PHP Developer
How to Become a

PHP Developer

The complete career guide to be a PHP Developer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $84,360
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

PHP Developers, also known as software of web developers, are software engineers that develop programs, applications and websites using the PHP scripting language and coding methods.

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What is a PHP Developer?

The following responsibilities are common for PHP Developers:

  • Converts data from various formats (Excel, Adobe), into developed databases
  • Integrates data storage solutions and user-facing elements developed by front-end developers
  • Builds efficient, user-friendly, testable and reusable  PHP modules
  • Solves complex performance issues and architectural  challenges
  • Maintains and keeps website secure with security measures and coding

A Day In The Life

A PHP developer is responsible for writing server-side web application language and code.  They usually develop “back-end” components that connect the application to the third-party website services while supporting the “front-end” developers by integrating their work with the application.  These professionals work behind the scenes to create user-friendly interfaces.  They are also responsible for web site administration, software testing and user training.

PHP is an open-source, server-side scripting language that is used among web developers seeking to boost their online presence. PHP is frequently used in combination with SQL for databases.  It is also used for basic website functions like managing usernames and passwords and guest books.  The advantage of PHP is the speed at which the development can happen and is one of the top uses for advertising and design.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a full-time position, spent the majority of the time in an office setting.  Some overtime may be required depending on the specific project as well as they must always be on call if anything goes wrong with the website.

Projected Job Growth

With the expanding internet and the need and importance for businesses to have an online presence to reach their customers, the need for individuals to assist these businesses in maintaining and developing websites will be in large demand.

Typical Employers

PHP Developers typically work for software companies, web design firms and technology companies.  They also work independently or as consultants to various projects.

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How To Become a PHP Developer

Those that with to become PHP developers should be self-motivated, astute and have a passion for learning and developing new coding languages like CSS, HTML, HTTP among many others.  They should have an aptitude for information technology as well as be creative and work well independently or with a team.  They need to possess the intellectual and visual capacity to see complex processes and the diligence to write clear, precise and concise code.

A bachelor’s degree in information science, software engineering or computer science is recommended for this occupation.  Especially for individuals that are headed towards a career in large and small companies and corporations.  Typical coursework should include, web programming, data structures and algorithms, quantitative reasoning, computing architecture and web operating systems.  A developer can begin gaining experience in web development as soon as high school through internships and assisting senior engineers with design projects.  The student should be proficient in all different stages of web development such as, extracting and documenting the requirements to providing post-development support as well as project management skills.

Some individuals also pursue certifications to validate their knowledge of specific programs and coding languages.  Although, certifications are less important than experience and “real world” training.  An individual can gain this experience through programs like internships, job-shadowing and participating in open-source projects.

PHP Developer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do PHP Developer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, PHP Developer's can make an average annual salary of $84,360, or $41 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $60,250 or $29 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #123 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a PHP Developer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among PHP Developers

  • 2.5%   Doctorate
  • 19.6%   Masters
  • 49.7%   Bachelors
  • 9.7%   Associates
  • 13.1%   College
  • 4.7%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does PHP Developer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -26,400 jobs for a total of 302,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #729 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most PHP Developers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Computer systems design and related services 126,100 -26,800 -27%
Software publishers 22,100 3,200 3%
Self-employed workers 18,000 2,600 3%

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