A front-end developer builds the front-end portion of websites and web applications—that is, the part that users actually see and interact with.
Contrast this with back-end developers, who work to develop the behind-the-scenes portions of a website or application, like data storage, security, site performance, or other server-side functions.
Front-end developers create the user interface (UI) that determines what each part of a site or application does and how it will look.
If someone wanted to build a website, for example, they might hire a front-end developer to create the site's layout. The front-end developer determines where to place images, what the navigation should look like, and how to present the site. Much of their work involves ensuring the appearance and layout of the site or application is easy to navigate and intuitive for the user.
The average salary for a front-end developer in the United States was $87,240 in December 2021, according to Glassdoor. Factors like education level, experience, or certifications may affect how much you earn.
Front-end development is a career that is expected to continue being in demand for years to come. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that web developer jobs in the US should grow by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is well above the overall average of 8 percent for all jobs .
The demand and flexibility of this position mean that there are many career opportunities available across various industries and locations. Whether that means working with a non-profit organization, starting your own freelance business, or being an in-house developer for a company, you’ll likely have the chance to find a role that fits your interests.
The computer-heavy nature of the job also means plenty of opportunities to work remotely. Being a front-end developer can mean being able to work for companies across the country—or even the globe—from the comfort of your home.
A career as a front-end web developer can flex your creativity and problem-solving skills. As a field that is constantly evolving to incorporate new technology, front-end development can reward those who like to learn new things and face challenges.
Some of the most prominent skills you’ll want to have as a front-end developer are:
Developer tools and software: Software like version control, which tracks and controls changes in your source code, is critical to allow you to make changes without starting over. Understanding how to use many different software development tools is a building block to a successful career.
In addition to understanding the technology that drives a website, having specific workplace skills can make you a better candidate for becoming a front-end developer. Here are a few you’ll want to keep in mind:
CSS (cascading style sheets): The language used to create the layout, color, style, and so on of the pages you create with HTML
Frameworks: A platform for developing software consistently, efficiently, and accurately
HTML (hypertext markup language): The basic building block needed to develop websites, a language that allows you to make notes in digital documents that are different from regular text
UI (user interface): The graphical layout of an application
UX (user experience): How a user interacts with the application
Version control: The process of tracking and controlling changes to your source code
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Web Developers and Digital Designers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm#tab-1." Accessed December 13, 2021.
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.