**This article has been updated as of 4/11/2019.
Employers are increasingly looking to hire talented and skilled web developers, and in today’s competitive economy, web development jobs can be incredibly well-paid. However, in addition to the growing demand for such positions, the cost of living in many major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Chicago – where some of the best web development jobs are – is growing exponentially.
So how much will a web developer have to earn to live comfortably in the nation’s capital? And what web development jobs pay the most? Read on to find out.
The Cost of Living in Washington D.C.
Setting up shop in D.C. doesn’t come cheap. The cost of living for metrics such as rent, food, healthcare and transportation is considerably above the national average, although around 2 percent cheaper than in New York City, SmartAsset reported in 2018. Take a look at average costs in the following areas below:
- Housing: The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in D.C. is nearly $2,000 per month, SmartAsset stated. If you are looking to rent something larger, in the three bedroom range for example, the cost jumps up to nearly $3,500 per month on average. Despite the high renting costs, it many cases it may actually be cheaper to rent than buy, as the property market in the city is currently booming. Four bedroom family homes can cost in excess of $800,000 on average, while a smaller one bedroom home in the downtown area is typically sold for around $393,000. In terms of utilities, SmartAsset noted that you can expect to pay around $120 per month for a basic apartment. The climate in D.C. is extreme – summers are long and hot and the winters can be cold, so expect to be running your HVAC system constantly.
- Transportation: The city’s public transportation system is somewhat pricey, with a month pass costing $237 in 2018. For drivers, the average cost of gas in the D.C. metro area is $2.53 per gallon, not to mention parking garages cost an average of $300 per month.
- Food: Eating in the nation’s capital again costs more than the national average. According to SmartAsset, the cost of buying food from the grocery store costs nearly $400 per month. This number will increase considerably if you opt to eat out on a routine basis, with most reasonable restaurant meals costing around $14. Again, this number will skyrocket when eating out at fancier places. Of course, you can expect your bill to more depend on where you dine.
It’s clear from the above statistics that D.C. living doesn’t come cheap. Indeed, according to a 2017 article by the Washington Post, the average salary that an individual would have to earn to live “comfortably” in Washington D.C. is around $80,000. This is compared to a national average comfort salary of $75,000. While there is no clear consensus on what defines “comfortable” – many people will perceive that differently – it’s clear from the statistics above that to obtain a decent standard of living in the nation’s capital you will need to earn considerably more than the national salary average.
Thankfully, for professionals in the web development field, there are a number of web development jobs that pay well enough to meet the cost of living in Washington D.C. Check out the list below:
1. General Web Developer
A web developer is responsible for building a website – from programming to design and development. In addition to technical knowledge and skills, web developers will often have to liaise with clients to gauge a clear understanding of expectations, so effective communication skills are also a must for this position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median salary for Web Developers was approximately $68,000, which isn’t enough to meet the comfortable cost of living in Washington D.C. However, the demand for such positions is increasing, and in high competition markets, such as D.C., Web Developers can earn a base salary of around $86,000 in D.C., according to Glassdoor – enough to meet the cost of living in the nation’s capital.
2. Front-End Web Developer
3. Back-End Developer
An employee in this role will deal with building the backbone of a website, typically by developing a database that facilitates the presentation of content, Skilled Up outlined. Back-End Developers tend to be adept with computer-based languages such as PHP. Compensation for the average Back-End Developer is typically generous, with a national average salary of around $75,000 in 2016, according to Glassdoor. In many cases, however, they can make well over six figures, which is more than enough for a comfortable life in Washington D.C.
Profiles Web Development Recruitment
The web developer recruiters at Profiles know a thing or two on what to scope out when finding top talent in the capital. Contact Profiles for your next developer hire.