about Front End Developer salaries and job outlooks for the position.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Front End Developer?

Finding a career in technology requires possessing skills and knowledge in coding languages. While many Front End Developers have a four-year computer science degree, a college degree is not needed to find work in the profession. Individuals can make themselves more marketable by demonstrating proficiency with the skills required for front end web development, including certifications or having a portfolio displaying projects supporting your capabilities.

Anyone can learn HTML in a few weeks. It might also be helpful to seek guidance from someone you know working with programming and coding languages who’s willing to help you learn. For some new learners, CSS skills can be the most difficult to learn and may take longer to pick up, but many have gained proficiency in as few as three months. 

JavaScript is more advanced than HTML or CSS and is used for a variety of web development purposes.

Generally, it could take around six months to learn the fundamental skills necessary for becoming a Front End Developer.

Front End Developer vs. Similar Career

There are careers comparable to working as a Front End Developer. Front End Developers are responsible for building the user-side of websites and web applications. While front end web development focuses on how users interact with websites, back end development focuses on the powering and functionality of websites operating within web browsers. Full stack development combines both those functions. This section provides a comparison of the associated professions:

Front End Developer vs. Back End Developer

Back End Developers build the server-side of websites and web applications that includes functionality, powering, debugging, and integrating front end web development components. Back End Developers work with other Back End Developers to create APIs and web services that Front End Developers use within an organization. Back End Developers also work with Front End Developers, Marketers, Designers as well as UX and UI Developers and Designers.

Front End Developer vs. Full Stack Developers

Full Stack Developers build websites and web applications using the front end that users see, along with the back end, which powers websites and apps. Full Stack Developers usually work with Front End Developers and Back End Developers.

Front End Developer vs. Web Developers

Web Developers build websites, web applications, and other web-related products using programming languages including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Web Developers often work with Designers, Project Managers, and Product Managers to build, maintain, and troubleshoot websites and other web platforms.

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.

Key Takeaways

  • Becoming a Front End Developer involves building websites and web applications using coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Front End Developers are responsible for building the front end, or client-side, of websites and web applications.
  • While many Front End Developers have four-year computer science degrees, an individual may not need a college degree for the position. Knowledge and experience with coding and building websites should appeal to many potential employers.
  • Responsibilities associated with working as a Front End Developer include updating websites and apps, developing and maintaining user interface, working with Back End Developers and Web Designers for maintaining website and web app usability, and ensuring quality graphics standards and brand consistency.
  • A Front End Developer must understand the basics for developing and building websites.
  • Skills required for working as a Front End Developer include knowing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well as JavaScript frameworks and libraries like React and Node.js.
  • Businesses need Front End Developers because they are responsible for what the user sees when opening a website or app.
  • Front End Developers can find work at major corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, small businesses, and startups.
  • Front End Developers earn an average salary of around $91,000 a year in the United States.
  • Gaining skills to become a Front End Developer can take six months or longer.
  • There are careers comparable to working as a Front End Developer, including Back End Developer, Full Stack Developer, and Web Developer.
  • Noble Desktop provides several options for learning how to become a Front End Developer, which include in-person or live online courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs that provide real-time, hands-on instruction.