How to Become a

WordPress Developer

The complete career guide to be a WordPress 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
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute

A Word Press Developer is an individual that specializes in WordPress computer software coding, development and management.  WordPress is a type of content management system (CMS) or a type of software that allows an individual to easily write, edit and publish content.

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What is a WordPress Developer?

The following responsibilities are common for Word Press Developers:

  • Works with clients to develop a site-map that outlines the content and features needed for the site
  • Creates wireframes for each page type to show what content elements should appear on the page
  • Installs WordPress and any necessary plug-ins on the hosting account
  • Creates custom WordPress themes and templates to build a theme that matches the design and supports its features according to the clients needs
  • Populates the pages with content and tests the site in various browsers, servers and devices

A Day In The Life

Word Press Developers design custom and complex WordPress based solutions, along with PHP framework solutions.  They are capable of coding browser-compatible, mobile friendly themes.  WordPress itself is a group of template files to display posts, pages and categories.  Its very important for these individuals to be well versed on the details of the WordPress template and how to interlink different template files.

There are three different areas of daily responsibilities for this job.  The first area is theme developer.  Themes are used to manage the front end part of the website.  They must be well versed in all the WordPress details and hierarchy and how to develop different strategies and frameworks.  The second area is plugin developer.  WordPress is and extensible CMS and the functionality can be extended by using plugins.  A plugin developer should be a hard coder and know high levels of PHP programming.  They should posses knowledge of how to develop plugins for WordPress and have extensive experience with hooks, filters and databases available.  Lastly, there are content managers.  This is typically the most popular job role.  These individuals are intelligent writers along with a professional content uploader to load the content and define the format so the reader  can understand the content clearly.

While other developer may have other roles such as, creating sites with existing themes and building child themes to add modifications.  While others develop free or commercial plugins to distribute or sell to other clients.  Regardless of the area of specification an individual chooses to go into depends greatly on individual preference and/or experience.

Typical Work Schedule

Because these individuals typically freelance, they usually set their own daily work schedules and also work remotely.

Projected Job Growth

As the need for businesses and clients to have online presence to reach their target customers and audiences, the need for Word Press Developers is in high demand.

Typical Employers

These individuals typically work for themselves or freelance or often times consult and have contracts with various clients and businesses.  Some also work for webdesign agencies either digitally or non-digitally.

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How To Become a WordPress Developer

To become a WordPress Developer there is no objective criteria or professional certification required.  Wordpress is an excellent software to begin to learn with because its functions are clear and concise, the coding language is easy to understand and also has a large community following.  The first thing an individual should do is discover a niche by identifying what what kind of specific career they want to develop with WordPress.  The internet is constantly changing so your decision does not have to be permanent.  Having flexibility and adaptability are very important qualities to possess as a developer. Some niches an individual could pursue can include marketing, education, content creation, themes and design, front or back end, and  developing high quality plugins.  Most individuals find they are skilled in all these areas and do not have to focus on just one or two.  These individuals must be aware of where their skills truly lie and and where they have contacts and can realistically create work for themselves.  Working on WordPress software in their spare time can greatly assist the development and skills needed for this industry.

Most individuals will then sit down and learn the languages of the software.  WordPress is made up of mostly HTML, JavaScript, PHP and CSS.  Which one an individual wishes to begin learning first is completely up to them.  Also keeping up-to-date with blogs, forums and technology is essential for any beginner developer.  Becoming a part of a community is also essential for beginners.  It will bring the individual closer to the experts that an individual can ask for help from.  Becoming a developer is rewarding but difficult work.  But, by becoming a member of a community and practicing on a daily basis will provide an individual needed for them to succeed.

WordPress 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 WordPress Developer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, WordPress 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 WordPress Developer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among WordPress 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 WordPress 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 WordPress 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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