Back-End Developer Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn more about a back-end developer’s salary, and factors that affect earnings, including skills, experience, industry, location, and certifications.

[Featured Image] Young female back-end developer with long red hair and glasses looking at two computer screens as she designs the server side of a website.

A back-end developer is a software and programming professional specializing in a website or application's back-end, or server-side. As the web development field continues to grow web developers can work in various industries such as computer systems design, education, advertising, and more. If you’re interested in this role, consider researching the earning potential and the factors that influence it, such as your education level, past experience, and industry.

What is a back-end developer? 

Working in back-end development means that you’ll be responsible for the server side of a website, which is everything the end user doesn’t see. A back-end developer works on a team to create and maintain websites and apps. In this role, you’ll work with programming languages and databases for the back end, such as:

Read more: What Does a Back-End Developer Do?

Back-end developer roles and responsibilities 

As a back-end developer, you’ll design the systems that users need to interact with a website, as well as manage the site’s databases. Oftentimes, you’ll find and fix bugs in code, as well as manage the website’s security, ensuring that it meets industry standards. 

The exact responsibilities a back-end developer has will vary depending on the size of the team and the type of project that’s being completed. With a larger team, you may specialize in a more focused area, such as working on coding or database management, while a smaller team may handle more types of tasks on a daily basis. 

Back-end developer salary outlook for 2024

According to various career and salary websites, the average pay for a back-end developer in the US ranges between $82,641 and $159,400. Here is a breakdown of salary data [1, 2, 4, 5]:

Keep in mind, these estimates are averages for back-end developers across different industries, with different education and experience levels. The exact amount you can expect to earn will vary on various factors. 

Factors that affect salary

Living in one area over another based on cost of living, acquiring in-demand skills, and considering different industries are all ways to increase your earning potential as a back-end developer. Let’s take a closer look at how these factors affect salary. 


Typically, the number of years in the field or experience level can help you earn a higher salary. Both Payscale and Glassdoor offer additional insight into how much you can earn, as follows: 

Payscale [1]Glassdoor [2]
Entry level$71,727$70,917
Early career$85,934$75,073
Senior level$127,062$104,352

Back-end skills

As a backend developer, you have a wide range of skills to learn as you grow in the field and further your education. Some skills are more in-demand than others and can help you land a higher-paying job and boost your resume. According to Indeed, these skills correspond to a higher average salary for back-end developers [3]: 

  • Robotics: 58.26 percent higher income 

  • Build automation: 32.82 percent higher income 

  • Data warehousing: 22.93 percent higher income

  • Machine learning: 13.08 percent higher income

  • Data structures: 12.30 percent higher income

Read more: 7 High-Income Skills Worth Learning


Even with the same education and experience, two back-end developers working in different industries can expect to make a different average salary. Glassdoor offers a breakdown of average salaries by industry [2]:

  • Education: $71,259

  • Manufacturing: $76,314

  • Agriculture: $77,781

  • Health care: $77,975

  • Insurance: $78,264

  • Telecommunications: $79,629

  • Personal consumer services: $80,263

  • Information technology: $81,236

  • Financial services: $82,605

  • Real estate: $84,143

  • Legal: $85,132


To enter this field there is more than one path to become a back-end developer. Employers may be more interested in the skills you have than the formal education you’ve earned. However, a bachelor’s degree is the most common qualification for a back-end developer. Typical majors to enter the software development field include computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and other relevant subjects.  

According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, 49.3 percent of professional developers earn a bachelor’s degree, 25.5 percent earn a master’s degree, and 3.3 percent earn a doctorate [6]. 

Additionally, obtaining certifications to expand your skills can help you qualify for a wider variety of work. According to Payscale's figures, adding a certification can also help you earn more money. Take a closer look at the average salary of professionals who’ve earned a common certification for a back-end developer: 

  • Amazon Web Services Certified Developer - Associate: $111,000 [7]

  • CIW Web Development Professional Certification: $70,000 [8]

  • Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate: $100,000 [9]

  • Salesforce Certified Developer: $102,000 [10]

Read more: Are Certifications Worth It? When to Get Certified in Your IT Career


Another source of variation between back-end developer salaries is where you live. Typically areas with a higher cost of living will have more heightened salaries. If you live in a location with a high cost of living, you’ll require a higher salary than you would in a location with a lower cost of living to afford the same lifestyle. According to ZipRecruiter, the five highest-paying states for back-end developers are [11]:

  • Hawaii: $126,019

  • Indiana: $122,130

  • Washington: $121,391

  • New York: $121,281

  • Minnesota: $120,390

On the other end of the chart, the five lowest-paying states are  [11]:

  • Louisiana: $81,532

  • Texas: $83,221

  • Pennsylvania: $83,780 

  • Michigan: $85,161

  • Illinois: $85,342

The highest paid cities, according to ZipRecruiter, are [4]:

  • San Jose, CA: $155,366

  • Oakland, CA: $153,218

  • Antioch, CA: $150,223

  • Hayward, CA: $148,371

  • Seattle, WA: $148,191

  • Santa Cruz, CA: $145,460

  • Concord, CA: $144,876

  • Seaside, CA: $143,012

  • Sunnyvale, CA: $142,496

  • Livermore, CA: $140,806

Back-end developer job outlook

According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s projected that jobs for web developers and digital designers will grow by 16 percent from 2022 to 2032 [12]. While this statistic does not differentiate between types of developers, it shows that job openings will be readily available over the next decade. 

Getting started 

If you’re ready to take the next steps and start a career as a back-end developer, start gaining the skills you need to get started. With Meta’s Back-End Developer Professional Certificate, you can learn computer programming, Python, Linux, web development, and other skills you need to get started as a back-end developer. This program is designed for beginners with no prior experience. Upon completion, gain exclusive access to career resources like resume review, interview prep, and career support. 

Article sources


Payscale. “Back End Developer/Engineer Salary in 2023,” Accessed June 20, 2023. 

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.