Market Hack: How much do Web Developers earn in Sydney?



When starting your career as a Web Developer, it’s difficult to know your value in the marketplace. One of the biggest questions we get is ‘How much do Web Developers earn in Sydney?’

Three Great Tools

The following tools allow you to hack the market for yourself and get a good idea of where you can be situated in a role:

PayScale is an excellent resource. The entry median salary for a Web Developer in Sydney with 1 year experience is $48,000. “A Web Developer earns an average salary of $51,705 per year. Experience strongly influences pay for this job. People in this job generally don’t have more than 10 years’ experience”.

This is a relatively new resource, and one that will improve in accuracy as more employees upload their salary information. The median salary for Web Developers in Sydney is currently $66k. The challenge here is there’s no indication of experience level. This tool still allows great insight into your favourite companies via reviews, allocating grades to areas like culture and work-life-balance. You can also set up job alerts and have them sent to your email.

Useful to give you an overall idea of what web developers can earn around Australia state by state. This LifeHacker article provides a handy table, listing a breakout of different developer roles and their average salary.

The Many Variables

There are a number of different variables that can have substantial impact on your earning potential. These include but are in no way limited to;  your level of experience in terms of the depth and scope of projects you have been involved with in the past, contributions to open source projects, Github activity, and a clear (and preferably) historical footprint in the digital space. Of course, any technology or computer science-based experience prior to web development will also improve your chances of success. Consistently building in these areas can give you the competitive edge you need to land the job, and can also sway your bargaining power by $5,000 – $10,000 (higher for senior roles).

Entry-level web developer

Research suggests that the average starting salary for a Web Developer in Sydney is around $55-70,000. You do have to bear in mind that these figures can fluctuate depending not only on some of the variables above, but also on the industry, set-up and culture of the organisation you are applying with. You also need to factor in the many Freelance Web Developers can skew these figures even further, as they determine their own rates. Generally, you can expect to stay in a junior role for 1-2 years. How quickly you can progress to the next level will depend on what you’re working on, breadth, scale and acceleration of projects. You also should make sure that you are building and maintaining your online presence.

Senior Web Developer

The shift to a senior level salary – again, generally speaking – is a 4-5 year journey. There will still be variance in salary based on the industry and requirements of the role itself; and there is no sure way to measure what Freelancers are making on average. At the lower end, Senior Web Developers can make around $85K. Then you’re looking at from about $85 – 120K on average. Again this is dependant on experience and the level of complexity of projects you’ve worked on (see variables). Salaries can spike to $200,000+.

Freelance rogue

We’re just playing, you’re no rogue – but the truth is that freelancers and contractors tend to charge their own rates. So it’s safer for us to steer away from this one and difficult for us to pin-point what people are charging. Commencing in an internship role, some may start on a minimum hourly rate (you would see this occur more in the Startup arena than corporate). Other Web Developers can charge anywhere from $45 – $120+ per hour depending on the project at hand. Chatting with someone in the Web Development industry who you aspire to mirror is a good idea, they can level with you, with some insight into how they operate.

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