Web Applications Developer Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons of a web applications developer career? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a web applications developer is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Web Applications Developer Career

Web application developers perform duties that help websites run smoothly, integrating different applications to create Web content and applications. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide if this career is right for you.

PROS of a Web Applications Developer Career
High growth field (23% employment growth between 2012-2022)*
Higher than average salaries (about $100,000 mean annual wage in 2014)*
Ever-changing industry and opportunities for new learning in technology*
Can work in a variety of companies due to growth in Web and Internet use*
Opportunities to advance to other computer-related positions with experience or education*

CONS of a Web Applications Developer Career
Work may be repetitive at times*
May have to rely on other employees to integrate Web applications*
May need additional degree or certifications to advance in the field*
Long work hours possible during heavy workload or application implementation times*
No set standard in the industry for educational requirements, which can vary by employer*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties, Salaries and Job Growth

Job Duties

As a Web applications developer, you may perform a variety of duties beginning with analyzing your client's needs in technical programs for their online presence. You may need to manage various projects and work with other departments to solicit their input and assistance. As you build and implement Web solutions you'll need to ensure a smooth transition in the programming. You may be required to do quality testing and provide support to your users after your project is complete. Some employers will require that you provide usage procedures and perform ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting for your products.

Salaries and Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2014, the average annual salary was approximately $100,000 for application software developers (www.bls.gov).

Employment growth in applications development was expected to be very high, at a rate of 23%, from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS. The increased need for professionals in this field would be fueled by a growth in the number of individuals and companies using mobile applications, as well as an increase in the amount of information being transmitted via the Web.

What Are the Requirements?

As a Web applications developer, you will need strong math, reading and English language skills. You will also need knowledge of computers and electronics, as well as possess the programming skills that are typically needed in this job.

Education

There are undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in Web applications development. Programs in this field typically include classes in various areas that are often requirements for employment. Some of the areas covered in educational programs include:

  • Systems analysis, development and design
  • Computer science
  • Database management systems design and theory
  • Project management
  • Specific programs like Structured Query Language (SQL), JavaScript and PHP
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • A general knowledge of various media types
  • Deductive reasoning skills and the ability to predict problems before they occur
  • Customer service and customer needs analysis skills

Job Postings from Real Employers

You will find an abundance of positions as a Web application developer due to the high demand for workers in this field. Typically, they are full-time jobs with benefits, and the requirements may vary depending on the employer or position. Here are some examples of job openings posted on a national employment website in March 2012:

  • A company in Baltimore, MD, was looking for a PHP developer-Web application developer and required at least two years of experience and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The Web application developer would design, develop and implement internal applications and update the company's website and portals. The position included a full benefits package and room for advancement.
  • A company in Arizona wanted to hire a senior principal Web developer for their global information systems team. The developer would work with the marketing communications department to deliver Web content. The job entailed defining, designing and delivering Web applications using specific programs. Experience in JavaScript, Web services, CSS, HTML, Ajax and JQUERY was required, as well as five years of experience and a portfolio demonstrating the developer's work.
  • An Austin, TX, company was seeking a Web application developer to develop its Web software applications using industry standard tools, technologies and methodologies. Required skills included Java, data structures and algorithms. Other desirable skills were knowledge in HTML/JavaScript, XML and relational databases.

How to Get an Edge in the Field

You can show competence in the Web applications development with formal training in this field. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available in Web application development, as well as undergrad and graduate certificate programs. Employers may also be interested in applicants who have a degree in computer systems design or a related computer science field.

Certification

In addition, you can pursue certification in specific Web development programs. Software manufacturers, vendors and academic institutions offer certification in a wide range of areas, including Java platforms, Oracle applications and Microsoft application development. Some employers will even help you become certified in order to enhance your skills once you are employed.

Other Careers to Consider

If applications development isn't the field for you, there are other careers that utilize the same type of knowledge and skills. You can explore your creative side in fields such as animation or Web design or delve deeper into the coding aspect as a computer programmer.

Graphic Designer or Web Designer

The field of graphic design explores more of the artistic side of website and Web page development. If you find this is an area you are interested in, you can learn skills in graphics and Web page design to pursue this career. In May 2010, the BLS reported that the mean annual wage for graphic designers was about $48,000.

Multimedia Artist or Animator

Another related career that is more artistic in nature is the multimedia or animation field. As a multimedia artist or animator, you will use film, video and other electronic media to create animation and effects for areas like videos, games or even movies. The BLS stated in May 2010 that the average annual wage for this occupation was about $63,000.

Computer Programmer

If you find you like the coding, analyzing and knowledge of how computer applications work, you may wish to pursue a career as a computer programmer. This career allows you to use your Web application development skills in a variety of ways, such as developing software programs or working with developers to find and correct problems in existing programs. . In May 2010, the BLS reported that computer programmers earned a mean annual wage of about $75,000.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

The Art Institutes

  • Design & Media Management (MA)
  • Web Design & Interactive Media (BFA)
  • Web Design & Interactive Media (AAS)
  • Web Design & Interactive Communications (C)
  • Digital Design (D)

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: Human Resources and Technology Management
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Technology Studies

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • MBA - Applied Computer Science
  • MSTIM - Computer Science

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Mobile Gaming
  • BS - Game Design (Campus)
  • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • MSM in Information Technology
  • BBA: New Media and Internet Marketing
  • Associate: Information Technology

Which subject are you interested in?

Virginia College

  • Associate - Network System Administrator
  • Diploma Program - Network Technician

What is your highest level of education completed?