By Anastasia Stefanuk January 15, 2018

How Low Can Front End JavaScript Developers Salaries Go in 2018

Front-end development is taking over the Internet of Things. Having started as a website development tool on the client side, front-end development has successfully evolutionized into an effective method for mobile and desktop applications, drones, games, virtual reality and TV apps, and so much more.

Companies are seeking experienced candidates for hire, googling the web developer salary, checking out recent trends, and trying to get the best-skilled employees. When it comes to web development, JavaScript is always in the list of required skills, as it is one of the basic technologies for web development, just like HTML and CSS. Thus, JavaScript is eating the web development world.

What Technologies Emerged and Gained Popularity

JavaScript was created in 1995 by ECMA (formerly known as the European Computer Manufacturers Association) as a standard for all browsers to use. Later, in 2006, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) gained popularity.

JavaScript was used for loading the XML data on the web page that resulted in the creation of various frameworks and libraries such as MooTools, Prototype, jQuery, and others. Consequently, JavaScript became compatible with different browsers, so handling and writing XML content became easier. The most popular library then was jQuery. However, during 10 years of its existence, JavaScript experienced no major changes.

As JavaScript code was getting more complex, in 2010 with the arrival of spaghetti code and necessity to make the code more organized, other JavaScript frameworks appeared, such as AngularJS, Backbone.js, and Ember.js. These JavaScript frameworks introduced order and structure to existing disorganization through the implementation of MVC patterns (model–view–controller patterns allowing division of an app into three parts).

Around 2011, Google Chrome released its V8 Engine, which led to the introduction of Node.js. By making coding on the server side possible, Node.js changed the JavaScript landscape forever. AngularJS and ReactJS have also become the most popular technologies. Most interactive single-page applications are built with the help of JavaScript (JS) frameworks and libraries. The number of JS tools for fast single-page application development is constantly growing, making the choice of which technology to rely on more challenging for us as web devs.

The technology stacks in JavaScript are MeteorJS, Firebase + AngularJS, LAMP, MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js), and MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, ReactJS, and Node.js). Large companies like Google, Facebook, PayPal, and Netflix use universal JavaScript tech stacks. Consequently, the range of JS experts becomes wider and more specific, making job requirements more complex due to diverse coders’ skills.

JavaScript has been the most popular coding language on GitHub for the last four years, reaching 2.3 million users in 2017. According to Jaxenter, GitHub is open to requests in 337 languages, but any given request is in JavaScript. Also, according to RedMonk’s latest programming language rankings, JavaScript claims the first and second positions. Its popularity has led to a great vibrant ecosystem of coding frameworks, technologies, and libraries. Since some of them are more popular than others, the salary of a JavaScript dev also depends on the set of technologies one is using.

Why React Is So Popular

ReactJS is a JavaScript library used to build user interfaces. It is one of the fastest growing JS technologies being used by devs—62.5 percent of devs name it as the most widely used technology, and 66.9 percent of devs claim that React is the most loved one. Such websites as The New York Times, Facebook, Yahoo!, Instagram, Khan Academy, and Netflix are based on ReactJS.

ReactJS is appreciated because rendering becomes simple and easy, since a dev can discover the ways of rendering a component by a trace in the render function. Moreover, it makes rendering on the server side possible, leading to a more readable end product. In fact, working with document object model application programming interface is a hard and sophisticated process, while React helps coders to work with a virtual browser, which is more user-friendly than working with the real one.

What React really does well is creation of user interfaces. Since they are basically everywhere in everyday life—electronics, computers, space shuttles, etc.—proper implementation of JS code makes usage of apps and websites more convenient for the end user.

ReactJS is flexible and can be used by any other framework. Devs can test it easily and they can also integrate other tools. During the process of loading the React app to the browser, its components are rendered simultaneously.

You can use JavaScript, HTML, and CSS in any part of the coding process. Moreover, React is more secure, asynchronous, and flexible toward its external libraries, which makes work easier and faster. Devs with ReactJS skills are in high demand nowadays, adding more competitiveness to their portfolio.

