Web Applications Developers, Engineers Top Entry-Level Jobs

Engineers and web applications developers are some of the best entry-level jobs, according to new data from WalletHub, which compared 109 entry-level jobs across 13 metrics.

Those metrics included starting salary, number of job openings, projected job growth by 2026, median annual salary, and more. Unlike other studies, which usually focus exclusively on salary and job availability, WalletHub also looked at the hazards of each occupation, specifically overwork and “fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 employees in the past three years.”

Systems engineer came in first on WalletHub’s list, followed by engineer, electrical engineer, hardware engineer, and web applications developer. Other tech jobs, including database administrator and network engineer, also appeared on the list.

According to the Dice Salary Calculator, a web applications developer in San Francisco with a single year of experience can expect to earn up to $79,500 per year, before you take cash-boosting specialized skills into consideration. In a city not considered a tech hub, such as Boise, that salary can dip to $43,000 to $60,000 per year—still pretty good for a place with a lower cost of living.

Of course, compensation goes beyond salaries, and in a bid to attract the right talent, tech firms across the country are doling out a variety of perks in addition to cash. Depending on the company, that newbie web applications developer can expect everything from flexible hours to stock options. Those who specialize have even more negotiating power in the right context.

And as web application developers progress in their careers, their salary inevitably creeps up. Those with five years’ worth of experience can expect to pull down $85,000 (on average) in San Francisco; in a place like Boise, it’s $67,000. Again, that base salary doesn’t reflect the other incentives that companies often offer to professionals.

For entry-level engineers, salaries are similarly high: $84,000 in San Francisco, $59,000 in Kansas City (which, like Boise, has a lower cost of living and different tech-industry profile than the Bay Area). Keep in mind that engineers are a varied bunch, and salaries and compensation can differ wildly based on things like sub-industry and skills.

For those tech pros just getting out of school with a shiny degree, data like this is good news: with tech unemployment low, and companies actively hunting for talent, there’s opportunity for many grads to quickly land a dynamite position.

12 Responses to “Web Applications Developers, Engineers Top Entry-Level Jobs”

  1. Well, I don’t see the growth in employment. I finished my Bachelor Degree in Computer Science on May 2017 and have been unemployed since. The majority of technology jobs require years of experience (which I don’t have) and without it, new graduates like me seem to be destined to the lines of unemployement or resignation. I am really dissapointed because these statistics sell a dream that doesn’t go with the reality of out time.

    • James Igoe

      Do you have GitHub repositories, NuGet packages, an online presence, or websites showing your skills? When you on the call with a recruiter, or on a phone interview, can you market yourself?

      As an example, I was on a call the other day with a hiring manager, and at the end of the call I asked if there was anything he was looking for that I was lacking that I could address, he mentioned ASP.NET, which I have not done in a work setting, just ASP.NET MVC. so I pointed him to one of my personal sites I built when learning MS’s .NET. As another example, I have a website devoted to solving F# problems, and although I’ve never done that in a work setting, I’ve had a well-funded startup reach out to interview me on several occasions; they offered to teach me more F#. As part of my online presence, I have code that hiring managers can go an look at.

      Granted, my problem is nearly the opposite, with 10 to 20 years experience, in an industry that often prefers someone junior. Also, my full resume includes project management, lead, and BA activities that many hiring managers don’t want or need; they just want a technical person.

    • As someone who graduated in the winter of 2015, and finally got hired early 2017, the missing component isn’t experience exactly: You need a stronger portfolio of actionable, living, breathing, working, real world projects. The more you demonstrate you can produce apps, websites, backend, frontend, authenticated api’s, etc that are all part of working apps that demonstrate you know how to produce something that merits impact, or fulfills a need(however small), the more you demonstrate you are the candidate that doesn’t need 2-5 years experience. That you are the candidate that can be onboarded in a week or less and start producing those same types of actionable results.

      ~A fellow grad who found success the hard way

  2. Responding to Vivi,

    You just have to keep trying and find a company that is willing to take you in and trains you on the job. That’s how most entry-level newbies do it. The key here is to never stop looking/trying. But before you even start applying for jobs, make sure your resume is more than good enough…that’s the key to landing an interview, and don’t forget to beef your interviewing skills or soft skills. That’s also very important. I’d highly advise you to pay a pro to look and revise your resume, cover letter, and a qualification summary. If you really want an advantage or an edge over your competitor(s), get certified because that is your winning ticket to landing a job!

  3. Anonynmous


    What skills did you learn in your program? Perhaps you can use them to create a job. If you can find people who have a problem that your skills can solve, more than likely, they will pay you to solve them. Just a encouraging thought.

    Peace and Love.

  4. william

    Why do all of these articles talk about how much money we can we make in tech and tell us there are all these companies for entry level positions for computer science with no mention of which companies. I get these emails from all over the place and when I read them they are extremely vague with no real useful information. Where are these entry level positions I keep reading about. They are certainly not listed on Dice, Indeed, Career Builder, Zip Recruiter or Monster.

  5. Chris

    Spam bidding sites to get the experience. You will spend more time looking for work than you will spend working, but it pays better than an internship.
    You are right though Vivi. Your education will help you qualify for better pay once you have experience but the education by itself means nothing to employers.
    In fact all school and no education is a red flag.
    If it helps, I am in the same boat and starve on a regular basis.

  6. Or you can find another line of work. I have twenty years of experience in IT, and I STILL can’t find a job because all my technical skills are with obsolete languages/packages, and nobody cares about any of it.

  7. william

    I am a mechanical engineer employed programming industrial control systems. I love programming and I tried to move into IT. I soon realized there are serious issues. If I were guiding a young person I’d tell them to avoid the field unless they are certain they are good programmers and simply MUST pursue it. A lot of engineering jobs can lead to positions with lots of programming. IT and computer science seemed glutted and subject to foreign competition and ageism.

    • Peter

      I completely agree with your last sentence. And I would add even more to that list… Companies moving their infrastructure into clouds and automating things will further reduce the number of IT opportunities out there on the market.
      A lot of smaller companies now days adapt to using Google Apps and Office 365, removing the need for MS Exchange Administrators.
      If developers are able to create their virtual infrastructure in the Cloud, there soon will be no need for: Systems Engineers, Systems Administrators, DBAs, MS Exchange Administrators, Datacenter Engineers.
      Its a looming disaster, in the IT sector.
      I’ve been un-employed a few month now, over 50 years old.
      Highly certified and experienced but not needed.