Full Stack Developer Salary: Average, Demand, and Most Valuable Skills

Your typical full stack developer must juggle a variety of tasks throughout the day. They not only manage the user-facing aspects of a website (such as its UI/UX), but also maintain and use server-side operating systems, frameworks, libraries, and databases. That’s a lot of complexity to handle—especially with limited resources and tight deadlines.

Given the complexities of the job, how much is the average full stack developer salary? Do they make more than front- or back-end developers? Let’s dig into the numbers!

What is a full stack developer’s average salary?

If you’re a regular reader of our salary-related coverage, you know that we often rely on Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, for our salary data. For some reason, “full stack developer” isn’t in the Emsi Burning Glass database; however, it pegs the median web developer salary at $79,584 per year, rising to more than six figures after a few years. (Given how web developers often have similar responsibilities as full stack developers, we can see it as roughly analogous.)

Meanwhile, Glassdoor places the average salary for a full stack developer at $108,803 per year, with an average base pay of $89,638 and “additional pay” (such as bonuses) of $19,165. Indeed suggests the average salary is slightly less, at $100,613 per year. As with so many other professions, a number of factors have a huge influence on a full stack developer’s compensation, including their employer (larger companies tend to pay more than smaller ones), where they work, their years of experience, and whether they possess any special skills.  

Do full stack developers get paid well?

According to Glassdoor, full stack developers make more on average than back-end developers ($92,963 per year) and front-end developers ($102,308). Depending on the source, full stack developers also make a bit more than your average technologist; as calculated by the latest Dice Salary Report, the average technologist salary is $104,566 per year, up 6.9 percent between 2020 and 2021.

Are full stack developers in demand?

As long as companies need skilled technologists to manage all aspects of their web properties, yes, there will be a market for full stack developers. The high salaries paid full stack developers are another indicator of strong demand.

What are the most valuable skills for a full stack developer?

Full stack developers are prized because they’ve mastered the tools and platforms that allow both the front- and back-ends of websites to operate. According to Emsi Burning Glass, the web developer skills cited most often in employers’ job postings include:

  • Web development (obviously)
  • JavaScript
  • Web application development
  • SQL
  • Software development
  • Java
  • Git

In addition, many job postings also call out knowledge of Python, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, APIs, and common web frameworks. You don’t necessarily have to master every single facet of web development to land a job as a full stack developer; if you show an aptitude for learning, you can likely convince employers that you’ll pick up any web-development skills you don’t already have.