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Alex Smith Doe

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Who are paid more, web developers or software developers?

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Are tech workers paid fair compensation for their work? What are the disparities between roles within the tech industry? Are Software and Web Developers given comparable compensation for their skilled labor?

In the expansive and complex world of technology, compensations are constantly evolving. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers earned an average of $107,510 USD in 2019, whereas Web Developers earned an average of $73,760 USD. This statistic alone is presented with gaps in crucial contextual details such as geographical differences, experience and skills. Reports by Indeed, USA Today, and Hired have shown that software developers tend to be paid more than web developers in most locations despite these contextual disparities.

In this article, you will learn about the various disparities in pay between software and web developers. You will also be presented with data-backed insights about salaries inferred by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA Today, Hired, and Indeed. We’ll take a closer look at the differences between software engineers and web developers, based on location, experience, and development stack. Finally, we will discuss the effects of these disparities, and potential measures that can be taken to balance out pay in the tech industry.

Who are paid more, web developers or software developers?

Definitions of Web Developer and Software Developer

When discussing the career paths of web developers and software developers, the main distinction is the areas of expertise used to build a digital product.
Web developers are tasked with developing websites and web applications, using programming and scripting languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python and other server-side languages. They must ensure that the websites and web applications they design are visually appealing and functional, and must stay up to date with the latest web technologies.
Software developers, on the other hand, are responsible for creating and maintaining a variety of software applications and programs. They must have experience with the development of back-end systems, databases, user interfaces, algorithms and more. They often use a variety of coding languages, such as C++, C#, Python, Java and so forth, to create these programs.
In terms of pay, the salaries of web developers and software developers can widely vary depending on if you wish to work for a company or if you freelance, as well as skill set and location. Generally speaking, however, software developers are paid more than web developers.

Compare Salary: Web Developer vs Software Developer


The salary of a web developer may vary but they are usually making somewhere around $60,000 – $90,000 annually. Software developers, on the other hand, tend to make much more than their web developing counterparts. A software developer can expect to receive a salary ranging from $85,000 – $125,000, and sometimes more depending on experience and work performed.

Differences in Job Duties

Web developers create and maintain websites and web-based applications. They are involved in a variety of tasks including web design, coding, usability testing and deployment. Software developers, also known as software engineers, create and maintain software and systems. They develop the underlying systems that control networks, as well as user interface designs and applications.
Software developers also provide technical support, establish software installation processes and craft user-friendly computer-programming codes. Web developers and software developers both need to have a solid technical foundation as well as an understanding of programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript and Ruby.

Key Skills Required

Some of the key skills required for a web developer include:

  • Proficiency with HTML and CSS
  • Knowledge of Java and JavaScript
  • Familiarity with database management systems
  • Ability to develop user-centered designs
  • Knowledge of UX design principles

Software developers, on the other hand, need to have a variety of skills which include:

  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Familiarity with data structures and algorithms
  • Experience with a variety of programming languages
  • Knowledge of database design and architecture
  • Experience with software development lifecycle

Both web developers and software developers must possess strong interpersonal skills such as communication and collaboration. They must also be able to work independently and have excellent organizational abilities in order to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies as well as industry trends.

Examining Pay Disparity in the Tech Sector

Tech Sector Pay Disparity

In the tech sector, it’s no secret that pay disparities exist among different types of professionals. But how exactly does it differ between web developers and software developers? Who is paid more and why? These questions warrant further examination.
One commonly accepted notion is that software developers tend to be paid more than web developers. This is due in part to the fact that software developers typically have more experience and expertise in various software-related disciplines, such as coding, database design, debugging, and software project management. They may even be required to create custom software solutions for businesses or organizations, a process that requires considerable technical knowledge and skill. Additionally, software developers usually have more autonomy in their daily tasks, giving them more flexibility and control when it comes to their projects.

Plausible Reasons For Pay Disparity

By comparison, web developers tend to get paid much less than software developers as their job duties and responsibilities are more generalized and limited in scope. Web developers usually only work with a specific set of technologies, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and perhaps some front-end frameworks like Angular or React. They are typically tasked with creating and maintaining websites, creating web-based applications, and making sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. While these tasks can be complex and challenging, they are generally simpler than the tasks undertaken by software developers.
Furthermore, web development is often seen as a commodity skill, meaning web developers aren’t typically offered the same premium pay that is often associated with more specialized positions. The high demand for web development services leads to an oversaturation of workers, which further drives down prices and salaries.
The pay disparity between web developers and software developers highlights a larger problem in the tech sector – namely, the lack of diversity at the upper echelons of the industry. While software developers are disproportionately represented in the highest paying positions, web developers – particularly those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds – tend to be clustered in the lower-paying sectors of the industry.
This is a concerning trend, and one that needs to be addressed if the tech sector is to truly achieve diversity and inclusion. For starters, tech companies need to better prioritize and invest in training and mentorship for web developers, especially those from disadvantaged communities. This could include providing web development courses or apprenticeships at discounted rates for underrepresented communities, and actively recruiting from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, tech companies should take a critical look at their hiring processes and pay structures, and consider more equitable compensation packages for web developers.
As the tech sector continues to grow and evolve, it’s essential that we strive for equality and fairness in pay and opportunities. By taking the necessary steps to address the pay disparity between web developers and software developers, tech companies can create a fairer, more equitable landscape for all workers.

