Full Stack Developer Salary: 5 Big Things to Know

A full stack developer has a very comprehensive job. Unlike other kinds of developers who specialize in a particular area (such as front-end developers), full stack developers tackle both the front and back ends of a website or application. You’re not just dealing with databases or user-facing UX, in other words, but pretty much every component of the system.

Because they’re skilled in a variety of areas, full stack developers can pull down a pretty significant salary. Let’s dig down a bit further. 

What is a full stack developer’s average salary?  

Data on full stack developer salaries varies wildly by source. For example, crowdsourced data on Glassdoor suggests that the average base pay for a full stack developer is $105,813 per year. Meanwhile, Indeed places that salary number (based off 15,500 salaries reported) at $111,884 (and that’s before you incorporate other compensation perks, such as cash bonuses). Those are pretty good numbers, but they also cover developers at every stage of their careers—and those who are making a lot of money will necessarily skew the averages higher. 

According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes job postings from across the country, the median salary for a senior software developer (which includes front-end and back-end developers in addition to full stack) is $110,399 per year. Software developers who are just starting out, meanwhile, can earn anywhere from $66,000 to $99,000, depending on their company and experience. It’s safe to say that full-stack developer salaries will generally fall within that (wide) range.

All of that data leads us to our next question… 

Do full stack developers get paid well?  

According to the latest Dice Salary Report, the average annual pay for technologists stands at $94,000. So, yes, full stack developers are generally paid pretty well (especially if you take the crowdsourced data mentioned above at face value). As with any tech profession, it all boils down to your experience and skills—if you have what employers want, you’ll find lucrative opportunities.

How do you negotiate salary?  

Whether you’re applying for a new job or sitting down with your current manager to discuss a raise, it’s important to show the value that you bring to the proverbial table. And that value, more often than not, comes down to your skills and experience. 

Before you sit down with your manager or interviewer, take some time and list your recent accomplishments. Did you bring in a huge software-development project on time and under budget? Did you figure out how to integrate a new feature into a mobile app that’s now making a company a lot of money? You can easily convert those achievements into leverage during negotiations; by explaining your track record, you show that you can use your skills and experience in ways that will benefit your team and company.

In addition to showing what you can do, it’s important to remain flexible. Company budgets are often out of a manager’s control; they might want to offer you an enormous salary bump, for instance, but they only have room to give you a five percent raise. When negotiating salary, keep in mind that you might not get all of what you want… but keep an open mind, and you could still claim a sizable portion of your goal.  

Are full stack developers in demand?  

Developers of all kinds remain in strong demand—for example, Burning Glass predicts that demand for senior software developers will climb 30.7 percent over the next 10 years. Full stack developers are no different. 

Is full stack development a dying career?  

So long as applications and websites need to be built and maintained, there will always be a need for skilled full-stack developers, especially those who have extensive experience in the technologies underlying both the back end and front end

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