JavaScript Developer Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career in JavaScript development? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a JavaScript developer is right for you.
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A JavaScript Developer Career: Pros and Cons

JavaScript is a type of Web programming language used by website developers that is supported across all Web browsers and tools. Read on for some of the pros and cons of a career as a JavaScript or Web developer.

Pros of a JavaScript Developer Career
The industry median annual salary was $68,670 in 2014*
Work is done in comfortable computer labs and offices*
Due to advances in technology, more and more developers are able to work from remote locations, such as their homes. *
High job growth (20%) projected between 2012 and 2022*
Job integrates creative with technical work*

Cons of a JavaScript Developer Career
Web developers must constantly update their skill sets as new technology is introduced*
You may have to work more than 50 hours a week*
Long hours on the computer can result in back pain, eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome*
Employers are starting to hire remote workers in lower-cost areas of the country, which reduces wages*
Some jobs may be outsourced to foreign countries with lower wages*

Source *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Info

Job Description

JavaScript is a programming language that developers use to make websites interactive. As a Web developer who uses JavaScript, you would use this programming language to create, enhance and modify websites. You would use troubleshooting skills to fix issues with existing websites, modifying programs on the language or code level. Although JavaScript would be your specialty, it's likely that you'd also be required to be fluent in a number of different computer programming languages.

Web developers are responsible for a website's programming, development and implementation. You may be responsible for a whole site or just specific aspects or pages of one or more websites. You'll probably find yourself juggling a variety of programming duties that go into the creation of websites.

Job Prospects and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the Web development industry is expected to grow 20% in the decade between 2012 and 2022. This is due to the rising number of businesses establishing and maintaining company websites and the trend in Web-based companies. The BLS found that Web developers, computer network architects and information security analysts earned an average salary of about $68,000, $100,000 and $91,000, respectively, as of May 2014.

What Are the Requirements?

Required education varies. Many businesses want Web developers who hold bachelor's degrees in computer science or programming, while others look for people who are certified in various programming languages. Some jobs only require experience and a strong portfolio. Work experience and fluency in JavaScript, HTML and other specific Web-related tools are generally required. Important qualities are analytical, organizational and problem-solving skills, creativity and the ability to work as part of a team.

What Employers are Looking For

Employers need JavaScript developers with top notch programming skills and the ability to solve technical problems. Some of the other tools commonly requested by employers include HTML, DHTML, CSS, XML and Flash. To give you an idea of what your potential employers might require, here are some examples pulled from various March 2012 job boards:

  • A Florida company specializing in custom mobile websites needed a JavaScript programmer able to change desktop webpages into mobile webpages. In addition to JavaScript, applicants were required to be proficient in CSS3 and HTML5 programming languages.
  • In Virginia, a software development company advertised for a JavaScript programmer with strong debugging skills and professional, front-end experience.
  • A New Jersey-based technology company was looking for a JavaScript developer to program a new Web platform designed to deliver online financial services to its customers.
  • A Georgia technology company advertised for a JavaScript developer with five to seven years experience, good communication skills and a strong portfolio of past website development.
  • In Missouri, an IT Services company needed a JavaScript developer with a bachelor's degree and the ability to manage a website from concept to launch.

How Can I Stand Out?

The BLS points out that an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science will help you stand out in the field. Because many employers look for Web programmers who can work in a variety of programming languages and in a number of different development platforms, you may want to hone your skills in specific Web technologies such as those listed above. Various sources exist for learning, including online, free tutorials.

Alternative Career Paths

Computer Support Specialist

If you don't have the computer experience to become a JavaScript or Web developer but you'd still like to work in the tech field, you might consider becoming a computer support specialist. These positions don't require as much education, training or programming skill as Web development positions. In this job, you'd provide computer hardware and software troubleshooting and tech insight to organizations and individuals. Two subcategories of this career are technical support specialists, who generally work within an organization helping employees; and help desk technicians, who help people outside of the organization, such as customers. The pay is substantially less than that of Web developers: according to the BLS, computer support specialists made a mean annual wage of around $52,000 in 2011.

Computer Systems Analyst

If you like the idea of developing and working with information technology systems within an organization, consider a career as a computer systems analyst. In this job, you'd use a number of different programming languages in the creation of IT systems. You'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, though some analysts have liberal arts degrees and gain programming skills elsewhere. This career is also expected to see high growth (22%) in the 2010-2020 decade. The pay is about the same as it is for Web developers; in 2011, computer systems analysts made a mean salary of $82,000, per BLS statistics.

Popular Schools

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    1. Georgetown University

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    3. ECPI University

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Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Mobile Gaming
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
  • BS - Mobile Development (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

ECPI University

  • Software Development - Bachelor's
  • Associate's - Network Security
  • Web Design & Dev

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctorate: Computer Science
  • MS - Computer Science - Software Engineering
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Software Application Programming

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Colorado State University Global

  • Master - Information Technology Management
  • Graduate Specialization - Information Technology
  • Graduate Certificate - Cyber Security

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • PhD Technology and Innovation Management Computer Science
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • MBA - Applied Computer Science
  • MS Technology and Innovation Management Computer Science

What is your highest level of education?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of IT: Project Management
  • Master of Information Technology - Information Assurance and Security
  • Bachelor of Technology: Software Analysis and Development
  • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security

Are you a US citizen?