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Web developer

Web developers design, build and maintain websites and website applications.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree in an IT-related subject. Relevant subjects include:

  • business information systems
  • computer programming
  • digital media development
  • multimedia design
  • web content management
  • web development or web design

You may be able to start in a junior position with other IT qualifications if you can show excellent skills in web development technologies. 

You’ll need to be familiar with at least one of the following areas:

  • common operating systems and servers
  • databases and web programming
  • graphics and web design
  • networking and security
You’ll also need an understanding of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web development standards.

Once you start working, you’ll usually receive on-the-job training, especially if you’ve joined a company through a graduate training scheme.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent web and database programming skills
  • a good appreciation of design, usability and interactivity
  • creative skills to turn clients' ideas into workable plans
  • excellent problem-solving skills
You may need project management skills for more senior roles or freelance work.

3. What you'll do

You could work for a variety of businesses and public sector organisations. 

Projects you might work on could include:

  • creating a secure online shopping website
  • developing a virtual learning environment (VLE) for a college
  • setting up a company intranet for staff

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • working with the client, using test sites to see which ideas best suit their needs
  • building the framework – or 'architecture' – of the site
  • making sure the new site can be smoothly integrated into the client's existing network
  • working on the site's appearance
  • dealing with user access and security
  • testing the site under construction to find and fix any problems

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £24,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £50,000 or more (lead web developer)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Some evening or weekend work may be needed to meet deadlines. If self-employed, you’ll work the hours needed to complete the job.

You’ll be mainly office-based. If you work for a company you’ll normally be at one site, but if you are self-employed, you might work from home or on the client's premises.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in a particular area, like e-commerce, or move up to a more senior role like lead programmer or project leader. 

You could also move into other IT fields, like systems analysis or IT project management.

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Last updated: 14 December 2016