Web Developer Salary: How Much Does a Freelance Developer Make? (2023)

Thanks to the rise of the tech industry and the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people make a living remotely as freelancers. As a freelance developer, you have the freedom of setting your desired rate and working from home. But before you get started on this career path, you’ll need to know the average freelance web developer salary.

The freelance web developer hourly rate can vary depending on the level of experience and education, so figuring out an exact salary can be tricky. In this article, we will detail everything you need to know about the average web developer freelance salary, as well as the top web developer jobs that can be performed remotely.

Web Developer Salary: How Much Does a Freelance Developer Make? (1)

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What Is the Average Freelance Web Developer Salary?

The average freelance web developer salary is $73,194 per year, according to Glassdoor. Freelance web developer rates vary depending on experience, so junior developers can expect to learn a little less. As you hone your technical and soft skills, you can start to charge more.

While working in a web developer position as a freelancer gives you the freedom to determine your rate, you need to be realistic if you want to get hired. Glassdoor also reports average web developer freelance rates based on experience.

Freelance Web Developer Experience Freelance Web Developer Salary
Early Career (1 year) $56,855
Mid-Career (1 to 3 years) $60,152
Experienced (4 to 6 years) $68,301
Top-Level (7 years+) $74,901

What Is the Hourly Rate for Freelance Web Developers?

The hourly rate for a freelance web developer is generally between $30 and $60. ZipRecruiter reports that the front end web developer freelance hourly rate is $41, with the lowest 10 percent of developers charging $28 and the highest 10 percent charging $52 and above.

(Video) What Freelance Web Developers Make (Per Hour and Per Year)

What Is a Full-Time Freelance Web Developer Salary?

ZipRecruiter confirms that the average full-time freelance web developer salary is $65,003 annually. This is slightly lower than Glassdoor’s estimate, likely because of the variations due to experience and education. While your starting salary may not be that high, by gaining additional skills, you can quickly increase your annual wage.

What Is an Entry-Level Freelance Web Developer Salary?

Glassdoor reports that a freelance entry-level web developer makes an average of $56,855. The hourly rate you set as an entry-level freelance web developer will largely depend on your education. Developers with a bachelor’s degree in the field can charge more than self-taught developers.

The Difference Between Freelancing and Traditional Employment

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Whether you studied at one of the best coding bootcamps or gained a four-year degree, you’ll have the option between becoming a freelance web developer vs a full-time traditional employee. There are many aspects to consider before choosing either path. Here are the top differences between freelancing and traditional employment.

1. Freelancers Can Work Where They Choose

The most obvious difference between being a freelance web developer vs full-time employee is that freelancers can work from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. On the other hand, traditional web development positions require professionals to be in a dedicated workplace. Freelancing gives you much more flexibility.

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2. Traditional Developers Have Normal Working Hours

Traditional developers tend to work during normal business hours. Many freelance developers chose a career in coding because they get to choose their working times. However, they are responsible for completing projects according to deadlines, so freelancers must have self-discipline.

3. Being a Freelance Developer Requires a Wide Variety of Skills

Besides time and project management, freelance developers require a wider combination of skills compared to traditional workers. This is because freelancers manage themselves, and often have to communicate with people remotely.

4. Traditional Developers Can Rely on a Fixed Average Salary

Freelance developers can work on their desired schedule, but they only earn as much as they work. Consequently, the average web developer salary for freelancers is inconsistent. Yet this also means breaking into the tech scene as a freelancer gives you no cap for your yearly income.

Should You Become a Freelance Developer?

You should become a freelance developer if you can set your own hours and stick to them and manage your projects successfully. To become a freelance web developer, you will need to be driven and organized, with a plan for how to handle periods where you struggle to find employment. To become a freelance web developer, you’ll need these qualities:

  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Necessary technical knowledge

How to Make Money as a Freelance Web Developer

Web Developer Salary: How Much Does a Freelance Developer Make? (3)

To make money as a freelance web developer, the first thing you’ll need is the right technical skillset. To show off your abilities, make sure you craft an appealing freelance developer resume and portfolio. Having an online presence is a great way to attract potential clients.

Keep in mind that, to make money with freelance web development, you’ll need more than simply technical skills. Soft skills like communication, organization, and self-promotion are just as important. Diversifying your abilities, such as learning UX design skills, can also help you earn a higher web developer freelance salary.

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Get Web Development Training

The best web development bootcamps can help you learn technical dev skills in less than a year. If you want to know how to make money as a freelance web developer in as little time as possible, the answer is probably to enroll in a bootcamp. The projects you complete during the program can go straight on your freelance web developer website.

