Discover the dynamic world of front end development and the opportunities it offers as a rewarding career path. Learn about the essential skills and qualifications, the roles and responsibilities of a Front End Developer, and the potential earnings in different cities.

Key Insights

  • Front End Developers are responsible for designing and building the user-interface of websites and web applications, often working as part of a team alongside Back End Developers, Designers, and Project Managers.
  • Front End Developers can find employment in various settings such as major corporations, small businesses, government agencies, tech startups, and even remotely as freelancers.
  • Being a Front End Developer requires proficiency in various coding and programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, along with excellent communication skills, teamwork, and time management.
  • The salary for Front End Developers can vary greatly depending on experience and location. While large cities like San Francisco offer high average salaries, the cost of living also needs to be factored in.
  • Front End Developers often work as part of a team and can transition to related roles such as Project Manager, Web Developer, or Web Designer.
  • While many Front End Developers have four-year degrees in computer science, it's possible to enter this field without a degree through alternate learning paths such as coding bootcamps and courses offered by institutions like Noble Desktop.

Anyone considering a career as a Front End Developer will likely wonder whether committing to a life of working in web development is right for them. Many might consider how difficult it could be to find work along with getting a good salary in settling on where they should end up living. Finding answers about what to expect as a Front End Developer could go a long way towards helping a person decide whether the line of work is right for them. 

Front End Developers design and build websites, web applications, and other computer-related programs and software while typically working with Back End Developers to complete web-based projects. Without exception, Front End Developers are expected to work as part of a team. Aside from Back End Developers, Front End Developers work with Designers, Project Managers, and Product Managers in designing, developing, maintaining, and troubleshooting websites and applications.

Front End Developers can find work with major corporations, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, government agencies, and tech startups. Front End Developers can find full-time and part-time employment working inside offices or remotely or as freelancers on independent contracts. 

While it is essential for a Front End Developer to possess skills with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript among several required coding and programming languages, it’s also important to have skills for communicating and working with others as well as being able to manage a schedule by getting assignments completed on time.

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.

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.

Consider Specialization as a Front End Developer

A Front End Developer typically uses JavaScript, Git, and Agile with an emphasis on the user-side for building websites. Front End Developers must know about JavaScript frameworks and libraries like React and Node.js. A Front End Developer’s skill set must include project management tools like Ora, using email or Slack for communicating and checking up on assignments, having a code editor for text editing with building web pages, and using Google Drive for being able to store and access files when at work or working outside the office.

Being a Front End Developer requires working with Back End Developers, whose duties focus on the server-side, or functional side, of websites in contrast to the user-side with front end web development.

With the teleconferencing technology available nowadays, much of the work for a Front End Developer can be done remotely depending on the employer or circumstances of a project. 

Consider Where to Work as a Front End Developer

In finding the right place to live and work, Front End Developers must factor in the likelihood of actually finding a job, the cost of living for a particular location, and the quality of life there. While finding employment in a big city might seem on the surface to provide a fantastic salary, in some places that money can disappear quickly with the cost of rent, food, and fuel. Prospective employees must also consider whether they will actually like where they end up working and living.

Depending on experience, the salary for a Front End Developer can vary. As expected, the average national salary for an entry level position like Junior Developer is around $64,000 a year, which is well below the overall national average of nearly $103,000 that more experienced professionals can earn for the position. By contrast, experience as a Front End Developer can lead to earning 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 web development include working as a Back End Developer making around $116,000 a year on average, or a Web Developer averaging about $82,000. 

In larger cities like San Francisco, a Front End Developer cab averages as much as $145,000 a year, mainly due to the city’s location as part of 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. 

While there are cities throughout the world that offer generous opportunities for working as Front End Developers, there are a wealth of opportunities for finding work at the position in smaller cities as well. Candidates must consider several factors when contemplating where to live and work by examining the strengths and drawbacks for life in certain places. 

Consider Working as Part of a Team as a Front End Developer

Without exception, Front End Developers are expected to work as part of a team. Aside from Back End Developers, Front End Developers also work with Designers, Project Managers, and Product Managers in designing, developing, maintaining, and troubleshooting websites and apps. 

In contrast to Front End Developers, whose responsibilities focus on the user-side of web development, Back End Developers work on the server-side of websites and apps that include integrating elements of front end web development along with back end functions. Back End Developers emphasize the functionality of websites by collaborating with Front End Developers and others in assuring that websites and applications operate. 

Front End Developers also work with Project Managers, who lead teams by planning, managing, and budgeting projects through completion in order to meet defined goals and deadlines. Project Managers manage people, scope, time, quality, and budgets in industries as diverse as construction and information technology.

Consider Careers Relate to Front End Developer

As an occupation that depends on collaboration, working as a Front End Developer can create opportunities for employment in several other areas related to web development and technology. 

Front End Developers who have bachelor’s degrees can move on to opportunities as Project Managers. Because Front End Developers work as part of a web development team, becoming a Project Manager seems like a natural progression. 

Project Managers apply several methods for getting projects done. Becoming a Project Manager requires formal project management certification in order to qualify for many of the positions. In order to become a Project Manager, a potential candidate must gain Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certifications. CAPM provides an initial foundation for starting in the position while PMP certification requires experience from having worked as a Project Manager.

Consider Creativity as a Front End Developer

Front End Developers should have several years of experience in creating websites, web applications, or software. Front End Developers must have experience with programming languages and web development. This includes thorough knowledge in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. A Front End Developer should have experience with testing and debugging browsers, applying search engine optimization (SEO), and working with the Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, and content management platforms like Drupal and WordPress. 

Front end web development affords opportunities for creativity with both coding and design in order to handle duties for both front end and back end web development as well as having some knowledge and experience with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). A Front End Developer should be in a constant state of self-education with technologies and up-to-date with the latest approaches in web development. Knowledge provides the best foundation for creativity by allowing a Developer to be able to improvise the best solutions regarding design, coding, or troubleshooting. Best practices are constantly changing with today’s perpetually evolving digital environment, so constantly learning new information is basically a job requirement. Front End Developers have options for finding full-time or part-time employment either working at a location or working remotely. Many prefer the freedom of working freelance, which is a viable work option. 

Employers will likely prefer Front End Developers who have good communication skills since the position requires working with others, including Back End Developers and Project Managers. Experience with being detail-oriented, self-motivated, and a problem-solver who possesses an aptitude for critical thinking all contribute to an individual's appeal as a Front End Developer.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Front End Developer?

You don't need a college degree to become a Front End Developer. While a degree is not strictly required, many Front End Developers do have four-year degrees in computer science. However, you can make yourself appealing to potential employers by learning the necessary skills required for working in front end web development without needing to attend college.

Noble Desktop offers various coding bootcamps and courses for individuals with no employment experience nor a college degree for working as Front End Developers. These courses provide training on how to create websites and web apps using coding and programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Many people prefer in-person training and feel more comfortable learning inside a classroom environment with an instructor standing right there in front of them. However, others might choose virtual learning, which provides the advantage of training at home with the same quality of instruction that they would get from an in-person class.

Whichever method for learning a person chooses, either in-person or live online training should provide an appropriate way for learning front end web development. People also have the option of taking on-demand or self-paced classes that allow them to learn at their own pace on their own time.

Read more about if you need a degree to become a Front End Developer.

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