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Full Stack Developer Salary: How Much Can I Make?

When it comes to coding in technology, there are a lot of software and systems to know.

Often, software developers will specialize in a particular area of coding or programming. Some are experts in front end JavaScript or pros at back end Python. Their education and experience is concentrated in just that one area, and they’re hired for opportunities related to that specific program.

A full stack developer can do it all.

With such a big responsibility, full stack developers are in high demand in the tech industry. And they’re usually compensated accordingly. In fact, the national average salary for full stack developers in the United States in 2020 is $94,100, according to Salary.com. But considering the requirement of highly specialized and in-depth experience, is it the right career path for you?

We’re here to help. This guide shares some key things you’ll want to know about being a full stack developer and what you can expect for a salary.

What is a Full Stack Developer?

Before deciding on this career path, you’ll want to know what being a full stack developer entails. Depending on the industry and field you aspire to work in, the requirements and responsibilities of a full stack developer can vary greatly.

Full stack developers are often considered similar to web developers. In both cases, they’re responsible for a wide range of digital components on whatever platform, whether it’s a website or an app. The key difference is that a full stack developer tends to have in-depth knowledge of both the front- and back-end of development. Their diverse knowledge base helps to lead teams to be successful with both the internal and external code used on an application.

With an understanding of both the front and back end of operations, you are an essential asset to your team. While others may specialize in just one area, you can address and navigate problems related to all areas of the process.

Having this broad perspective equips you and your team to consider how different components relate to each other when building an application. Bridging that gap between internal technical processes and external user experience is at the core of what it means to be a full stack developer.

Project management is often a key component of a full stack developer’s job responsibilities. Whether you’re in the midst of a full website redesign or managing a timeline for continued improvements, you’ll need to plan out how resources will be utilized according to overall organizational goals.

What are the Key Skills of a Full Stack Developer?

Three monitors and tech equipment on table
A full stack developer is responsible for managing both the front- and back- end operations of web development. 

Full stack developers carry a range of preferred skills that hiring managers look for. While there are always areas in which you can grow and enhance your skills, some aspects just take time. Here are some of the key skills to be familiar with when considering a career as a full stack developer.

Robust Technical Knowledge

As someone who navigates both the internal and external parts of website development, you need to have solid technical knowledge to be effective. While you certainly won’t need to know everything about every platform, being familiar with the key areas the organization utilizes and common tools is foundational to being effective as a full stack developer.

You’ll need to know and be able to speak intelligently about major programming languages as well. It’s important to have some knowledge of languages like HTML, JavaScript, C#, Python, Java, Ruby, and others. You’ll also need to know how code will behave when in production, on different operating systems, and when managing the different requirements of each platform.

Customer Focus

In addition to equipping your internal team with resources and direction, you’ll also need to be well-versed in customer needs and the user experience of your website. You can help marketers implement projects through the website while helping your customer service team meet the needs of their clients.


It’s not easy to get to the level of knowledge and skills required to become a full stack developer. Experience in working with all the different kinds of programming and software development practices takes time. Having experience in coding and technology isn’t a skill you can acquire quickly.

Growing in experience also means that you need to be passionate about learning and advancing your own skills. In any industry and role, there’s always the opportunity to learn more. This is especially true in the technology field where things always seem to be changing and improving. You’ll need to demonstrate your interest and curiosity for learning more and enhancing your skills. Don’t settle for where you’re at right now; pursue knowledge as you add value to your teams and career.

Two women sitting in front of laptop
Full stack developers work together with their teams and other departments to meet organizational goals.

How Much Can a Full Stack Developer Make?

The role of the average full stack developer is foundational to an effective team and a successful project. That importance is often reflected in impressive salaries. According to an average of some of the top career reporting sites, full stack developers make annual salaries of $94,100 per year in the United States.

The salary range you can expect to find varies based on a variety of factors. Things like your location, your experience level, and the industry you’re working within all contribute to a salary range. Another factor may be your level of education. For example, while the salary of coding bootcamp graduate tends to be on par with the industry’s average, those with a graduate degree in computer science in addition to a bootcamp certificate will likely earn a higher salary and have access to more senior roles.

Depending on performance and other factors, full stack developers may also have the potential to advance in their career and salary. You can start out in an entry-level position and move up the ranks as you demonstrate your experience and passion. Even if you’re just starting out your career in tech, you can accelerate your earning potential greatly with a position in full stack development.

Salaries Based on Location

To get a sense of what you can look forward to in a salary, it’s helpful to look at the average annual salary where you live. Some cities provide greater opportunities in careers in tech, such as major cities like Dallas, TX or Seattle, WA. Be sure to discover the salaries for the city you’re or aspire to live.

For example in New York, the average full stack web developer salary is around $115,578. In San Francisco, experienced full stack developers can look forward to a salary of around $138,000. In Chicago, experienced developers can anticipate a salary of $89,700. While entry-level positions tend to have lower averages, the potential for growth and opportunities are abundant in this field.

It’s also a good idea to reach out to software developer recruiters because they have in-depth knowledge of the local job market salary ranges. 

Advance Your Tech Career as a Full Stack Developer

Full stack developers are an essential part of a development team. They can serve as the glue that holds each half together and can provide helpful insight and direction in strategic problem-solving. 

As a job that’s in high demand with impressive average salaries, a career as a full stack developer can be a great option for your next career move. 

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