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Back-end developer average salary: past, present, and future projections

September 15 2022 - Are you putting together a team or considering a career as a back-end developer? You probably need to know the backend developer hourly rate. In this article, well look at the average back-end developer salary in the past, present, and future.

The average backend developer hourly rate in the past

The average backend developer salary at the turn of the century for an entry-level developer was around $40,800 per year. This could vary depending on the degree you hold. Computer engineering degrees would earn around $49,505, while someone who received a degree in Management information systems was closer to $41,800, and a standard Information Systems degree would earn the least at $38,400.

Because of a real shortage of skilled workers going into tech fields, salaries became more and more competitive. By 2000, salaries were already 10% higher than the previous year and well above the national average starting salary of $39,824.

The back-end developer average salary today

Salaries kept climbing. The average backend software developer salary today is around $70,000 to $140,000 annually or more. This can depend on your experience level and role, as well as the location. In San Francisco, for example, a junior backend developer can earn around $76,000 annually, but in a place like Tulsa, someone with the same skill level would earn $45,000 annually. Intermediate developers may experience a big bump in pay, with an average salary of around $85,000. A senior developer can quickly expect $125,000 per year, depending on the size of the team you manage.

This does compare well to other developer salaries. The average front-end developer salary is around $50,000 to $125,000 annually. A full stack developer can earn a lot more, though, as they are among the highest-paid developers in the market. A junior to mid-level engineer can charge up to $90,000.

A software engineer may earn a little less than a backend developer, from around $64,000 to $128,000 per year. Mobile developers, on average, start off at around $72,000 per year and top out at around $143,000, which is quite lucrative. UX/UI developers are in high demand but will probably earn between $52,000 and $110,000 per year. Web designers will earn less as they do not have the same coding skills, earning between $38,000 to $76,000 annually.

Future Projections

So, where are developer salaries going in the future? Between 2013 and 2019, salaries have gone up more than 17% for developers, but year-on-year salaries have been stabilizing. There are a few reasons for this.

For one thing, the slower rate that the data shows is because there are more entry-level and junior roles available today than there were in the early 2000s. This was pre-Amazon, pre-Facebook, and pre-social media. As tech giants entered the fray, the demand for developers increased dramatically, as did the interest level of students starting their careers. In 2015, 42% of developers said they were self-taught. By 2019, 63% of developers held Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Software Engineering degrees. While developers may learn new languages, frameworks, or tools on their own time, developers now have the backing of degrees and command higher salaries.

Some surveys have indicated that wages may start to drop for developers with less than two years of experience, but salaries will pick up at the three-year mark. Like other jobs, developer salaries steadily increase in line with their experience.

Some industry experts expect low-level coding jobs to become obsolete as new tools that can automate coding enters the space. Anyone can build their own website with CMS tools like WordPress and Squarespace, which is why web developers are less in demand than they used to be. That being said, new technologies will also emerge, like IoT appliances and wearable tech. AI is also growing in popularity. Developers that can master these new skills will continue to succeed.


The average backend developer hourly rate has fluctuated from year to year. The good news is that it is still climbing. With globalization, its still possible to hire a developer for less in another country, but by all accounts, hourly rates will still increase in the future.

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