This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Web developers plan, produce and maintain websites using web programming languages, software applications, and databases.
Web developers usually earn an average of
$45K-$77K per year
Source: AbsoluteIT Remuneration Report – January 2014.
Current job prospects
How many people are doing this job?
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
Salary surveys indicate that the median gross yearly salary for web developers in 2014 was $57,000, with the highest-paid 25% earning an average of $87,000, while the lowest-paid 25% earned an average of $45,000 a year.
Source: AbsoluteIT Remuneration Report - January 2014.
What you will do
Web developers may do some or all of the following:
- meet with a client to work out the requirements of their website and talk over ideas
- work out the website's structure and how the user will find their way around it
- develop a technical plan for the website and ways to promote it online
- suggest production methods and necessary equipment, and investigate costs for the website
- liaise with writers, designers, system administrators and other staff to help design and maintain the website
- integrate the technical, visual, and content aspects of the site to produce the finished product
- maintain or update the website once it is completed by adding new content, illustrations or features.
Skills and knowledge
Web developers need to have:
- technical skills
- ability to program in computer languages
- knowledge of trends on the Internet.
- usually work regular business hours, but may work longer hours to meet deadlines, especially if they are self-employed
- work from home, in an office, or anywhere a computer can be set up
- often travel locally, nationally and internationally to meet clients and other people working on website projects, such as designers, project managers and systems specialists.
What's the job really like?
Cameron Oulsnam - Web Developer
Not so long ago, Cameron Oulsnam was more familiar with supermarket shelves than website development tools. But after a little study and a lot of learning, it's all second nature to him now.
Get your foot in the door and learn on the job
"I was working in supermarkets for about six months after doing a 3-D multimedia course. Employers often prefer people with experience, but once you get your foot in the door, it's a lot easier."
Cameron now builds clients' websites from scratch and says, "I'll build the template and keep adding design and functionality elements to the point where it's a working site." He works with technologies such as MySQL and with programs like Fireworks, which give websites their look.
"It sounds pretty technical, but it's just a matter of learning on the job while doing projects."
An expanding industry bringing its own rewards
"The great thing about the ICT [information and communication technology] industry is it's growing all the time," says Cameron. "The introduction of smartphones, for example, has opened up a whole new avenue of opportunities for web developers."
And there are rewards. "When you can turn a client's ideas into a working website and they see the finished product and say,'Wow, that looks really awesome.' That's the reward for me."
- Transforming visual ideas into a finished product.
- New opportunities opening up in a rapidly changing ICT industry.
- Lots of problem-solving, which can be stressful.
- Clients sending extra requirements through in the final stages of development.
To become a web developer a tertiary qualification in computer science, information systems, or web development is useful.
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects at school include maths, art, graphics and computer studies.
Web developers need to be:
- accurate and methodical
- able to accept criticism
- able to work well under pressure and unsupervised
- skilled at relationship and project management
- skilled at problem-solving
- good at writing, and communicating.
Useful experience for web developers includes:
- extensive work with computers and the Internet
- computer programming
- graphic design and desktop publishing
- client or project management.
Find out more about training
- Institute of IT Professionals (IITP)
- 0800 252 255 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.iitp.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
New Zealand's website industry is growing rapidly as companies are increasingly moving their information and communication systems online. The number of registered websites with their own domain (an organisation's unique name on the Internet) grew from 477688 in March 2012 to 549781 in March 2014.
Web developers are needed to create new sites and also maintain and improve existing ones. As a result, the number of web developers grew almost 5% between 2010 and 2012, according to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates.
Shortage of web developers
Web developer appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list, which means the Government is actively encouraging skilled software architects from overseas to work in New Zealand.
This demand is likely to continue. A survey of IT employers in 2014 reported that 75% of employers were planning to recruit additional staff due to an increase in new projects or customer demand.
Web developers work for businesses or are self-employed
Most web developers are employed by organisations with in-house ICT departments, or firms that specialise in websites, web applications or other Internet services. However, some web developers are self-employed.
Web developers work for a wide range of businesses, including:
- government departments
- large retailers, banks, or service organisations
- specialised website development companies
- educational institutions such as polytechnics and universities
- media organisations.
- AbsoluteIT, 'Employer Insight Report', April 2014, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- Domain Name Commission, '.nz Statistics by Calendar Year', accessed A, (www.dnc.org.nz).
- Hudson Recruitment, 'Hudson Report, Q2, 2014', 2014 (www.nz.hudson.com).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 'Information and Communications Technology Report', accessed April 2014 (www.mbie.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Web developers may progress to become:
- team leaders
- lead developers
- project managers
Some may start their own website businesses.
Last updated 19 January 2017