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Web development skills continue to be in high demand globally with the ongoing rise of digital transformation across all industries for individuals and organisations alike. Insights from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal an expected 13% growth from 2020 to 2030 for web developers, a faster than average increase across all occupations.
Recent findings from IBISWorld indicate that 28% of business activity is now occurring online. The global pandemic certainly influenced the uptick and this figure will no doubt continue to escalate, with more companies realising that if they don’t digitise their offerings they will not remain competitive in their respective markets.
With new trends and technology regularly emerging, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT), it’s vital that web developers are constantly adapting to accommodate and ensure their outputs reflect changes in user behaviour, in order to meet their requirements.
With any salary range, it’s important to consider that factors such as location, industry and organisation can impact what’s on offer. Additionally, if you have specialist skills and experience with a particular coding language, software, or industry, you might be able to command a higher rate of pay compared to others with a generalist skill set.
Some positions could be offered remotely or with hybrid working conditions, which means you can possibly access a bigger salary without relocating if you’re the right candidate for the job.
Let’s explore the range of position titles and typical incomes for those working in the Australian web development landscape in 2023.
Experts in designing, developing, and maintaining software applications, software engineers use their coding prowess to transform ideas into functional programs. In demand across a multitude of industries from banking, public sector and telecommunications, through to SaaS and retail, there is a wide range of opportunities available, with some engineers choosing to specialise in particular industries.
The national average salary for software engineers ranges from $110,000 to $150,000 according to Jora’s insights.
Talent.com research reveals entry level software engineering positions start at around the $100,000 mark, with senior roles earning north of $160,000 and the average salary hovering at around $120,000.
The 2023/24FY Hays Salary guide reveals that Web Developer salaries across Australia range from $80,000 to $140,000 (exclusive of superannuation). Those based in Queensland are averaging $90,000 while a typical Sydney salary weighs in at $120,000.
Further down the career path, Senior Developer salaries range nationally from $95,000 to $180,000, with Sydney and Canberra topping the average typical incomes at $160,000 and $150,000 respectively.
Specialising in crafting the visual and interactive aspects of website design, front-end developers use a combination of technical and creative skills to code intuitive and user-friendly application interfaces.
The national salary range for front-end developers in Australia is $100,000 to $150,000 according to the latest Hays salary guide, with the typical average income hitting $130,000 for Sydneysiders at the upper end of the scale.
Hays also reveal that those who have been in the game longer are commanding $100,000 to $180,000 with Senior Front-End Developers in Tasmania averaging an annual income of $105,000 and the Nation’s Capital averaging $155,000.
For back-end developers, it’s all about building the infrastructure of the server side of websites, which supports and powers the front-end.
Sydney based back-end developers can expect to earn within a range of $95,000 to $170,000 according to recruiters Morgan McKinley, and the average income is approximately $120,000.
Talent.com tips the national average being slightly higher at $140,000, with entry level roles starting at $115,435 and senior back-end developers scoring $180,000 annually.
Combining the skills of front-end and back-end development, full-stack engineers, also referred to as full-stack developers, handle the works to create and maintain entire applications from server set up to interface design. Having this combination of skills is highly desirable in the market.
According to the Hays 23/24FY salary guide, Australian full-stack developers are earning between $95,000-$165,000 annually. Canberra based positions are at the top of the income chart averaging at $150,000.
Aquent’s 2023 Australian salary guide reflects similar findings with starting salaries around $80,000, mid level $90,500 and upper income of $119,000. For Senior full-stack engineers the figures range from $115,00 to just north of $150,000.
Masters of coding language Python, a Python Developer can create a wide range of applications that harness the versatility and simplicity of this industry leading coding software.
The latest income insights from Seek reveal Python developers nationally earn from $105,000 to $165,000 with the average income bracket of $125,000 to $145,000.
Morgan McKinley research supports these insights, stating $130,000 is the average income for Sydney based Python developers.
With HTML being used to create the structure of website content and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to inject visual style, HTML/CSS developers can craft aesthetically satisfying web pages that are backed by a solid framework.
Classified as a front-end development position, it’s more common in Australia to see ‘Front-End Developer’ as a job title than ‘HTML/CSS Developer’.
User Interface (UI) Developers are all about the visual design of anything that appears on the screen of an application or website. But it’s more than just pleasing design, with the needs of the user being at the core of all decision making to ensure they have a seamless experience and get what they require from engaging with the interface.
If you see interface or UI mentioned within a job title it is assumed that as a developer, you will have interaction design and wireframing skills in addition to your front-end development know-how.
Salary insights from Seek reveal that the national average User Interface Developer income ranges from $115,000 to $135,000 and Jora salaries suggest the range is slightly higher at $120,000 to $160,000 for Sydney based UI Developer positions.
Ultimately, UI Developers are responsible for conducting user and product research, structuring the information architecture and creating wireframes and prototypes. As the title suggests, UI Designers are focused on creating and implementing design elements, designing interface mock-ups, and testing any user experience challenges.
It isn’t uncommon for UI developers to also possess UI design skills – having both will broaden your career prospects and could enable you to negotiate a higher salary.
The Front-End Developer builds the interface and is responsible for implementing the technical aspect of the software, whereas the UI Developer’s key aim is to make adjustments to the visual aspects of a site or app so that it reflects the users needs as best possible. It is advantageous for front-end developers to have a working understanding and appreciation for UI design and vice versa for the UI developer or designer.
You can certainly forge a freelance path as a web developer if working in house on a permanent basis doesn’t appeal. As a contractor a professional network is paramount to support you in landing projects, as is a body of experience and a portfolio of work. The best way to build this foundation is by taking in house roles at the start of your career. Working within a company will help you gain a hands-on understanding of web development and introduce you to colleagues who can eventually form part of your network.
Freelance web developer salary
As a freelancer, you can set your own rates. Be mindful that you need to factor in expenses such as tax, sick leave, superannuation and any other benefits you would normally receive as part of a permanent contract. Explore what other freelancers in your industry are charging, and position yourself accordingly. Your level of experience, specialist skills and industry knowledge should all inform the rates you charge. Tools such as freelance calculators can assist with figuring out a starting point.
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To discuss your transferable skills and course options, speak to a friendly course advisor today and take the first steps toward an exciting new career in web development.