How Much Can You Earn as a Full-Stack Developer in 2021?

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

portrait of Staff Writers
by Staff Writers
Published on November 3, 2021
Reviewed by Brian Nichols

Our Review Network

BestColleges is committed to delivering content that is objective and accurate. We have built a network of industry professionals across healthcare and education to review our content and ensure we are providing the best information to our readers.

With their first-hand industry experience, our reviewers provide an extra step in our editing process. These experts:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Our growing Review Network currently consists of professionals in fields like business, nursing, social work, and other subject-specific industries; professionals in higher education areas such as college counseling and financial aid; and anti-bias reviewers.

Reviewers typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for BestColleges as a side project. Our reviewers are members of the Red Ventures Education Freelance Review Network and are paid for their contributions.

See a full list of our Review Network contributors.



In some ways, a full-stack developer must be a jack or jill of all trades. These technology professionals can create both front-end and back-end components of software projects. As such, full-stack developers can work independently throughout complex projects. They also usually specialize in a few specific technologies or languages.

Full-stack developers are in demand. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% job growth for web developers, who earned a median annual salary of $77,200 in May 2020.

What Does a Full-Stack Developer Do?

Full-stack developers are expected to work on software projects with little supervision and assistance. These professionals are also known as full-stack engineers or full-stack web developers. Many developers specialize in either front-end or back-end functionality but often have to work with both. Full-stack developers have grown in popularity recently, as they eliminate several middle layers and allow for a more streamlined development process.

Full-stack developers must be capable of creating both front-end and back-end code. They typically specialize in a few technologies or languages, although they should also be familiar with all components of their projects. They must be able to create a minimum viable product, or software with basic features, without much supervision or help.

Read on to learn more about the average starting salary for a full-stack developer.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Average Starting Salary for a Full-Stack Developer

The salary potential for full-stack developers is fairly high. According to PayScale, entry-level full-stack software developers earned an average annual salary of almost $66,000 as of October 2021. This figure translates to approximately $32 per hour and $1,270 per week. The average annual wage for web developers of all experience levels was much higher — about $79,000 a year.

Keep in mind that salaries for full-stack developers can vary widely based on experience, location, title, and employer. For example, developers in Seattle typically command much higher salaries than developers in rural Tennessee. Additionally, developers working at a tech giant like Google or Facebook may earn higher salaries than developers working for small startups, although this depends on the company.

Additionally, even though full-stack developers must by definition have broad skill sets, developers who master additional coding and programming languages can earn higher salaries than their peers. To maximize your earning potential, participate in continuing education and stay current on developing trends in the tech field.

Average Salary for a Full-Stack Developer by State

The table below includes the states that employ the most web developers. Most of these states boast at least one city that serves as a tech hub. These states are also home to the headquarters of major companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook, all of which employ many web developers and tech professionals.

Average Salaries for Full-Stack Web Developers by State
State Web Developer Employment Mean Annual Salary
California 22,020 $94,960
Washington 16,220 $133,790
New York 12,950 $84,110
Texas 9,830 $76,480
Florida 7,310 $67,810

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020

Average Salary for a Full-Stack Developer by City

The following table lists the top-paying cities for web developers based on mean annual salary. These cities are all renowned tech hubs that house several major companies in the industry. They all also have a high cost of living, which contributes to above-average annual salaries for web developers.

Top-Paying Cities for Full-Stack Web Developers
City Mean Annual Salary
San Francisco, California $144,940
New York City, New York $124,890
Los Angeles, California $119,010
Seattle, Washington $116,430
Austin, Texas $116,170

Source: Indeed.com, October 2021

Top-Paying Jobs Related to Full-Stack Development

The following chart provides median annual salaries for several jobs that are similar to full-stack developer roles. Keep in mind that you may need additional education, certification, and/or experience to qualify for some of these positions.

Top-Paying Jobs Related to Full-Stack Web Development
Job Title Median Annual Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $151,150
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers $110,140
Information Security Analysts $103,590
Database Administrators and Architects $98,860
Computer Systems Analysts $93,730

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much You Can Earn as a Full-Stack Developer in 2021

Are full-stack developers in high demand? true

Yes. The BLS projects 13% job growth for web developers between 2020 and 2030. Additionally, many news outlets have reported a shortage of qualified workers in the tech industry.

You can position yourself to take advantage of this shortage by enrolling in a coding bootcamp to learn the skills needed to become a full-stack web developer. You can also try to teach yourself through platforms like Codecademy and Coursera.

How long does it take to become a full-stack developer? true

Many full-stack developers gain the skills they need through coding bootcamps. These accelerated educational experiences usually require 4-6 months of full-time study or up to a year of part-time study.

Ultimately, the time it takes to become a full-stack developer depends on your academic and professional experience and how quickly you can master the required material and skills. If you are a strong problem-solver who likes a challenge, and if you have the availability and capacity to study full time, you may be able to master front-end and back-end development quickly.

Is full-stack development hard? true

Many people do find this line of work challenging. Coding and programming require significant technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and resilience. Full-stack developers must master front-end and back-end coding, which often means using several coding and programming languages.

However, if you enjoy solving problems and working through challenges, then full-stack development may be a good fit.

Reviewed by:

Born and raised in upstate New York, Brian Nichols began his IT education through a vocational high school where he focused on computer science, IT fundamentals, and networking. Brian then went to his local community college, where he received his associate of science in computer information science. He then received his bachelor of science in applied networking and system administration from a private college. Brian now lives in Kansas City, where he works full-time as a DevOps engineer. Brian is also a part-time instructor in cybersecurity. He's passionate about cybersecurity and helping students succeed.

Brian Nichols is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

How much money can you earn after a coding bootcamp? Learn about coding bootcamp salary potential here. Explore common computer coding jobs, including entry-level coding jobs and remote coding jobs, and learn about how much coding jobs pay. Explore the cost of coding bootcamps in 2021. Immersive bootcamps designed to land you a job charge an average tuition of $13579.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.