How Much Do Web Developers Make Freelancing?

How Much Do Web Developers Make Freelancing?

The average freelance web developer makes $37,000 per year, according to Upwork.

Freelancing may be a very profitable way to make a living as a web developer, and many options are accessible to those who are prepared to look for them. Web developers can benefit from freelancing websites in a variety of ways.

More and more people can support themselves as independent contractors remotely thanks to the growth of the tech sector and the COVID-19 pandemic. You have the opportunity to choose your desired fee as a freelance developer and to work from home. But before you start this line of work, you should find out how much a freelance web developer usually gets paid.

Learn how to make 6 figures as a freelance developer

What Is the Average Freelance Web Developer’s Salary?

A freelance web developer’s annual salary in the United States is estimated to be $70,915, with an average salary of $66,165. Additional pay could include cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit sharing.

Rates for freelance web developers depend on how much experience they have, so new developers can expect to learn less. As your technical and soft skills improve, you can start charging more. Freelancing as a web developer allows you to set your own rate, but if you want to get hired, you need to be realistic. Glassdoor also gives the average freelance rates for web developers based on their experience level.

Check out the ultimate guide to freelance web development

What factors affect a freelance web developer’s salary?

Many other factors affect the average earnings and salary expectations of freelance developers. The following factors influence how much you take home as a developer:

  1. Kind of role: How much you can earn will depend on whether you are a front-end, backend, or full-stack developer.
  2. Location: Location affects how much web developers get paid worldwide. Web developers in the U.S. make the most money, while those in some third-world countries in Asia and Africa make the least.
  3. Experience level: As you gain more experience as a developer, your salary and hourly rate will go up, of course.
  4. Competition and Demand: Developers are in high demand, but some programming languages and skills can make you more marketable and competitive.
  5. Skillset: From programming languages to web frameworks and more, the skills needed for a job will also affect pay rates. Let’s take a closer look at each of these to see how they affect the rates and salaries of freelance web developers.

Kind of role

There are a lot of niches you can break into in any development role. To keep things simple, we’ll break it down by the three most common types of web developers: front-end, backend, and full-stack.

Data from Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, a large study in which more than 65,000 developers took part, shows that freelance web developer salaries vary by about $10,000 per year depending on the type of web developer.

Web Development Job Average Salary 
Backend Developer $120,000
Full Stack Developer$112,000
WEb Application Developer$103,000
Software Developer$89,000
Front End Devveloper$110,000
Average Salary for different freelance developers role

As you can see, your area of expertise in web development can affect your pay. Still, it probably won’t have a significant impact—especially compared to some of the other criteria we’ll discuss next.


The work location has a significant impact on a software developer’s income. As can be seen from the geography graph, the United States now offers the best salaries for software developers of all experience levels. Among the top employers in the U.S. are businesses like Qualcomm, Walmart, Ericsson, etc., which offer base salaries between $105,000 and $129,000.

The best cities for software engineers in the U.S. are Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Jose. Visit this page for more information on where software developers can make the most money. Gurgaon has the highest-paid jobs in India, followed by Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. In Gurgaon, India, software developers are paid 24% more than elsewhere.

Experience Level

Experience is one of the most important things that affect freelance web developer salaries. This makes sense, given that development jobs require debugging, problem-solving, and programming language skills.

Microsoft and Google, for example, pay between $65k and a junior developer. Here is the average salary paid in the U.S. for different levels of experience:

  Experience (in years) Salary  
  0 – 2 years $50 000 – $62 000  
  2 – 5 years$60 000 – $82 000
  5 – 9 years$79 000 – $105 000 
  9 – 19 years$98 000 – $115 000
  > 20 years$115 000-$130 000  
Developer Salary based on years of experience

Depending on how well each developer performs, some companies move them into development. But the pay raise for developers is a little smaller for a few years until they fully understand their roles and responsibilities. Even if you’ve worked in the I.T. industry for five years in positions other than a software developer, you might still be considered a “fresher” at some companies and only get a slightly higher salary than a software developer with two years of experience.

Competition and Demand

Web developers are often in great demand. You’re an internet user, so I’m sure that’s not shocking. However, the evidence supports it and even predicts a continued high market for years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that there will be an increased need for web developers in 2020. In 2019, the industry expanded by 8%, which is twice as fast as the average for all occupations.

And that expansion is anticipated to last at least until 2029. Furthermore, the most recent BLS data does not account for the massive increase in demand for everything e-commerce caused by the closure of brick-and-mortar stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of this indicates that you can anticipate web development as a wealthy industry now and in the future.


Most companies, particularly product companies, seek strong technical skills in software development. Therefore, proficiency in programming languages like Java, PHP, Python, Laravel, Ruby, C++, JavaScript, Node.js, etc., is a must. If you already have some experience working with any programming language, you can ask for a good package from a product company. 

To gain good programming experience, you should first look for service companies where you can work on different technologies. If you create a good skill set and choose the right company, you can earn about $80k to $95k with just 2–3 years of experience. If you are studying at some of the top institutes, chances are that the leading companies will pay you a fat package. 

Freelance with knowing HTML and CSS.

How to earn more as a freelance web developer

You should expect to make little money in your first year of freelance web development. If you are to earn more than the average web developer in the next month, you will have to increase your rates, client base, and skill level.

In the case of freelancing websites, it’s often easier to get experience in one place than to try out multiple unknown sites until you make your decision. However, if you’re a beginner in programming, I’d recommend working with websites with a higher percentage of paying clients than lower-paying ones.

The reason is that if multiple high-paying clients are on a site, it will provide more value for the users and provide them with higher earnings.

To get that level of confidence and efficiency as a developer, I recommend learning the skills needed to be a professional web developer. Also, work on more projects, either for free or at a lower price, to build your portfolio.

Please read our article on seven ways to earn more as a freelance web developer.


How hard is it to be a freelance web developer?

Let me be clear—being a freelance web developer isn’t easy, in case you haven’t figured that out. It’s a ton of labor. However, the benefits of the freelancing lifestyle will vastly surpass anything else. It would help if you established a solid reputation as a web developer that puts in a lot of effort and is trustworthy.

Does freelance web development pay well?

The median wage for all web developers was $77,030 or $37 per hour in 2021, per the BLS. The median salary for the top 10% of web developers was $62 per hour. A solid professional network and establishing long-term client relationships can increase independent web developers’ income.

How Much Do Freelance Web Developers Make on Upwork?

Web developers make an average of $37,000 annually and charge $15 to $30 per hour.

Can a freelancer earn six figures?

Some freelance developers can make six figures every year. It depends on your location, skills, network, and years of experience.

What is the lowest salary for a freelance web developer in the United States?

According to Glassdoor, the base salary of freelance developers in the U.S. is $66,165 / yr.