Career Insight

Full-Stack Developer Career Guide

Full-stack developer coding front-end and back-end code on laptop

The journey through tech can take you anywhere. There are so many different, exciting paths to take as you learn new skills, build new connections, and continue developing your presence in the tech space. So, what can you do in the face of variability? Be ready for anything!

If you’re considering a career in full-stack web development, you’ll want to anticipate the different paths that could potentially come your way. Learn about potential entry level job titles to expect, the average salaries in the field, the skills you need to make the move, and the responsibilities and skills employers are looking for in our full-stack developer career guide.

First, what is a full-stack developer?

The websites and applications you interact with on a daily basis have two sides to them: the frontend and the backend. The frontend is what you see. It’s the buttons you click, the images that grab your attention, and even the information boxes you fill out. In the backend are all the inner workings users don’t directly interact with. It’s all the code, servers, databases, and other components that keep the site or app running. While each side has designated experts that handle their development (frontend and backend developers), full-stack developers can work on it all.

Full-stack developers are versatile tech professionals who have the skills and years of experience needed to keep the front and backend of a website running. They know programming languages like JavaScript and understand the best ways to structure code and data using tools like MongoDB. They also have elite-level communication skills to interact with all the different teams in any given project. Due to their skillset, expertise in two of the most important areas in web development, and the continuous growth of the tech industry, full-stack developers are in high demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a projected growth of 23% in job opportunities in web development by 2031.¹

Find Your Path

Evidently, if you get the skills and knowledge needed in full-stack development, you can expect to find jobs that directly relate to that career path. These include positions such as:

  • Junior full-stack developer
  • Junior full-stack engineer
  • Senior full-stack developer
  • Senior full-stack engineer

But, remember all that talk about different paths in the tech space? This is where that notion comes into play and it’s good news for you! With your skills, education, and varying levels of experience, you can potentially work your way into other tech positions that offer pay comparable to the average full-stack developer salary. And with plenty of preparation, there’s a possibility you won’t need endless years of experience. Learn more about these positions:


  • Web Developer

    Web developers design, develop, and maintain websites using programming languages, frameworks, and tools. They can create user interfaces, web pages, and server-side components by working on both the front and backend parts of a project. According to the BLS, web developers can earn an annual average salary of $78,300.¹

  • Computer Programmer

    These tech professionals write, test, and maintain code for software applications, computer programs, and systems. They are responsible for troubleshooting, debugging, and improving software code to ensure that it meets requirements and performs as expected. Computer programmers can earn an average salary of up to $93,000 per year, according to the BLS.²

  • Software Developer

    Software developers design, develop, and maintain software applications. Their efforts are responsible for ensuring that software products work and meet specific industry standards. According to the BLS, software developers can earn an average salary of $109,020 per year.³

Get the Skills

So, what are employers looking for in a full-stack developer? If you were to find an entry level job listing with a great full-stack developer salary that fits exactly what you want out of your first career in tech, it may look a little something like this:

We are looking for a Full-Stack Developer to join our remote work team and help us build dynamic and innovative web applications. As a Full-Stack Developer, you will work with a team of developers and designers to create functional and user-friendly web applications.


  • Collaborate with designers and other developers to create functional and user-friendly web applications
  • Develop and maintain both frontend and backend web applications
  • Write and maintain clean, well-designed, and efficient code
  • Troubleshoot and debug issues that arise in production
  • Participate in code reviews and ensure that code standards are being followed
  • Stay up-to-date with emerging trends and technologies in web development

Your skills and experience need to directly address what employers are looking for. By following the sample job listing, you can safely assume the entry level job will require technical skills including:

  • Proficiency in front and backend development and their corresponding technologies
  • Experience with database technologies such as SQL and MongoDB
  • Knowledge of version control systems such as Git, which allows developers to manage code changes and collaborate with other developers seamlessly in remote work environments
  • Problem-solving skills such as troubleshooting and debugging competency along with proficiency in identifying and solving problems with code and architecture
  • Willingness to continue learning, staying up to date with emerging trends, and improving skills as new technologies become available

Get There With Kenzie

If you’re pursuing a full-stack developer career or similar, the Kenzie Academy program from Southern New Hampshire University can guide you as you get the tools and knowledge needed to get there. The Kenzie Academy Full-Stack Web Development (MERN) program is designed for career changers, tech hopefuls, and current job holders who want to take their future to the next level.

The goal is to get you career-ready by the time you graduate, whether you enter our program knowing a lot about tech, a little, or nothing whatsoever. The Full-Stack Web Development program uses a hands-on, collaborative curriculum that simulates the real-world environment. This serves a dual purpose: you get the skills needed for a tech career while creating relevant experience.

Ready to jumpstart your full-stack developer career? Apply now and get started.


¹Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Web Developers, on the internet, at  (Viewed March 29, 2023)

²Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Programmers, on the internet (Viewed March 29, 2023)

³Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Software Developers, on the internet (Viewed March 29, 2023)

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