Chicago is the biggest city in Illinois, and it is home to some incredible attractions and a wide variety of local job opportunities. The Windy City is known for its distinct culture, food, and prosperous technology sector, which has a growing need for web developers. Chicago is an excellent place to live and work for tech employees, and it hosts some of the highest programmer salaries in the region. The lakeside city not only pays programmers well, it also offers excellent job prospects for entry-level candidates in the field. In this article, we’ll go over the average annual salaries for both junior and senior web developers in Chicago, along with the education requirements for entering the field.
What is Web Development?
In short, web development is the process of writing code to create a website. Web developers also design online programs and build all the features that make sites useful. Everything from buttons to search bars must be written out in code, and these programmers are responsible for making it all work. There are a few subcategories within the field, with some people specializing in front end (client-side) visual design and others on the backend (server-side) code. Some web developers focus on user interface and experience also, and full stack developers manage the whole operation on their own.
Junior Web Developer Salary
Junior web developers are the entry-level workers in their field, and they’re usually recent coding program graduates or transfers from another tech career. Most companies define these skilled coders as ‘juniors’ when they have less than five years of experience in the field, but each company has its own requirements. In general, these programmers bring a decent portfolio to the table, along with college degrees or coding bootcamp certificates.
In Chicago, a junior web developer earns an average of $63,604 annually, with an additional $4,000 in overtime and bonuses. Junior programmers tend to progress quickly into senior positions, especially if they stick with the same company. Earning potential also increases with every year of experience, so it’s a good idea to stick around in the position.
Senior Web Developer Salary
Senior web developers have extensive coding experience and broad portfolios from many years working in their field. Companies usually hire people with at least five years of experience for these positions, but coders with a master’s degree or doctorate in STEM can sometimes get by with a more limited work history. Senior web developers command higher salaries than their less experienced peers, and their earning potential is explosive. The field is competitive for employers because there are more job openings for these positions than people to fill them.
In addition to a multitude of work options, senior web developers enjoy high wages, averaging out at $94,000 per year in Chicago. Most people bring home overtime pay and bonuses near $5,000, and top-earners earn close to $150,000 per year.
How to Become a Web Developer
Web development is a multifaceted career choice, and lots of people have talents that allow them to excel in the field. While it was once necessary to attend college to break into this industry, it’s now possible to do so using a short program called a coding bootcamp. These intensive coding courses last between three and eighteen months, and graduates enter the workforce with robust portfolios and excellent programming skills. Coding bootcamps are great alternatives to college for those seeking a direct route into a specific tech career like web development. These programs cost between $10,000 and $20,000, but many offer scholarships and income-sharing agreements that defer tuition until you land a job. If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a web developer through a coding bootcamp, click the link below and sign up for Career Karma today!