An important consideration when choosing a career is whether that career path is a good fit for where you live or where you would like to live. You’ll need to think about the cost of living in your location of choice, and how it compares to the average salary for Web Developers in that area. Another key factor is the level of demand for Web Developers in that particular place, especially if you prefer in-person or hybrid work to being fully remote. In addition to researching how many jobs are currently available, you’ll also want to think about whether the location has an existing community of Web Developers that you can lean on and learn from as you go forward in your career.
What is a Web Developer?
A Web Developer builds websites and web applications for companies or clients who hire them to create a product that serves a specific purpose. They are responsible for meeting the project objectives while providing a positive experience for the end user. Web Developers write and test the product’s code and are often responsible for maintaining performance and capacity.
Various specializations fall under the Web Development umbrella. A front end developer focuses on the visual elements of a website or application—that is, the interface that the end user sees and interacts with. A back end developer designs and creates the site’s behind-the-scenes structure and functionality. However, the type of web developer most desirable to employers is a full stack developer with front-end and back-end development skills.
Web developers may work solo or as part of a team, often depending on whether they are freelance or work full-time for a particular company. Almost any business in any industry needs a web developer, but whether they have a web development team or hire a freelance developer will depend on their circumstances. Businesses need web developers because having an online presence increases their client base. Many businesses also need web developers because they want to connect with potential customers through their own web applications.
Read more about what a Web Developer does.
What Makes a City Good for Web Developers?
There are several key elements that make a city a good fit for an aspiring Web Developer. One is the level of demand for Web Developers in that particular location, especially as it correlates with the pay on offer and the cost of living in the city. If you want to work in-person or have a hybrid arrangement, you’ll definitely need to think about the relationship between your salary and how much it costs to live there. Another aspect of moving to a particular city with your web development career in mind is the consideration of whether there is already a community of Web Developers there. Having an active community can help you find mentorship and camaraderie that will encourage you in your career.
When looking at a particular city as a prospect, you’ll want to consider the job opportunities that are available there. How many current listings for Web Developer positions in that location can you find on LinkedIn or Indeed? Are there industries there that are growing and might have greater need for Web Developers in the future? Do you see openings that are a good fit for your particular skills and interest?
An aspiring Web Developer should consider their prospects for compensation in the city they are looking to move to. When you look at job listings for Web Developers in that city, do you find that they match the cost-of-living in the particular area you’d like to be located? When you compare the salaries for Web Developers in that location to the other cities you’re considering, how do they match up when adjusted for cost-of-living?
Strong Web Developer Community
One aspect you may not have considered previously is the presence of a strong community of Web Developers in the area. Having lots of other web development professionals in your city means it’s more likely you’ll have access to opportunities for networking and professional development. Will the city you’d like to live in give you a chance to meet and interact professionally with other Web Developers? Will you have a chance to pursue further education in your community and expand the potential of your career?
Presence of Tech Industry in the City
If you’re looking for a job as a Web Developer, part of what you’ll want to pay attention to in choosing a city is whether the tech industry has a strong presence there. Of course, you may not want to be a Web Developer who works in tech proper. As discussed in other articles, just about every industry needs Web Developers, so you can adapt this recommendation to focus on whatever industry you like. But if you want to work in big tech, you’ll need to make sure you move to a place where you can find a job in that field—either that or bank on securing a remote job, which might limit the range of your possibilities.
Tech Training Schools
One of the best ways to advance your career as a Web Developer is to keep learning new skills that you can apply to your work to make yourself more valuable to your employer. While there are many online resources and live online courses for tech training, if you know that you learn best in-person, you should consider whether the city has excellent tech schools when deciding whether to locate there.
Top Cities for Web Developers
Seattle, long associated with tech, is an attractive city for Web Developers because of the presence of tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon. It also has a healthy and growing startup scene, for those who are interested in working for a smaller company. The average salary for a Web Developer in Seattle was $95,603. This is significantly above the national average, but it is also worth noting that cost-of-living in Seattle is fairly high.