How to Increase Earnings Working as a Web or Software Developer

Variations in Earnings for Web and Software Developers

When it comes to the software development field, the different variations in salary between web developers and software developers can be quite groundbreaking. Both web developers and software developers enjoy competitive salaries and provide essential services within the tech industry—so which one pays more?
The answer is not as straightforward as one might think. It often depends on the type of programming languages used, type of project, and certifications needed for a particular job. Moreover, the amount of experience and the level of expertise also play a major role. To further complicate the issue, it is also important to take the project’s complexity and the potential to utilize one or more existing technologies into account. That said, it is often the case that software developers earn more than web developers.

Factors Influencing Earnings Potential

Thought-provoking question considering these facts is whether web and software developers should choose a specific approach in order to make more money? Generally, developers that focus on important programming languages such as Ruby, Java, C#, Python, and PHP enjoy higher pay. Technologically inclined web developers that can also provide additional technical proficiency such as database design, JMeter and system administration can expect to be higher paid. Besides, a rich portfolio of successfully completed projects can be a valuable asset.
Software developers that possess strong analytical abilities, excellent knowledge of mathematics and algorithms, the ability to write clean code and develop complex programs are also highly sought after. The same qualities may be attributed to software testing, requiring a deep understanding of software design and coding. It also worthwhile to mention that software developers often benefit from higher salaries when it comes to advanced projects such as app building, cloud services, speech recognition, virtual reality, and so on.
On the other hand, practical skills such as expertise with HTML, CSS, and scripting languages like JavaScript; the ability to build and optimize databases correctly; and the capacity to write code that performs efficiently are important for web developers. Other valuable skills include the use of popular CMS (such as WordPress and Drupal), HTML5, and responsive design as well as knowledge of search engine optimization techniques and server-side security.
Generally, it is essential to stay up-to-date with regards to the latest technology trends, attend industry events and conferences, and devote time to participating in online forums and hackathons in order to further increase earning potential for web and software developers. Furthermore, obtaining certifications digital badges and attending/giving talks and seminars can be especially beneficial. Ultimately, those who demonstrate their knowledge, dedication and an enthusiasm for the subject matter, will reap the financial rewards.


When it comes to determining who earns more, web developers or software developers, it is difficult for one to come to a definitive conclusion. Though it is often said that software developers have the upper hand in terms of pay, there are many different factors that should be taken into account when making this comparison. So, the real question remains: which of these two fields provides its practitioners with the most lucrative salary?
For those interested in learning the nuances of this debate, the best thing to do is to follow this blog. We will be releasing new pieces of content regularly that can shed light on this complex issue. We plan to delve deep into the economics behind web and software development and offer a comprehensive overview of the data collected. By doing this, our readers can make their own informed decision regarding which of these professions might give them the most financial security.
It goes without saying that money is an important factor in one’s decision to pursue a career in a specific field. For one interested in a programming field, it is pertinent to understand the economic aspects of web and software development and determine which position may be better suited to their needs. As the discussion around web and software development wages continues to be had, there are sure to be further debates and conversations surrounding the issue. What is certain however, is that this issue is too complex to be answered with a simple yes or no, and it will be interesting to see how the wages for these two fields will fluctuate in the future.


Q1: Who makes more money, web developers or software developers?
A1: Generally it depends on an individual’s skills, experience or location, but on average, software developers tend to make more than web developers. The software development field offers more opportunities for individuals to specialize and offer a higher salary for their expertise skills.
Q2: Is web development a good field to enter?
A2: Absolutely. Web development is a great field to enter as it is always evolving and requires continuous learning. Individuals with technical skills like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages can create a wide variety of interactive websites.
Q3: What types of jobs can software developers take?
A3: Software developers typically work in areas such as computer systems design, application development, and software engineering in order to create a wide variety of technology services and products. They can collaborate with other engineers, computer scientists, and software developers to develop new products and systems.
Q4: What qualifications do you need for web development?
A4: Generally web development requires some coding expertise, such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, and some knowledge of web design tools. It also requires problem solving and creativity skills. A college degree or related field of study can also be beneficial.
Q5: What certifications are available for software developers?
A5: Depending on the type of software development you want to pursue, there are various certifications available. Software developers can pursue certificates in areas like .NET, Java, SQL, and other coding skills. Certifications are helpful for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge and experience to potential employers.