Backend Developer Salary in the US

A major technological trend that we have witnessed in the past few years is web development. With nearly every function online, web development has become a crucial part of the digital industry. Earlier, websites were used only for information purposes. They had plain texts with little chance of customer interaction through websites or applications. However, eCommerce has brought a drastic change. Websites have become a critical tool for customer interaction. Therefore, along with front-end development, the need for backend development services is also rising tremendously! 

This blog tells you what backend developers do and the average salary of backend developers in the US-based on the skills set, experience and location. 


Backend Developer Job Description

Before you understand what a backend developer does, you must first learn what backend development is. Backend development includes the activities that occur at the backend without the user’s knowledge. For instance, if you are browsing through an eCommerce website or app and adding products to your cart for shopping, you can only see the result – the items in your cart. Whatever happens on the server, like receiving requests or passing them on, is not visible to you. 

Therefore, backend development is server-side functionality. Backend development usually requires programming languages like Java, Python, SQL, and PHP. Backend development allows businesses to move beyond the traditional plain-text websites and cater to the customers’ needs with immediate response. Backend serves as a medium of communication between the server and the client. When the client sends a request, the backend sends data to the front end visible to the client.

A backend developer is a professional who handles the server side of applications. Their main job is to design (program) the company’s website and maintain the web pages, forms, databases, web servers, and other components. They focus on developing simple code for website development. Also, they implement new features on the website and maintain the existing ones. 

Backend developers use core applications, algorithms, databases, API, and other skills to enhance the website’s functionality. Thus, they must understand the company’s goals or the website and provide effective technological solutions. Backend developers ensure that the data is being stored properly and available to the client on request. 


The following are the most popular skills required to become a backend developer:

  • Data Structures
  • Algorithms
  • Databases and Cache
  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Version Control Systems
  • PHP, MySQL, Python
  • GIT


Backend Developer Salary in the US

According to the U.S. News and World Report, the job of a web developer was ranked the 8th best technology job and the 20th best STEM job in the US in 2019. It was also the 59th best job out of 100. The backend development job, which comes under web development, is one of the most sought-after jobs in the US due to plenty of career opportunities and lucrative salaries. 

Read on to find out the average salary of backend developers in the US based on location, experience, skills, and employers.

  • Location:- Salaries of backend developers in the US vary as per the company’s location. In San Francisco, the average salary of backend developers is around $150,000 per year. In Boston, the annual average wage is $144,176 for backend developers. In New York, the average salary is $135364 annually.
  • Experience:- According to Payscale, backend developers who have less than one year of experience earn an average salary of $61k per year. Backend Developers who have more than a decade of experience earn an average of $74,000 per year. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of experienced backend developers is $137,369 per year. As per Indeed, the average salary of a backend developer in the US is $115,098 per year, along with a $4,000 annual cash bonus.
  • Skills:- According to Indeed, the top skills and qualifications for backend developers are XLST, Haskell, Go, Scala, Python, Pig, C++, Machine Learning, Computer Science, and Data Structures. People skilled in XSLT get around 51.06% more salary than the average. Knowledge of Pig helps people earn 34.86% higher than the average salary. With Haskell, the chances of a higher salary are 19%, whereas, with Go, you can earn a 10.35% higher salary. By learning computer science and data structures, you can get 11.58% and 12.30% higher salaries, respectively. 

According to Payscale, the in-demand skills for backend developers are JavaScript, Node.js, Linux, MySQL, and Python. The highest paying skills are JavaScript and Node.js. The average salary for these skills is $80,000 and $97,500, respectively.

  • Companies:- Salary of a backend developer in the US also depends on the company. As per Indeed data, Twitter pays the highest salary to backend developers in the US that is $202,540 per year. The next highest paying company is Honor that pays $190,612 annually to backend developers. Other entities like Atlassian and NASDAQ pay $184,149 and $162,631, respectively, to backend developers in the US.

How Can You Become a Backend Developer?

To start your career as a backend developer, you have to know the basics of programming, coding, and software development. The following are a few things that you should be familiar with:

  • Knowledge of Top Web Servers:- As we already read above, backend development involves the functionalities occurring at the server-side. Therefore, developers must have a deep knowledge of various kinds of web servers like Microsoft, Apache, and IIS for back-end development. Since most of the development servers support the Linux operating systems, familiarity with Linux basics will be beneficial.


  • Knowledge of Different Web Programming Languages:- As a backend developer, there are two types of programming languages that you must know – object-oriented programming (OOP) languages and functional programming languages. The OOP architecture is based on classes and objects, whereas functional programming architecture involves mathematical functions. Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, HTML, and C++ are some common OOP languages. The most common available programming language is SQL.


  • Knowledge of Application Programming Interface (API):- API is a code that has been written beforehand that, when attached to other applications, allows them to work in synchronization. API is used to integrate new applications into existing infrastructures. For example, when you have already logged in to Google Chrome browser with your email id, and you browse through a website that requires signing up or logging in, you can simply sign in with Google without having to enter your email id or password all over again for websites.


Backend API allows the browser or the application to communicate with other applications. It makes the process smooth and faster and also enhances the user experience. For example, if you open an app on your mobile phone and make an online payment through that app, it automatically redirects or opens the payment app on your phone. Therefore, backend developers must be well-versed with APIs.

If you are interested in backend development and wish to learn about all these concepts from scratch, it is best to pursue a degree in Computer Science. You can consider the upGrad’s Master of Science in Computer Science program by Liverpool John Moores University. upGrad also offers a preparatory course for this program where you will learn the fundamentals of programming language and basic data structures. This course allows specialization in full-stack development, where you will learn both theoretical and practical aspects of backend development. 

Learn Software Development Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs or Masters Programs to fast-track your career.


Backend development is a promising career path with a great salary bracket. Since there is a huge demand for backend developers, it becomes necessary for you to acquire the latest and relevant skills that will give you an upper hand over other candidates. You can learn backend development from scratch and also work on practical assignments by enrolling for the Masters of Science in Computer Science program on upGrad.

What is backend development?

Backend development refers to the development of the server-side, which is only visible to the programmers. It provides data to the client on request, and the client remains unaware of all the functions taking place on the server-side.

What is the average salary of backend developers in the US?

As per Payscale, the average salary of a software developer in the US is $61,000 per year. However, it varies as per location, years of experience, company, and skills.

Are backend and front end development the same?

No, backend development and front-end development are different. Backend development focuses on the server-side or the backend functions that are only accessible by the programmer. In contrast, front-end development focuses on client-side programming like the design and other visuals that the user can see. Professionals who’ve mastered both front and backend development are called full-stack developers.

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