iOS Developer vs. Web Developer

As an iOS developer, you’ll be building and maintaining apps for iOS. Similarly, as a web developer, your job revolves around creating and managing websites. However, apart from this simple job description, there are plenty of differences between both career paths that you should know about.

iOS developers enjoy a higher salary than web developers. However, iOS development is also comparatively harder to learn and difficult to land a job in. That said, both professions score equally high in job satisfaction rates with excellent employment growth prospects.

In this article, I’ve put together a detailed breakdown of web developers & iOS developers. By the end, you should clearly know what to expect from both careers.

Career Differences Between iOS Developers and Web Developers

Here’s a quick look at how iOS and web developers compare against each other concerning average salary, learning curve, necessary qualifications to get hired, overall job satisfaction, and growth prospect.

Area of ComparisoniOS DeveloperWeb Developer
Average Salary$95k/year$61k/year
Learning CurveComparatively more difficult as you need to learn more difficult and complicated concepts before you can land a job.Comparatively less difficult as you can land a job without having to study advanced coding skills.
However, you’ll need to learn the difficult concepts as you grow in your career and need to take on more complex projects.
Necessary QualificationsDemonstrable knowledge of how to build and maintain an iOS app.
Having a degree or diploma will help you get your foot into most interviews, but it’s not absolutely necessary to land a job.
Demonstrable knowledge of building a website or managing a server.
A degree isn’t necessary to apply for most jobs but having one certainly helps.
Job Satisfaction4.1 out of 53.9 out of 5
Future ProspectProjected employment growth rate of 25% between 2021-2031.Projected employment growth rate of 23% from 2021 to 2031.
Table of difference between iOS Dev and Web Dev

The following sections offer a more detailed look at these points.

Video: iOS Developer 2023 Roadmap to GET A JOB

Average Salary

The average salary of an iOS developer is considerably higher than that of a web developer.

In the US, iOS developers expect a median salary of around $95k/year. The exact figure will vary depending on your skills, experience, and where you work, but you can expect it to be between $63k/year to $138k/year.

In contrast, web developers get $61k/year on average, which is less than the starting salary of a junior iOS developer.

On the lower end, web developers make around $42k/year. But as you gain more experience & better skills and work at reputed companies, you can expect your salary to rise to $90k/year or higher.

Sadly, the upper limit of what you can earn as a “skilled” web developer is around the same as what you can expect as an “average” iOS developer.

Let a lower starting salary not discourage you to become a web developer. With some experience and a proper approach, it is quite easy to earn 100k as a Web developer yearly (both self-employed and working in a company).

Learning Curve

Learning iOS development is comparatively more difficult than learning web development.

To become an iOS developer, you’ll need to learn a high-level programming language: Swift. Following that, you’ll need to learn the fundamentals of iOS development, which includes UI/UX design, coding best practices for the platform, and much more.

Also, depending on the scope of the app you’re building, you might also need to know networking and database concepts.

In contrast, to become a web developer, you just need to know how to code using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, along with some basic ideas for web UI/UX design. That is usually enough to land you a job as a fresher front-end developer.

Of course, as you handle bigger projects requiring you to build more complicated websites, you’ll need to learn advanced concepts like networking, database management, and sometimes, even a high-level language like Python.

As such, at higher levels, web development and iOS development are equally challenging.

Did you know? You can also use Swift for web development.

Necessary Qualifications

Both iOS developers and web developers can land a job without a degree, but it’s easier for web devs than iOS devs.

As an iOS developer, you’ll be able to land a job if you demonstrate your skills and knowledge. To do this, you don’t necessarily need a degree or diploma. If you have built an iOS app that’s stable and works, most employers will hire you based on that. 

That said, getting an interview with a potential employer can be difficult without a degree, as most (not all) job listings do mention preferring degree holders. 

In contrast, most web development jobs are very flexible regarding academic credentials and rarely demand to see any degree or diploma. As long as you have the necessary skills and can demonstrate them to the interviewer, you can easily land that job. 

Job Satisfaction

Both iOS and web developers are very happy and satisfied with their jobs.

According to a Payscale survey, iOS developers gave their job an average satisfaction score of 4.1 out of 5 or 82%. In contrast, a similar Payscale survey of web developers got an average job satisfaction score of 3.9 out of 5 or 78%.

For reference, The Conference Board reported in 2017 that only 51% of US workers said they have a satisfying job. 

This means that both iOS and web development are highly satisfying job profiles where employees can expect awesome benefits and a proper work-life balance.

ios dev vs web dev
Becoming an iOS dev is not as easy as a web dev and it usually is better to have a degree in a related field. Harder entry is one of the main reasons why it pays more compared to web dev jobs.

Future Prospect

Both iOS and web developers have excellent growth prospects, where demand for new talent is only expected to increase.

According to the BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), software developers–including iOS developers–have an expected 25% employment rate between 2021 and 2031.

In comparison, BLS has projected web development jobs to see a 23% rise in employment rates from 2021-2031.

These figures are impressive, especially considering that the national average employment growth rate is just 0.7% annually, which comes around to a compounded growth rate of 7.22% over a decade. 

This means iOS developers and web developers will see more than 3x growth in the workforce.

Key Takeaways

The average salary of an iOS developer is more than that of a web developer.

But, at the same time, learning iOS development is more difficult than web development. 

It’s also possible to land a job in both professions without having a degree or diploma, but the recruitment criteria for web developers are a bit more lenient.

In terms of job satisfaction, both iOS developers & web devs score extremely high, and both professions have a great future with excellent employment growth rates.

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