Salary Outlook for Full Stack Developer

By Henry R. Steele - September 5, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you want to work in a dynamic career field with plenty of money making potential, consider various computer and information technology applications, such as full stack developer, which is defined as a developer who is specialized in everything from the front end to back end, as well as a developer who has strong knowledge in all development steps from concept to finished product.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that technology jobs such as full stack developer will see strong demand in the next several years. Employment in the computer and information technology fields will grow by 13% through 2026, which is faster than average when compared to other occupations. Demand for these occupations is being caused by more emphasis upon cloud computing as well as the storage and collection of big data.

With the increased demand for full stack developers and other computer professionals, you may want to consider a big career move. As a full stack developer, you can expect to have plenty of work, but how much can you earn? Consider the following factors to determine what your full stack developer salary may be:

  • Whether you get a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a technical field
  • Your job title
  • How many years of experience in computer science and full stack development
  • Where you live
  • Technical skills

All of these factors will influence your ultimate salary level in full stack development.

Level of Degree

Many full stack developers tend to earn a degree in computer science, computer engineering or software development. Research over time suggests that technical professionals and many others who earn a master’s degree will make a higher salary year after year. For many with a master’s degree, you can earn a $12,000 increase in salary with a graduate degree. How much more you can earn with a master’s depends upon the field and speciality. BLS reports the following salary increases for various types of technology workers:

  • Web developers: $61,000 vs. $75,000 per year
  • Information security analysts: $85,000 vs. $100,000
  • Network and computer systems administrators: $70,000 vs. $88,000
  • Mathematicians and statisticians: $60,000 vs. $80,000

Most programmers and developers, including full stack developers, will earn more money over time with a master of science degree.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a full stack developer is $75,200, with a range between $47,000 and $110,000. We can expect that full stack developers at the lower end have fewer years of experience and a bachelor’s degree, while those at the upper end of the payscale and have more experience and a master’s degree.

Also, other sources state that a bachelor’s degree in computer science should get you in a salary range of $70,000 to $80,000. And a master’s degree in computer science will net you a salary of $90,000 to $105,000.

Job Title

The job title you have in your company will have an influence upon your salary in this technical profession. This job has a lot of highly in demand skills that can result in a high salary.

A full stack developer is more than just a programmer. A full stack developer is well paid because he or she knows all aspects of software development, from the front to back end. The full stack developer has a big effect on how technology is leveraged in a company as the promote application flexibility, agility and scalability.

There was a time when the Web was just starting that being a full stack developer was about having strong skills in just Web and database programming. Now the full stack developer job is more comprehensive. The best paid full stack developers have diverse technical expertise that cover all parts of enterprise development:

  • Server management, such as maintaining remote server connections, managing groups and users, permissions and firewalls, software updates and installations.
  • Cloud computing, such as deploying and managing various hosted environment.
  • Databases, such as MySQL, and NoSQL such as Cassandra or MongoDB
  • Back end processes including API design, Web servers, search engines and associated development tools
  • Front end processes that are designed with Javascript

Regarding salary, at the lower end of the wage scale are entry level programmers and Web developers who are learning about full stack development. Entry level full stack workers are making $97,000 per year, but salaries can go up if you have expertise in Javascript or Drupal. The average salary for a full time full stack developer with more experience is $110,000.

A full stack developer according to Payscale.com earns an average salary of $65,300, and the salary range runs from $40,000 to $98,000.

Full Stack Developer Work Experience

Salaries for full stack developers will rise over time as experience increases. Developers with less than five years of experience earn a salary of $65,000. Those with five to 10 years of work experience earn a salary of $81,000, and those with 10 to 20 years of experience earn a salary of $92,000. Developers with more than 20 years of experience earn a salary of $99,000.

Geographic Location

Where you live in America will influence your salary as a full stack developer. Payscale.com states the national average salary if $76,400, but salaries for this in demand position can vary a lot by geographic location:

  • Cupertino CA: +101%
  • Albuquerque: +8%
  • Boulder: -5%
  • Madison: -15%
  • Greenville: -16%
  • Grand Rapids: -27%
  • Omaha: -34%
  • Detroit: -39%
  • Orlando: -43%

Technical Skills

The best and most experienced full stack developers have mastered certain technical skills. Make sure you know these inside and out for the best salary and opportunities:

  • HTML and CSS: These are the building blocks of the Web
  • Javascript: Growing more popular as new libraries, frameworks and tools are coming out. This is the most popular language for full stack, front end and back end development
  • Back end language: The most popular back end languages to know in terms of job listings are SQL, Java, Javascript, C#, Python, C++, PHP, and IOS
  • Database and Web storage: Understand relational data; NoSQL databases and how to connect a database with the backend language you know
  • HTTP and Rest: This is a stateless application protocol on the Internet. It is what lets clients to talk to servers. You should know what Rest is and why it is so important for HTTP protocol. Also understand what SSL certificates are and how to use them
  • Git: A version control system that allows the developer to work on a team to track all changes being made to the codebase.

Becoming a full stack developer is a great path to a great career. You will enjoy strong job demand in most industries and more money as you gain experience.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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