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Full Stack Developer Salary in the United States

Traditionally, most software engineers and software developers have focussed on fine-tuning specialized skills to become back-end or front-end developers for delivering the end product. But slowly, the demand for multi-talented developers has surged — companies are increasingly looking for software developers who possess in-depth knowledge of web and app development. 

Known as full-stack developers, the career trajectory of such professionals is extremely bright. Needless to say, the full stack web developer salary is also extremely lucrative and commensurate with skills and expertise.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read How To Prepare for Full Stack Developer Interviews for specific insights.

Having trained over 10,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Our alums consistently land offers from FAANG+ companies. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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In this article, we’ll look at the average salary of a full stack developer in the US and also the comparison of full stack web developer salaries in different cities. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Role of a Full Stack Developer 
  • Full Stack Developer Salary in the United States
  • Full Stack Developer Salary — FAANG vs. Startups
  • Full Stack Developer Salary Based on Experience and Qualifications
  • Full Stack Web Developer Salary — A Comparison by City
  • FAQs on Full Stack Web Developer Salary

Role of a Full Stack Developer 

Before going into the salary bit, let’s understand the responsibilities of a full stack software engineer. A full stack developer not only writes code for front-end web applications or mobile applications but is also responsible for writing API code for the middle and the server at the back. 

The code written by full stack developers helps connect different databases. Therefore, unlike a front-end or a back-end developer, who focuses on either side, a full stack developer is responsible for ensuring that both ends communicate and integrate well. 

A full stack developer can handle both client- and server-side issues and even set up a fully functional website all by themselves. Here’s a breakdown of what you may be expected to do as a full stack developer:

  • Write code in different front- and back-end languages
  • Set up and modify a database
  • Debug issues on a website
  • Work with other developers and collaborate to develop the website architecture
  • Create a functional user experience on the front end
  • Collaborate with graphic designers to translate their designs to code
  • Create functioning website prototypes

Full Stack Developer Salary in the United States

Since a full stack developer focuses more on picking up as many skills as possible rather than specializing in a single one, the salary may vary depending on experience levels. However, it is incorrect to believe that lack of specialization means drawing lesser salaries. In fact, sometimes, the skills of full stack developers are so rare that they are known as unicorns. 

As per Indeed and ZipRecruiter, the average full stack developer salary in the United States is $106,167 along with a $4,750 cash bonus per year. 

A vast majority of companies use JavaScript for both front-end and back-end development. If you have specialized in JavaScript, the average full stack JavaScript developer salary in the US is $78,951 annually. With cash bonuses and perks, the figure can be in the range of $120,000 a year.

Full Stack Developer Salary — FAANG vs. Startups

As expected, the salaries paid by startups are generally a lot less when compared to established players in the market. Nevertheless, the starting salary can become extremely lucrative in the long run. There’s plenty of opportunity for salary growth, and income may go up significantly with experience. 

Here’s what FAANG companies pay their full-stack developers every year on average:

Full Stack Developer Salary Based on Experience and Qualifications

Full stack developer salary for someone with two years or less experience is approximately $57,300 per year. Those with an experience level between two and five years can expect to earn $73,700 per year. 

Education levels also play an important role in determining the salary. For example, the full stack software developer salary for someone with a certificate or diploma is $73,700 per year. In contrast, those with a Master's degree can expect to earn an average salary of $152,000 per year. Full stack developers with Bachelor's Degree are in the middle, earning $99,000 per year.

Full Stack Web Developer Salary — A Comparison by City 

Based on our research, here is a city-wise comparison of full stack software developer salary:

  • New York: The entry-level full stack software developer's salary is approximately $63,495. As there is no upper limit on how much tech professionals can earn, the average salary of experienced professionals can be $111,659 or more.
  • San Francisco: A part of the Silicon Valley, offers freshers $67,953 as a full stack developer salary. Senior full stack developer salary can be in the high six figures, and some can even earn more than $119,499 per year. 
  • Chicago: One of the Midwest's largest cities that attracts tech workers, the average full stack software developer salary here is around $59,445 per year for entry-level positions. With experience, one can expect to earn up to $104,537 working as a full stack developer. 
  • Seattle and Boston: Two other high-paying cities, where the average full stack software developer salary is between $120,000 and $135,000 per year. 
  • Austin: A hot spot for tech jobs, offers $56,292 per year for entry-level full stack developer salary. You can expect up to $100,000 a year with experience, which is at par with the average full stack developer's salary in other cities. 

Here's a quick overview of the city-wise salary comparison:

In the past few years, the demand for skilled full stack developers has skyrocketed with the proliferation of tech companies. It is undoubtedly one of the highest-paying jobs in the United States.

Needless to add, having mastery over the necessary skills is imperative to earn a handsome figure. But once you add more experience to your kitty, there is no upper limit to how much you can earn. Given that the demand for developers will only increase in the coming years, working as a full stack developer for leading companies in the world can be extremely lucrative.

FAQs on Full Stack Web Developer Salary

1. Why are full stack developers in such high demand?

Full stack developers bring in-depth knowledge that makes them valuable assets for any organization. Instead of hiring standalone front-end or back-end developers, companies are much better placed to get someone who understands the full suite.

2. What are the skills needed to become a full stack developer?

You should be familiar with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, third-party libraries such as React or Angular, programming languages and libraries such as Ruby, PHP, Python, and have experience with databases, such as MongoDB, Oracle, SQL, and MySQL.

3. How long does it take to become a full stack developer?

Apart from getting proficient in web development through a degree in computer sciences, you can also obtain the necessary skills by attending an intensive coding boot camp. These camps are usually 12 to 24 weeks long and are designed to help you pick up all the fundamentals to snag the promising jobs in the market.

4. What is the average salary a newly minted full stack developer can expect to earn?

Full stack developer salary for someone with two years or less experience is approximately $57,300 per year. 

5. Apart from those with a degree in computer science, who else can work as a full-stack developer?

Those who have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, software engineering, and other disciplines such as civil, electrical, or mechanical are also eligible to pursue a career as a full stack developer.

Prepare for Your Next Full Stack Developer Interview

If you need help with your prep, join Interview Kickstart’s Full Stack Engineering Interview Course — the first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed and taught by FAANG+ instructors. Click here to learn more about the program. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview. 

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Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021

Dipen Dadhaniya

Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart

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