Becoming a Front End Developer involves building websites and applications from knowledge of front end web development, which includes skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Due to its inherent versatility, front end web development and coding skills can provide various career paths that focus on helping users interface with web pages. These skills allow Front End Developers to find work with major corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and small businesses that are looking to create dynamic, user-friendly websites and apps. Work as a Front End Developer includes having an aptitude for time management, communication, and business.

There are also plenty of opportunities for Front End Developers working as independent contractors or freelancers, which provides flexibility with scheduling and work locations. Additionally, skills with web development and coding also qualifies individuals for working as Back End Developers, which emphasizes the powering and functionality for websites working within web browsers. Combining skills and experience in front end and back end web development could also lead to a career as a Full Stack Developer, whose job is to handle both roles.

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.

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.

Front End Developer 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.

Front End Developer Career Path

A Front End Developer typically has skills in JavaScript, Git, and Agile with an emphasis on the user-side of building websites. Front End Developers must know JavaScript frameworks and libraries like React and Node.js. Possessing skills as a Front End Developer qualifies individuals for working in several other areas of web development.

Because working in front end web development requires working with Back End Developers, who focus on the server-side, or functionality side, of a website, Front End Developers must have strong knowledge of the other side of developing web pages, which provides them with the capability of working on either side for web building.

Logically, having knowledge for working with the user-side, also known as the client-side, of web development along with the server-side opens opportunities for finding work as a Full Stack Developer, whose role straddles both front end and back end responsibilities.

A Front End Developer’s duties include updating websites to make sure those sites fit current standards as well as conforming to a client’s or company’s design guidelines. 

One requirement for working as a Front End Developer includes working alongside Back End Developers, Designers, and Project Managers in building, maintaining, and troubleshooting websites. By nature, working as a Front End Developer is a collaborative occupation that creates a diverse skill set over time and can lead to changing directions slightly to pursue other career opportunities in web development.

On average, Front End Developers earn around $103,000 a year nationally, which of course varies depending on where a person works as well as an individual’s level of experience. As an occupation that depends on collaboration, working as a Front End Developer creates opportunities for working in many different areas of web development and technology, fostering a cross pollination of skills that can lead to options for shifting to other related careers.

Back End Developer

In contrast to Front End Developers, who are responsible for the user-side of creating websites, Back End Developers focus on the server-side of websites and apps by integrating elements of front end web development. Back End Developers emphasize the functionality of websites and usually collaborate with Front End Developers and others in making sure that websites and web applications operate.

Back End Developers are typically the experts responsible for building and maintaining how websites perform. While Front End Developers are tasked with what users see on their computer screens, Back End Developers deal with data storage, security, and reliable operation for those websites. Back End Developers often perform as the “fix-it” expert in web development because their main responsibilities deal with how and whether a website runs. With the obligation of making sure that websites and software work the way they should, Back End Developers can find work with engineering firms, ecommerce companies, the financial industry, and healthcare in both the private and public sectors.

On average, Back End Developers can earn as much as $116,000 a year in the United States. 

Full Stack Developer

Full Stack Developers combine the work of Front End and Back End Developers with responsibilities for having to build both the visible front end that users see on computer and smartphone screens as well as the back end that operates websites and apps. While Front End Developers and Back End Developers typically collaborate with each other along with Designers and Project Managers, Full Stack Developers often work alone, but, of course, often work with Project Managers and may work with other Developers or Designers.

Full Stack Developers must have knowledge in coding, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Angular, and Vue as well as working with back end technologies and frameworks like Node.js and Django. Experience with database management systems such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle Database is an essential asset for the profession.

The average salary for Full Stack Developers in the U.S. is around $104,000 annually.

Web Developer

Like Front End Developers, Web Developers build web pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Web Developers also program website functionality and must be able to troubleshoot coding. Web Developers are capable of working as Front End Developers by creating what users see on web browsers or Back End Developers, who handle the functions that make websites run. Web Developers often work with Web Designers and Project Managers and are often responsible for building, maintaining, and troubleshooting websites and applications.

Web Developers earn an average annual salary of around $82,000 nationwide by working full-time or part-time inside offices or remotely.

Web Designer

Experience as a Front End Developer can lead to work as a Web Designer since both occupations have the responsibility of designing the appearance for websites. A Web Designer must have visual and technical design skills for creating websites and apps.

Web Designers should have knowledge of design theories, graphic design, and responsive design along with an aptitude for user interface (UI) in creating visually appealing, user-friendly websites. Web Designers can work full-time, part-time, and freelance. There are also remote and on location opportunities. Web Designers work in nearly every industry, including small businesses, major corporations, and government agencies.

Web Designers can earn an average annual income of about $51,000 in the United States.

Mobile Developer

Because Front End Developers work on the visual appeal for the user-side of websites and apps, shifting to working as a Mobile Developer, who specializes in creating apps for mobile technology, should be a smooth transition. Mobile Developers must work with Apple iOS and Android mobile operating systems by tailoring coding and programming languages to work on smartphones and other mobile devices. 

Because smartphone technology dominates nearly every aspect of life these days, working as a Mobile Developer should be able to find work in any industry since every type of business needs to have not only a web presence but some type of app for mobile platforms as well in order to connect with current or potential customers and clients. This means that Mobile Developers should be able to find work with major corporations, small companies, the healthcare industry, retail, and other areas of business.

Becoming a Mobile Developer is a specialized but in-demand profession that provides an average salary of around $121,000 a year in the United States.

UI Designer

Because Front End Developers focus on the user-side of websites and apps, transitioning to working as a UI (user interface) Designer should not be difficult. UI Designers create the look and feel for websites and apps by implementing visual design that includes colors, fonts, patterns, textures, icons, and buttons. In the same way that Front End Developers must collaborate with Back End Developers in balancing the user-side and server-side of websites, UI Designers often work with UX (user experience) Designers for prototyping and user testing websites.

On average, UI Designers make a salary of around $87,000 a year nationwide.

Software Engineer

Becoming a Software Engineer demands extensive knowledge of user experience design, operating systems, and programming languages for developing the software needed for creating websites and apps. Software Engineers create different types of software, including games and operating systems. After analyzing a client’s needs, Software Engineers design, develop, and test software that meets those needs. Software Engineers can be divided into two distinct career categories: application engineers and system engineers.

Like Front End Developers, Software Engineers work with tight deadlines as part of a team that usually includes UI and UX Designers, Project Managers, and Web Developers. Software Engineers usually work on projects from the beginning to the end, providing technical expertise.

Software Engineers usually earn an average annual salary of around $120,000 in the United States.

Project Manager

Because Front End Developers work as part of a team in developing web-related projects, becoming a Project Manager would seem like a natural next step as a career. Project Managers lead teams on specific projects through planning, managing, and budgeting to meet goals and deadlines. Project Managers manage people, scope, time, quality, and budgets. Project Managers work in industries as diverse as construction and information technology.

Project Managers apply several methods for getting projects completed. Becoming a Project Manager requires formal project management certification to qualify for many positions. Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) are among the most required certifications for becoming a Project Manager. CAPM provides an initial qualification when entering the profession while the PMP certification requires experience from working within the profession.

Project Managers earn an average income of about $84,000 a year in the United States.

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.

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.