You can charge a comfortable freelance web developer hourly rate through self-studying, which means taking online development courses, but you will need to work extra hard to prove to potential clients that you have what it takes to get the job done. You can find free online courses that teach you everything about user experience, graphic design, and coding languages.

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Online tutorials are generally much shorter and less intensive than coding bootcamps or courses. Unfortunately, if your education is based on tutorials alone, you will find it hard to get clients as a freelance web developer. However, gaining hands-on skills and additional training through work experience can help you get there.

Join Freelancer Websites

To make money with freelance web development, it’s a good idea to sign up for freelance websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Hired. These freelance websites will help connect you to potential clients, which is especially helpful when you are just starting out. Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you can use freelance web developer sites designed specifically for intermediate developers.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the largest job boards in the world, and a great resource for finding open jobs for freelance developers. You can also use LinkedIn to make professional connections and build your network. This can help you attract more clients and legitimize your skills.

Top 5 Web Developer Jobs and How Much They Earn

Web Development Job Average Salary
Backend Developer $104,522
Full Stack Developer $103,946
Web Application Developer $102,768
Software Developer $88,968
Front End Web Developer $80,915

1. Backend Developer

  • Salary: $104,522

As a freelance backend web developer, you will develop the part of the website that users don’t interact with. These functions are pivotal so website features can communicate with each other. This is one of the highest-paying freelance web developer jobs. To get hired, you’ll need to stay abreast of new technologies and be highly capable of debugging and testing.

2. Full Stack Developer

  • Salary: $103,946

Freelance full stack web developers combine the duties of backend and front end development. Because they have a more comprehensive understanding of coding, full stack freelance web developer rates tend to be higher than average.

Typical duties for full stack developers include programming servers and databases, working on website architecture, and ensuring code is mobile-optimized. It’s best to learn the techniques of front end and backend development before becoming a full stack developer.

3. Web Application Developer

  • Salary: $102,768

These developers are in charge of creating website layouts and user interfaces, using languages like HTML and CSS. As a freelance web app developer, you’ll also need to know how to integrate backend services to create a functioning website and understand the basics of UI and UX design. The applications you develop must offer ease of use and optimal performance.

4. Software Developer

  • Salary: $88,968

Software developers program software for multiple uses. You can work on software for mobile and desktop applications that offer a variety of purposes. This is one of the more common freelance web developer jobs for beginners because not every job will require advanced skills.

(Video) I Spent 30 Days Freelancing on Upwork

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Still, you will need to be comfortable using at least one programming language. Like all freelance web developer jobs, you’ll need to know how to debug and evaluate software. To optimize a company’s workflow, software developers must keep systems and applications updated and stay ahead of development trends.

5. Front End Developer

  • Salary: $80,915

As a freelance front end web developer, you will focus on the elements of the website that the user interacts with. To do this, you must know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and understand the core components of website design. While the average front end web developer freelance salary isn’t as high as other positions, you can still earn an impressive wage with the right skills.

Web Developer Salary: How Much Does a Freelance Developer Make? (4)

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Is Freelance Web Development Worth It?

Freelance development is worth it if you value a flexible schedule and have the soft skills required to manage your time well and juggle multiple tasks. The freelance web developer salary is also impressive, meaning you can live comfortably. With the impact of COVID-19, remote work is much more common and accessible, so you can count on a vast job market.

There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to go into web development as a freelancer. However, with the information in this guide, you should have everything you need to get started.

Freelance Web Developer Salary FAQ

Does freelance web development pay well?

Yes, freelance web development pays well on average. Typically, freelance web developers earn around $73,194 per annum. However, freelance web developer hourly rates vary significantly. You can set your own rates and work at your preferred times, so how much you earn is up to you. Your experience also impacts how much clients are willing to pay you.

What is the average salary for web developers?

The average web developer salary is $78,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary is quite impressive, as with many tech jobs. If you’d like to increase your earning potential, get additional training for web development.

What is the web developer salary for freshers?

The web developer salary for freshers is about $56,855 every year. It’s not only freshers that can earn this much. Web development jobs also welcome professionals that took untraditional education pathways like bootcamps.

How hard is it to be a freelance web developer?

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It can be hard to be a freelance web developer because of the competition for jobs. Tech jobs are some of the most popular for remote work, so there are usually plenty of qualified applicants. However, with an impressive skillset and the right soft skills, you can be very successful.

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