Despite what you may have heard, PHP isn’t dead — it’s more in demand than ever. Whether you’re a seasoned PHP developer or are just starting in the field, it’s wise to prepare the current salary data before you begin your job search.
The average PHP developer salary is $81K per year. While not the highest pay in the programming industry, it’s certainly not bad for a generalist PHP programmer.
But what happens when you decide to specialize and focus on a PHP framework such as Laravel? How does the average Laravel developer salary stack up to similar developers’ salaries? How will your job requirements change if you decide to niche down and become a Laravel pro?
That’s what we’ll cover in this article. We’ll also discuss whether a career in Laravel development is worth it or not.
Laravel: What Is It?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s clarify what Laravel is and what it’s used for.
Laravel is a web application framework (similar to Ruby on Rails or ASP.NET) for PHP. It’s a free and open-source framework that includes various resources such as libraries and APIs, making it easier to work with PHP. Frameworks also speed up the development process, making it faster to build and deploy sites and apps.
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Laravel is used to develop websites and apps that use the MVC (Model–View–Controller) pattern. It makes the PHP code readable and straightforward, and it facilitates common development tasks as well.
Moreover, numerous Laravel tools, such as the Laravel Forge, help you deploy your projects on popular servers.
Typical Laravel projects include science, technology, and ecommerce websites; ticket and ordering systems; and admin dashboards for more complex real-time applications. That said, Laravel can be used for projects of any size.
Laravel is relatively easy to learn. You’ll find extensive documentation on the official website, as well as plenty of online Laravel tutorials and resources to help you on your learning journey.
Laravel Developer Requirements and Responsibilities
As a Laravel developer, there are several skills you’ll need under your belt. Proficiency in PHP is a must, but you’ll also need to know how to work with and manage databases and SQL.
Although a bachelor’s degree or better in a computer science-related field is nice to have, it’s not necessary as you can have a successful career as a Laravel developer, even if you’re self-taught or have only gone through a coding bootcamp.
As far as your responsibilities as a Laravel developer, your primary role is to develop and maintain web applications, write secure modular code on an as-needed basis, and develop necessary PHP modules.
You’ll also work with others — either in a developer team or with other teams in the company, such as marketing or operations teams. Your primary responsibilities here will be ensuring the web application possesses all the necessary functionality. You’ll also be handling the task of debugging and optimizing code.
Other responsibilities may include testing and optimizing the user interface, designing databases, documenting the entire process and development plan, and checking that the code is valid and consistent throughout the application.
Is Laravel in Demand?
So far, we’ve covered what Laravel is and what your responsibilities will be if you decide to become a Laravel developer. But is Laravel in demand?
According to Laraval usage statistics compiled by BuiltWith, Laravel has been steadily growing in popularity, with more than 700,000 live sites using it.
According to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey from 2021, the Laravel framework was used by 10% of developers. Laravel was also ranked as the most popular framework in 2015 on SitePoint. While it’s not a top-ranked framework on Stack Overflow trends, it still has a decent following that shows a career as a Laravel developer is viable.
The Average Laravel Developer Salary
So now that we’ve covered essential details about working as a Laravel developer, it’s time to take a look at the numbers and see what kind of picture they paint.
According to Glassdoor, the average Laravel developer salary is $90,487 per year. This is based on 8,640 salaries reported to Glassdoor, with the lowest salary being $65K and the highest $126K.
Average Laravel salary according to ZipRecruiter.
ZipRecruiter reports a slightly higher number at $92,285 per year, with a low of $40K and a high of $150K.
Payscale, on the other hand, reports a slightly lower number of $78K annually, while Salary.com similarly lists the average salary at $79K per year, with a low of $65K and a high of $95K.
When you average out the numbers above, the final figure comes to $85K per year. While not a top earner like some other similar jobs, this is still a decent salary.
With that out of the way, let’s look at how Laravel developer’s salary compares to similar professions and how experience and location play a role in how much money you can make.
