Chicago is an excellent place to be a front end developer. The Windy City’s midwestern location and massive talent pool attracts tech companies from across the country. The city also pays tech workers very well, and front end developers are no exception.
In this article, we’ll go over the average salaries for both junior and senior front end specialists in web development, along with how to break into the tech industry in this vibrant city.
What Is Front End Development
In web development, front end refers to the part of the website that a user interacts with. Everything from the visual appearance to the code that makes the buttons work is the responsibility of a front end developer. They’re in charge of both designing the features and making them work, but they’re not the only people involved in running a website. The front end, or client side, of a site requires the backend, or server side, to function properly. These programmers work closely with backend developers to ensure a website works seamlessly. Read this Career Karma article to learn more about front end and backend developers and how they work together to create a functional website.
Junior Front End Developer Salary
In the technology world, an entry-level candidate for this field is called a ‘junior.’ These programmers have the education and expertise to do the job, but still require experience and training before they earn their full salary potential. Typically, one is considered a junior front end developer until they have at least five years of experience in the field, along with a compelling portfolio of past projects.
In Chicago, a junior front end developer makes an average of $72,927 annually, plus an additional $3,000 in bonuses and overtime. That brings their overall compensation to nearly $76,000 annually. Not too shabby for an entry-level position.
Senior Front End Developer Salary
Senior front end developers have years of experience in website building, along with an extensive portfolio. Earning a senior title in the industry takes time, but not much time as you might expect. To qualify as a ‘senior,’ a person might need five or more years of experience, but each company varies based on their own job requirements.
The salary difference between junior and senior web development positions is huge, as senior front end developers earn an average of $111,376 in Chicago. The average overtime and bonus payment for these coders is over $4,000, bringing their total compensation to an impressive $115,000 annually. Salaries are rarely capped in this position, as the top earners bring in more than $150,000 plus bonuses and overtime.
How to Become a Front End Develope
There was once a time when you would need a four-year degree and an internship to break into the tech industry in Chicago. Since then, the demand for skilled programmers outpaced supply, so the technology industry responded by creating an education program of their own design. These short-term but intensive programming schools are called coding bootcamps, and they can set you up for a successful career in front end development in less than a year.
Coding bootcamps are an excellent way to get your foot in the door with the tech industry, and these programs only last between three and 18 months. Bootcamps boast excellent job-placement rates, some exceeding 90%. Thanks to these high success rates, many bootcamps feel comfortable offering income-sharing agreements, allowing you to defer tuition until you land a high-paying job in the coding field of your choice. You can attend one in person or online, so be sure to click the link below to learn more.