Front End DeveloperJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Front-end developers are computer programmers who optimize web pages and mobile apps for maximum efficiency by creating designs that meet user requirements. Typical duties of a front-end developer include determining what the structure and design of a web page should be, creating a functional yet aesthetic design, and maximizing efficiency. Front-end developers must be conscious of maintaining brand consistency across all web pages. They work closely with back-end developers, graphic designers, and user experience designers to ensure the consistency of web designs. As such, a front-end developer needs to have strong communication and interpersonal skills.

A front-end web developer should be able to create seamless UX for a wide range of platforms, including mobile games, digital menus, rich video, and more. They must adhere to brand standards while observing UX best practices. A solid background in search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely helpful. 

A front-end developer should be familiar with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. They also need to be proficient in using graphic design applications like Adobe Illustrator. Essential skills for this role include a deep understanding of design principles, working knowledge of responsive and adaptive design, and excellent problem-solving skills.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is in search of an experienced front end developer. This candidate will be responsible for using their knowledge of programming languages to code user-side applications including visual elements and overall layout of websites and applications. Duties include working with clients to develop the overall look and design of a website, writing website code with programming languages such as HTML, C++, and Java, producing, maintaining, and modifying websites and user interfaces, incorporating applications, graphics, audio, and videos int client websites, and creating tools that enhance the user’s website experience. The ideal candidate will be able to work well with a team, be organized, self-motivated, and a critical thinker. Knowledge of multiple programming languages is a must, and how to code for websites and applications is essential. This candidate will have one or two years of website development as a front end developer. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Plan the structure and layout of webpages
  • Create UX optimized for desktop and mobile use
  • Balance aesthetic and functional design choices
  • Maintain brand standards through web design
  • Build novel features designed to improve UX
  • Use various markup languages to write websites
  • Work with back-end developers to troubleshoot website code
  • Create wireframes and mockups to present to art directors and clients
  • Receive and implement feedback from internal and client reviews

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Candidates with extensive work experience may not require a degree, but formal training of some sort is always mandatory.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Expertise in CSS, JavaScript, TML, and jQuery
  • Understanding of crucial web and visual design elements
  • Solid knowledge of adaptive and responsive design
  • Understanding of server-side CSS
  • Knowledge of SEO best practices
  • Solid communication skills
  • Experience using graphic design tools, such as Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Ability to thrive under tight deadlines

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience developing scalable and reliable software products for operational infrastructure projects
  • Experience creating APIs for large datasets
  • Previous work as a java developer, full-stack programming developer, front-end programming developer, software engineer, or software development engineer

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a front end developer is $119,200 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$118,550$160,400
Los Angeles, California$133,750$180,950
Denver, Colorado$111,450$150,800
Washington, DC$135,750$183,700
Miami, Florida$110,950$150,100
Orlando, Florida$102,350$138,450
Tampa, Florida$103,350$139,800
Atlanta, Georgia$108,400$146,700
Chicago, Illinois$124,600$168,600
Boston, Massachusetts$134,750$182,300
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$107,400$145,300
New York City, New York$141,850$191,900
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$115,500$156,250
Dallas, Texas$112,450$152,150
Houston, Texas$111,450$150,800
Seattle, Washington$129,700$175,450
National Average$101,300$137,100

Typical work environment

Front-end developers work behind the scenes in an office, usually in the IT department. They will work with the other developers and designers to ensure that the website is operating to the best of its ability. Usually, these employees will work typical hours, but sometimes, they may have to be on-call for emergencies if the website has problems.

Typical hours

The work hours for a front-end web developer are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Available certifications

Front-end developers need extensive experience in web development, computer code, industry-standard software, and several years of experience. Here are some of the top certifications for this position:

  • Front End Developer eCornell. Cornell University offers an online program flexible for your own schedule, comprising 6 courses with an introduction to front-end development through JavaScript, jQuery, data collection, and website programming and design. Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate certifying you as a front-end developer.
  • Java Development Certified Professional. Java offers a certificate through Learning Tree International with the opportunity to certify you as a working professional in web development and consultation. An exam is required, and renewal of the certificate is not required. 
  • Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP). This certification is offered through the IEEE Computer Society, and prepares individuals for software development and engineering. This certificate needs to be renewed every three years and an exam is required for certification.

Career path

The road to becoming a front-end web developer can take a couple of different directions.

Considerable experience using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is necessary to landing a front-end web developer role. To formalize their training and help master these essential skills, candidates may earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Many colleges and universities offer certification courses in front-end development, as well.

Candidates with extensive work experience (and the portfolio to prove it) may not require a formal degree or certification, but this is the exception, not the rule.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1257

2020 Employment199,400
Projected Employment in 2030224,900
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 13% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift25,500 increase

More and more businesses want their e-commerce platforms to stand out from the competition. Templated websites aren’t cutting it anymore, and front-end web developers will be there to build better platforms for their clients. As long as our online and offline lives continue to merge, companies will require user-friendly websites to drive sales and connect with consumers.

Sample interview questions

  • In your own words, what is a front end developer? 
  • Why do you want to work here? 
  • Which programming languages are you familiar with? 
  • What is your favorite programming language to work with? 
  • How did you get into writing code? 
  • Can you name some basic design elements? 
  • What is load balancing? 
  • What is a content security policy? 
  • Can you explain to me what user-centered design is? 
  • Can you name some fundamental principles of design? 
  • How do you ensure that your website design or web application is accessible and user-friendly? 
  • What are your favorite features of HTML5?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What is your greatest strength? 
  • What is your greatest weakness? 
  • What do you like about being a front end developer?
  • What are your hobbies? 
  • What does your ideal workspace look like?

Front End Developer Jobs in Ashburn

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