careers web developer

Web Developer Jobs

Web developer jobs… did you know?

Similar jobs: Web designer

Websites are everywhere. On phones, tablets, desktop computers. Every day we see new ways of using the web, from shopping and social platforms to apps and rich media extravaganzas. The world needs web developers to code up the websites and make it happen.

Web developers often get to be creative when it comes to design flair and human psychology, too. They think about what looks good (especially if they’re also a web designer). They also think about UX, or User Experience. Is the site easy to use? Is it easy to move around a site and not get lost? If you click a button do you know where it will take you?

A lot goes into making websites that people will want to visit and come back to again and again. As a web developer, you can create things from scratch – or tweak an existing site to make it better than ever before!

Industry: Digital

Web developer job trends

How much money can you make as a web developer?

£20,000 – £50,000 (UK average)

Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £20,000 and £50,000 a year as a web developer in the UK, with starter wages ranging from £20,000 to £24,000.

Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary as a web developer will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.

What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?

School, college and training

When at school, you’ll benefit from having GCSEs or S grades (grades 9-4 / A*-C) in English, maths, and information and communication technology (ICT).

You may be able to start in a junior role if you can show employers you have great web development skills, even if you don’t have relevant qualifications. If this is the case, employers may want to see you’re familiar with at least one of these areas:

  • Most-used operating systems and servers
  • Databases and web programming
  • Web design and graphics
  • Networking and security

Many web developers apply for jobs once they have studied for an HND, foundation degree or degree in a subject related to IT and web technology. These are helpful because you need to know specific programming languages to be a web developer, and it also helps if you know about the industry secrets and psychology of what makes a great website. A structured course can tell you what you need to know and also give you hands-on experience of putting that knowledge into practice.

Some courses can also help you get work experience with an employer, so you have something to put on your CV to show you can do the job.

Useful IT course subjects to study include:

  • Web development or web design
  • Digital media development
  • Multimedia design
  • Web content management
  • Computer programming
  • Business information systems

Example entry qualifications for web development jobs include:

  • BTEC National Diploma in IT, Computer Studies or Multimedia Art and Design (the course lasts two years and you may need four GCSEs/S grades at grade 9-4/A*-C to apply).
  • BTEC Higher National Diploma (these can be full or part-time courses, and sometimes they are sandwich courses where you can have a year’s work experience with an employer. You may need a BTEC National Diploma in a relevant subject or at least one A-level or two H grades to apply).

Apprenticeships

You can get into this job through completing an IT or web development apprenticeship. This gives you the opportunity to earn a salary working in digital technology while getting structured learning that leads to an industry-recognised qualification.

Career Progression

With time and experience you could move into a senior role like being a lead programmer, project leader or head of technology.

You can also specialise in particular areas, because the world of web development is huge. For example, you could build your CV in the field of e-commerce (online shopping), mobile apps or eye-popping (and user-friendly) web design.

Once you’ve built up enough experience, contacts and skills, you could become self-employed and go freelance.

What experience do you need for web developer jobs?

Work experience

It can help your application if you have previously done work experience in a web development environment, especially if you’ve had experience of working with web and programming languages including HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript.

Any work experience where you have demonstrated your IT skills can help your application.

Examples of relevant work experience include:

  • Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
  • Work placements in a company
  • Work placements on a college or university course

Volunteering and extra-curricular activities

Picking up the relevant IT skills for web development is something you can do in your own time. You can build and design websites for yourself and friends. You can help family members get their own websites looking and performing at their best if they have, for example, a building trade or cupcake business they want to get off the ground. You can build your own WordPress themes and offer them to people for free – or even as paid themes, if you’re feeling entrepreneurial.

Key languages to learn for this job are HTML, PHP and CSS, and your opportunities for work will be greatly expanded if you can also learn Javascript. There are many free courses and coding communities you can search for online to pick up the basics and get started. Do a search for tutorials, such as this free PHP course from CodeCademy.

Even if you haven’t yet encountered PHP in academic study or the workplace, an employer will be impressed that you are teaching yourself out of your own free choice.

What skills do you need for web developer jobs?

Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for jobs like this one include:

  • Web programming skills: HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript
  • IT support skills, or technical skills in programming or web development
  • Good planning and problem-solving problem solving skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written (you may be explaining technical issues to people who don’t understand what’s under the bonnet of a website the way you do)

Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.

What does a web developer do?

You could be working in-house for a large company or organisation, or you could also work for an agency as part of a team of web developer who do work for lots of different clients.

Depending on your level of experience, your activities could range from frontend development (how the website looks and feels to a user) to backend development (building databases for information, or handling e-commerce functionality on a shopping site).

Key activities when building a new website include:

  • Working with a client to make sure any new website will suit their business needs but also be a well-functioning design
  • Deciding what exactly the website should do and be in order to meet the needs of its target audience (for example, is there any point in creating a shopping website for eight-year-olds? Not really, since they don’t have banking cards to buy online)
  • Exploring what type of content the site will host (videos? Articles? Items for sale?)
  • Deciding what kind of functionality the site will need (will it need a contact form to handle enquiries, or will it need to show the latest articles, or will it need an e-commerce area to handle online sales? Will users log in to comment and explore members-only parts of the site?)
  • Give guidance on layout, styles, and colours (do you know about the psychology of colour, and how very few websites use the colour green unless they are about health or nature? Look up the psychology of colour in web design, it’s really interesting!)

Some day-to-day job responsibilities include:

  • Writing programming code to build, maintain, tweak (change) or fix a website
  • Building the main structure of a website (also known as the architecture or framework)
  • Testing the website and spotting any bugs (or code errors) and technical issues
  • Uploading the site onto a server and registering it with search engines so it can be found in online searches
  • Considering issues like e-commerce, web security and access from a technical point of view.

Your first steps into web developer jobs

Web development jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:

  • Apprentice web developer
  • Programming and front end developer apprentice
  • Web developer apprenticeship
  • Junior web developer
  • Junior digital developer

Useful organisations and links for digital careers

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