Atlanta is a great city to live in as a Web Developer because of the strong tech community attracted by the creation of the Atlanta Tech Village. Also, the average Web Developer salary there as of 2023 is $105,277, well above the average salary nationwide. And Atlanta has a fairly low cost-of-living, which means that your high salary will go farther. About 10% of all jobs in the web development field are listed in Atlanta, showing a high rate of demand for Web Developers.
Washington, D.C. is a uniquely appealing place for Web Developers because of the opportunities provided by working or contracting for the federal government. Startups in the cybersecurity and healthcare spaces are particularly active in D.C. for this reason. D.C. has a high cost-of-living, but not as high as Seattle or San Francisco. And the average salary for a Web Developer is higher than in Seattle, at $97,244.
In spite of the high cost-of-living, San Francisco is still an excellent city for a Web Developer to live in. It’s still the top tech hub in the country, which means a highly active community of other Web Developers for you to learn from. It also offers many possible job opportunities within tech, both with the major corporations and in its lively startup scene. Plus, the average Web Developer’s salary in San Francisco is $131,391, so the pay does keep up with the cost-of-living to some extent.
New York City
NYC is another excellent city for Web Developers. Not only is it one of the most desirable places to live in the country, in terms of its cultural attractions, but it also has a thriving community of Web Developers who hold many networking events. It will be easy for a new Web Developer to find mentors and peers in New York City. The market for Web Developers in NYC is correspondingly strong. It can’t be denied that this city has one of the higher costs-of-living in the country, but the average salary is strong as well, at $99,407.
Why Become a Web Developer?
Web development is a good career option for many reasons. A Web Developer can expect to command a sizable salary and benefits. They also have a strong job outlook today, and future projections show that Web Developers will continue to be in increasing demand for at least the next decade. The ever-evolving nature of web technology also suggests that future Web Developers will be needed to achieve web applications we cannot imagine today.
For this same reason and others, Web Developer is also a career that brings a great deal of interest and challenge with it. There is great room for growth in web development, from promotion and increased salary to the development of new and exciting skills that will put you in even higher demand. A Web Developer is always solving new problems and tackling new challenges. They also typically have considerable agency over how, when, and where they do their work, as long as they attend scheduled meetings and fulfill their assigned deadlines to ensure timely project completion.
Read more about whether Web Developer is a good career.
How to Find a Web Developer Job
The best sites to use when searching for web development jobs include Indeed, LinkedIn, Dice, GitHub, and Stack Overflow. If you’re looking for freelance jobs, add in Guru and Upwork. The necessary materials for applying include an excellent portfolio, an efficient resume, a strong cover letter, and a thorough LinkedIn page that includes all of your skills and qualifications. You should have your career mentor review all of these materials so that you can make the best possible impression. You’ll also want to make sure you network by reaching out to people on LinkedIn and attending professional networking events. Knowing someone involved with hiring for a job makes you much more likely to be considered for an interview. There may be hundreds of people applying for the same job, and a personal connection makes it much easier for you to stand out from the crowd.
If you do get an interview, you’ll need to research the company and, if you can, the person or people who will be interviewing you. Then you’ll be prepared to say why you want to work there and connect with your interviewers on a personal level. You’ll also want to research common Web Developer job interview questions and make sure you are ready to answer them. You should be ready for a technical interview, which will usually involve solving a coding problem in real-time. If you want to practice your interviewing skills, you may want to do a “mock interview” with your career mentor. They’ll pretend to be interviewing you, and then you can workshop your answers with them afterward.
Learn the Skills to Become a Web Developer at Noble Desktop
To become a Web Developer, you must learn specific skills critical to the job. Noble Desktop can help you build these skills through in-person or live online instruction. Either way, you’ll have access to expert instructors who can clarify issues when you are confused, provide feedback on your work, and guide you through becoming a Web Developer. Small class sizes and the option to retake any course for free once you’ve completed it are additional incentives for studying with Noble Desktop.
If you’re a beginner in web development, Noble’s hub of articles and resources on web development is a great place to start and plan your learning path. Noble’s web development courses are excellent if you’re eager to start learning but not yet ready to commit to a full certificate.