Why Are Web Developers Paid Less

Let’s face it, people develop sites and apps for the money. That’s not to say that the love of writing code doesn’t come into play, but more often than not, it’s about how much of a salary we can take home each month. So why are web developers paid less?

There are many reasons web developers are paid less than they are worth. Web developers are in demand todayas more businesses turn to the internet, more job opportunities open up. This influx of job offers has led to stiff competition among developers, making it hard to secure higher salaries.

Let’s look at some of the most critical factors that determine a web developer’s salary, whether or not they are fair, or if there could be room for improvement.

Average Web Developer Salary in the United States

Web developers represent a sizable pool of potential employees in today’s job market. For skilled and experienced web developers, job opportunities are expanding as more companies use the internet to increase their online visibility. Developers now face intense competition due to the influx of job offers, making it challenging to negotiate premium salaries.

As of February 2023, the average salary for a web developer in the U.S. is $82,026. This is based on the salaries web developer employees, users, and Indeed job ads have reported anonymously over the last 36 months. There are 2,200 reports on salaries gathered. For reference, the average salary for web developers back in August 2021 was $67,000 (just before inflation hit).

A web developer’s salary can be influenced by various factors, including skill set, education, certification, location, and years of experience.

Let lower average pay not discourage you from pursuing a web development job career. I am a full-stack web developer myself and my pay is decent compared to another developer, not even that much less. It is entirely possible to make $100k as a web developer per year (click on this link to find easy steps to follow).

web developer's screen
A low entry barrier into web development means that the average salary is less compared to other programming jobs. Further education and expertise in well-sought technologies, combined with experience, will bring your salary to six figures in a few years.

Post-Secondary Graduates Earn More

Writing code is essential for web developers. Whether working on the front or back end, you might use programming languages such as: 

  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Python 
  • Ruby

A bachelor’s degree is not required to work as a web developer, but those with one typically receive larger paychecks. In addition, some businesses prefer to hire web developers with advanced degrees in computer science or programming.

Programming languages and frameworks change frequently, forcing developers to update their knowledge and learn new languages. As a web developer, you need to know HTML, but you should also know if it’s going to be around in the near future. Find out if HTML will die soon in my guide.

Years of Experience Are Always Taken Into Account

When you’re a web developer, every job is an opportunity to add to your resume and learn something new. Pay increases may be possible down the road as you gain more experience and skills in the field!

Indeed reports that junior web developers can expect an average annual salary of $60,731. While those with over five years of experience can expect an average salary of between $78.836 and $85.908 per year.

Certifications Can Help You Land a Higher-Paying Job

If you’re a web developer looking to boost your salary, it’s time to get certified. There are a lot of certifications that can improve your job prospects and your paycheck.

Here are some skills that employers often request:

  • Backbone.js 
  • Angular 
  • React
  • Java
  • Node.js

According to Indeed, web developers with certification and skills on Backbone.js earn +46.17% more than the average base salary.

Location and Cost of Living

Web developer salaries vary by city because of differences in cost of living and business centers. Here are the U.S. cities where web developers make the most money:

  • New York, NY: average base salary of $98,156 per year
  • Los Angeles, CA: average base salary of $87,179 per year
  • Atlanta, GA: average base salary of $104,084 per year
  • Austin, TX: average base salary of $80,884 per year
  • Houston, TX: average base salary of $98,831 per year
  • Miami, FL: average base salary of $75,580 per year

Top Companies For Web Developers

The salary range for web developers can also vary depending on the company. The top three companies in the U.S. that offer the highest salaries for web developers are:

  • Genesis Acquisitions, Inc. ($150,166 per year)
  • Wells Fargo ($141,067 per year)
  • Boeing ($138,407 per year)

In addition, there may be opportunities for bonus pay and improved benefits packages. When negotiating your salary, think about other benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible scheduling.

List of Payscale for Programming Jobs

Web developers aren’t paid as well as other jobs in the tech or programming industry. In fact, some might even argue that they’re underpaid! But why is that? And how do they stack up against other jobs in their field? Let’s take a look at some data:

I already mentioned that the average salary for a web developer is $67,567 per year. That’s pretty good money as far as salaries go, but several other techs and programming jobs pay more than that:

  • Software Engineer: $118,631 per year
  • Database Administrator: $91,873 per year
  • Computer Systems Analyst: $79,289 per year
  • Computer Systems Engineer: $80,645 per year
  • Computer Programmer: $73,162 per year
  • Network Systems Administrator: $73,191 per year
  • Web Developer: $82,026 per year

You might see web developers at the bottom of the salary list, and that’s because of the demand, skill sets, and market competition.

Here you can read more about web developer vs. network administrator job comparison.

Increasing Your Pay as a Web Developer

If you’re a web developer and want to make more money, there are a few ways to go about it.

  • Consider changing employers. If you’ve been working at the same company for a while, they may not be willing to pay as much as another employer would. So, look around and see if other companies need your skills and experience.
  • Manage other web developers. This experience can increase the likelihood of earning more money by moving up in the company hierarchy and qualifying for promotions along with bonuses and raises.
  • Earn an advanced degree in computer science or software development. This will allow you to qualify for promotions within your current company and give you a competitive edge when applying for new jobs at other companies!

If you don’t like writing code as much and enjoy managing projects, then maybe the project manager job is more suited for you. On this link, you can read a great comparison between a programmer and a project manager.


Web developers are paid less because of the stiff competition in the job market. However, you can improve your pay as a web developer by focusing on your technical skills and gaining experience. 

Tech is growing daily, so the job market is constantly shifting as old jobs become obsolete. When this happens, so do the salaries of those careers. Web development is an ever-changing field, with many career opportunities for those who know how to adapt.