What You Should Know About Web Dev Salaries

React devs and front-end devs also have a great future in their careers, according to Robert Half. It is estimated that web devs will see an employment increase of 27 percent by 2020.

Growing demand in the front-end dev pool will outpace the increase of qualified experts through 2020. It is predicted that there will be a gap of 1.4 million vacancies in the U.S. alone. It is logical to assume that web dev salaries will grow, because high demand often strains the supply of employees. Moreover, these in-demand jobs show a lack of supply in the job market already.

Regarding the possible changes to salaries in 2018 to 2019, jobs in the technology sphere are most likely to offer the biggest rise in salaries. Money informs us that front-end web devs’ salaries were already forecasted to grow by 6.2 percent in 2017.

Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web devs’ future opportunities will be favorable through 2024. Employment of web devs can grow to 13 percent by 2026, which is much faster than the average for occupations in general. There were 162,900 web dev positions in the U.S. in 2016, and this figure should grow to about 184,200 positions by 2026. So, if you want to be a web dev or you are already, pay close attention to the trends and technologies and stay up-to-date. This way, you won’t have to worry about your salary—it will grow according to your capabilities.

Front-End Dev Salary (Net) in Different Countries

The salary range of devs varies depending on the geographic factor. Indeed, a front-end dev salary in New York City will be different from a ReactJS dev salary in Washington, DC, and a React dev salary in Ukraine will differ from a user interface dev salary in the U.S.

According to PayScale, front-end devs in the U.S. make $67,743 annually. In France, they make $42,999 per year. In Germany, front-end devs earn $51,071 per year, in Switzerland, $79,089 per year, and in Ukraine, $23,583 per year.

How the Salary Ranges Depending on Skill Sets and Experience

When you ask how much JavaScript devs make, you should consider the experience and skills of the candidates. A front-end dev annual net salary in the U.S. is $63,211 for an entry-level dev, $76,000 for a mid-career dev, $82,941 for an experienced specialist, and $81,248 for a senior.

Logically, the more experience a dev has, the higher the salary they get. Experience is not only about years spent using JS, but rather about the importance of projects these devs are into and the number of successful products they have developed.

These salaries are just the average numbers, and they vary a lot depending on the job position, skills, state, city, company, and many other factors. However, we believe that they are fair, because they are based on the job complexity and the contribution of JS devs to the end product.

A web dev with JavaScript skills earns $39,091 to $85,044 per year, with a median salary of $58,473. CSS experts have lower wages because their responsibilities and a number of skills they use in their work are not as complex as those of JS devs. CSS devs make $36,151 to $83,924, of which the median is $54,809. HTML5 and HTML devs are at nearly the same level, since this technology is easy to master. Their salary ranges between $36,512 and $82,937 (median $55,617), while HTML devs’ annual wage range is $36,223 to $82,043 (median $55,653).

Devs with jQuery expertise are in higher demand than CSS and HTML experts due to the complexity of jQuery technique, thus their earnings range between $37,960 and $83,753, with an annual median of $56,916.

Since PHP is a very easy programming language to master for any dev, experts with PHP skills earn only $32,083 to $80,521 per year, with a median salary of $53,666. This is much less than regular JS devs and even devs with CSS and HTML specialization.

Predictions for JS Salaries in the Future

Starting from 2010 until the present, the web dev rate with JS skills including React, Node, and AngularJS skills were rising in countries like the U.S., UK, Ukraine, and Switzerland. Some JS technologies and approaches are more likely to become even more popular (like React) while some will not (like CoffeeScript). This guarantees that JS will still be in demand in the near future, leading to an increasing number of in-depth expertise devs with JavaScript skills. The increase in demand means that salaries in this sector are predicted to grow.

About the author

    Anastasia Stefanuk

    Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and a marketing manager at Mobilunity. The company provides dedicated development teams, so she is always aware of technology news and wants to share her experience to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date.