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Front-End Web Developer Career


What is a Front-End Web Developer?


Whereas back-end web developers manage databases and servers “behind the scenes,” front-end developers focus on creating a smooth and functional experience for website users. They write the underlying code that governs web page text, images, videos, menus, links, and more. These visual elements work in unity to create a holistic user experience. Front-end devs are typically known as client-side or client-facing developers since the work they do is immediately apparent to website visitors.

Many developers on the front end engage in web design to optimize user experience (UX) and polish the user interface (UI) of web pages. These devs seek to strike a balance between website function and form. The work of a skilled front-end dev is both accessible and aesthetically pleasing.


What Does a Front-End Web Developer Do?

Front-end developers rely on their fluency in several programming languages, including HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript, to build and maintain web assets. HTML is a text-encoding system that provides the basic skeleton for websites. With HTML, front-end devs can tell web browsers how a web page should look, including where headings, paragraphs, and images need to be placed.

CSS further defines the structure and style of a web page by implementing different colors, text sizes, and margins. JavaScript is an object-oriented coding language, which makes it great for applying visually appealing, interactive modules like buttons, drop-down menus, chat boxes, and more. Both of these scripting languages add onto and elaborate the foundations created by HTML.

Common responsibilities of front-end devs include the following:

  • Coding new website pages
  • Testing and editing web elements
  • Collaborating with programmers and designers to create user interfaces
  • Deciding web page layout and functionality
  • Measuring and recording website performance
  • Troubleshooting with clients and users
  • Archiving and updating programming language libraries

Do I Need Certifications for This Profession?

While certifications are not required to become a front-end developer, you can opt to complete WGU’s Front-End Web Development Certificate to gain valuable, industry-aligned skills.


How Do I Become a Front-End Web Developer?

While preparing for a career in front-end web development, consider these steps:

  • Pursue higher education. Earning a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field like software engineering or computer science can teach you essential web programming, scripting, and design principles. Additionally, obtaining a master’s degree could increase your earning potential.
  • Gain experience. For example, you might apply for an entry-level—or higher—web development job. This will help you understand which day-to-day skills you’ll need to practice most.
  • Get certified. Look to industry certifications to attain deeper knowledge of web development and to set yourself apart from the competition. WGU’s Front-End Web Development Certificate grants specialized skills in scripting, programming, and UI design and can prepare you for earning professional certification.
  • Seek improvement. Continue to learn beyond the fundamentals—attend a coding bootcamp or participate in a web design workshop to keep your skills sharp, for example.

Best Degrees for a Front-End Web Developer


Computer Science – B.S.

Problem solvers and math lovers needed! Your task:...

Problem solvers and math lovers needed! Your task:

Lay the groundwork for the computing breakthroughs that will enable tomorrow's technologies. Utilize your previous college courses or IT experience to help you complete your degree faster.

  • Time: 60% of graduates in similar programs finish within 25 months.
  • Tuition: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 38 total courses in this program.

You'll have the opportunity to earn these certifications:

  • Linux Essentials
  • Axelos ITIL Foundation

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Architecture and systems
  • Data structures
  • AI
  • Computer theory
  • Version Control
  • Linux

Data Analytics – B.S.

Lean into data, and walk away with a cutting-edge online degree:...

Lean into data, and walk away with a cutting-edge online degree:

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,735 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 39 total courses in this program.

Certifications in this program at no additional cost include:

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • CompTIA Data+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Udacity Nanodegree—a unique, highly recognized credential designed to prepare you for a career in data science
  • MSI Change Management (Optional Certification)
  • Certiprof Design Thinking Professional Certificate (Optional Certification)

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Data management
  • Data wrangling
  • Statistical analysis
  • Visualization
  • Leadership and management 
  • Model deployment & storytelling

Front End Web Development Certificate – School of Technology

The Front End Web Development Certificate equips learners with the skills...

The Front End Web Development Certificate equips learners with the skills necessary to create responsive, visually appealing, and functional websites.

  • Time: 6 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $3,950 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 6 courses total in this program.

This certificate is designed to help aspiring web developers begin their journey, gain valuable experience, and add a critical credential to their résumé. You are also guaranteed admission into a WGU School of Technology degree program. This certificate will prepare you for the next step in your career.

This certificate can help build fundamental skills in front-end development, and also help those with no technical background begin to build vocational identity for a long-term career in IT. Learners will gain critical skills including version control, scripting, web development, JavaScript programming, and UI design. 


Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – B.S.

Protect your career and earning potential with this degree....

Protect your career and earning potential with this degree.

  • Time: 60% of graduates finish within 29 months.
  • Tuition: $4,265 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 34 total courses in this program.

Certifications included in this program at no extra cost include:

  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
  • ITIL® Foundation Certification
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst Certification (CySA+)
  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional
  • CompTIA Network Security Professional
  • CompTIA PenTest+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Security Analytics Professional

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Secure Systems Analysis & Design
  • Data Management
  • Web and Cloud Security
  • Hacking Countermeasures and Techniques
  • Digital Forensics and Incident Response

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management,...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Leadership strategies
  • Talent management
  • Communication
  • Data collection and interpretation
  • Financial statements

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.


Leadership Certificate – School of Business

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the...

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the help of a leadership certificate from the School of Business.

  • Time: 4 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $2,250 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 3 courses total in this program.

This program is for emerging leaders, however this program does not require a bachelor’s degree, and provides transferable credit towards a WGU degree program.

Whether you aspire to work for a Fortune 500 organization, a government agency, a non-profit organization, or a fast-paced start-up, this certificate can give you the keys to success in a variety of industries, including:

  • Finance and Banking
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • IT
  • Consulting
  • Nonprofit
  • Government

How Much Does a Front-End Web Developer Make?


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary in May 2022 for web developers was $78,580. The lowest 10% of web developers earned less than $40,460 while the highest 10% earned more than $144,690. Front-end devs specifically can expect to make similar earnings.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Data Visualization Engineer? 


The BLS states that employment of web developers is projected to grow by 16% from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Around 19,000 openings for web developers are projected each year on average over the decade. These trends are similar for front-end devs.


What Skills Does a Front-End Web Developer Need?

Front-end devs should develop a balanced skill set, with consideration for the technical aspect of programming and catering to web user needs. The following are useful skills for these devs:

  • Proficiency with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other similar programming languages
  • Knowledge of UX and UI industry best practices
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Understanding of basic website architecture
  • Debugging and troubleshooting skills
  • Awareness of front-end programming libraries and frameworks (React, Django, jQuery, etc.)

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Front-End Web Developer?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.