Web Development Jobs introduction
So you want a web development job? You may just be a beginner or have lots of experience creating webpages, and you have decided you would like to work on websites as your career.
There are many opportunities available in this particular industry that range from very low to very high in terms of complexity, labor intensity, required skill, and pay.
This tutorial focuses on:
- Titles in the industry
- Web Designers
- Web Developers
- Graphic Designers
- Web Managers
- Labor and compensation
Titles in the industry
Is the title 'Web Developer' a generic title given to people who work on websites? Does it get more specific? Well, it depends on who you ask. There is an agreement to some extent in the Web field on what title constitutes what type of work.
NOTE: This tutorial contains definitions for the different titles people have in the Web field, but for the rest of this section we will be using the generic title 'Web Developer' to refer to anyone who works on webpages. Also, we will not be discussing the graphic design occupation in the other tutorials in this section.
A web designer works on what is known as the "front-end" of websites. A web designer is responsible for the appearance and layout of a website, to make sure that it looks good, that it will catch the users eye, that there is a good combination of colors, good choice of font and images, and all other appearance issues.
Web designers can and do write code, but they are more concerned with how a website appears, rather than how it functions.
A web developer works on what is known as the "back-end" of websites. When you login with your username and password at a website and you are known to be a legitimate user, how does that work? A web developer can tell you! Web developers work on things like that as well as many other forms of interaction on the web such as e-mail scripts, e-commerce websites, and forums.
Web developers also work with databases; doing things like setting up database structure and fields and testing that data submission from a form on a website to a database is working properly.
A web developer works on the front end of websites as well; writing code that is responsible for the layout of a website and the dynamic functionality on it.
NOTE: There is no pure distinction between a web designer and a web developer, one may sometimes do the work that the other requires. Also, there are people who are involved in both web development and design work. It's good to have the skills required by both titles.
A graphic designer generally does not have technical knowledge of website functionality, but works with existing graphics/images and creates new ones.
Graphic designers work in many other fields (besides the web) on things such as magazines, brochures, newspapers, and billboards. When employed within the Web industry, a graphic designer works on producing and editing images for websites that have an important effect on the websites visitors (as well as the company's image in general) such as logos and banners.
There is no official title 'Web Manager' in the industry, but we use it here to refer to anyone who is in a managerial position leading a group of people working on one or more websites. Becoming a web manager is not easy. It requires demonstrating sufficient skills and having years of experience.
Some companie requires having experience in both web development and management to become a web manager, others require experience in just one of those fields. Certainly, it's preferrable to have experience in both and any company that is serious about its internal organization would hire only someone in that position.
Labor and compensation
When considering a career choice the first question some people ask is 'How much does it pay?' The most important thing (in this writers opinion) is to do something you like. If you do something you don't like for a lot of money, you will be unhappy and this will catch up to you in the long term. If you like web development and want to work in this field, great! Regardless of whether you like it or not, the question of 'How much does it pay?' still comes up.
We can consult the website www.salary.com which reports how much different jobs pay. In other words 'What are you worth?' as they say it.
Web designer compensation
Results from salary.com regarding Web designer compensation
Web developer compensation
Results from salary.com regarding Web developer compensation
Graphic designer compensation
Results from salary.com regarding Graphic designer compensation
Now that you have some idea about how much certain jobs in the Web field pay, what about the labor? How much will you have to work? What about overtime?
The labor for these jobs is intensive, as technology can and does get difficult and tedious. Demand also tends to be high in regards to quality of work.
Web development/design and graphic design are no easy tasks. You will have to work hard, but when you see the result of your efforts you will feel accomplished and know that it's worth it. Regarding overtime, it depends on the company. With some companies, if you are on a yearly salary basis, there is unfortunately no overtime pay but if you are on an hourly basis there is overtime pay.