Laravel Salary by Experience
No matter what kind of career you decide to pursue, one thing is always sure: The more experience you have, the more you’ll earn. Working as a Laravel developer is no different.
As a junior Laravel developer, you can expect to make $56K/year on average, according to Glassdoor.
Throughout your career, you can expect an increase of $30K — an average salary for a senior Laravel developer is listed at $86K/year over on ZipRecruiter.
Laravel Developer Salary by Country
The numbers listed above are all data for the United States. So how do other countries fare when it comes to Laravel developer salaries?
Below, we’ve listed the data for several different countries to give you an idea of how the pay differs. Note that the salaries have been converted to USD for ease of comparison.
Based on these numbers, we can see Canada, New Zealand, and the majority of western Europe offer comparable salaries to the United States. At the same time, Asian and African countries along Spain and Portugal list the lowest Laravel developer salaries.
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In other words, you’ll earn more if you live in one of the more developed countries. By these numbers, it’s easy to see that your location can significantly impact your salary.
Laravel vs Symfony, Django, and Node.js
Here’s how their salaries stack up.
As far as Symfony goes, Glassdoor reports an average salary of $81K per year, with a low of $47K and a high of $138K. ZipRecruiter lists slightly higher numbers, with an average salary for a Symfony developer coming in at $97K per year.
Average Symfony developer salary according to ZipRecruiter.
Working as a Django developer results in slightly higher numbers.
More specifically, Glassdoor lists the average Django developer salary as $90K per year, with a low of $61 and a high of $131K. ZipRecruiter has it at $118K per year, while Payscale reports the lowest number out of the three, at $89K per year.
Average Python Django developer salary according to ZipRecruiter.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the average salary of a Node.js developer.
According to Glassdoor, an average salary is $88K per year, with a low of $64K and a high of $126K. ZipRecruiter says the average Node.js developer salary is $114K/year, whereas Payscale lists it at $105K/year.
Average Node.js developer salary on ZipRecruiter.
If we crunch all these numbers, we get the following information:
- Average Symfony developer salary: $89K/year
- Average Django developer salary: $99K/year
- Average Node.js developer salary: $102K/year
From these numbers, it’s easy to see that the average Laravel developer salary is lower. However, the difference is not too drastic, especially when compared to other PHP frameworks.
It’s also worth noting that Node.js can be used as both a frontend and backend framework, so it’s not surprising that the average salary comes out to be the highest.
Laravel Developer Salary vs PHP Developer Salary
Working as a Laravel developer, you’ll have a more specialized skill set and knowledge. When it comes to your salary, how much of a difference will it make compared to the average salary of a PHP developer?
Here’s what the numbers say.
Average PHP developer salary on Glassdoor.
If you’re working as a PHP developer, Glassdoor reports the average salary at $81K/year, with a low of $55K and a high of $100K. ZipRecruiter lists it at $86K/year, with a low of $16K and a high of $137K.
Payscale reports the average salary of a PHP developer at $64K/year, with a low of $43K and a high of $94K. Lastly, Indeed lists the average salary at $94K per year.
The numbers above give us an average of $81K/year, which is only $4K less than the average salary of a Laravel developer.
Laravel Developer Salary vs Backend and Full Stack Developer Salaries
Laravel developers have a slight leg up on non-specialized PHP developers… but what happens when you compare their salary against more demanding careers of a backend or full-stack developer?
As far as the average salary of a full stack developer, the final average speaks volumes about how much more demanding this position is:
- Indeed: $108K/year, based on 10.5K reported salaries
- Glassdoor: $99K/year, with a low of $63K and a high of $157K
- ZipRecruiter: $103K/year ($49/hour), with a low of $38K and a high of $159K
- PayScale: $79K/year, with a low of $54K and a high of $115K
As far as backend developer salary goes, here’s what the major sites list it at:
From these numbers above, the average full stack developer salary comes out to $97K/year, whereas a backend developer’s salary comes out to $87K/year.
In other words, working as a backend developer, you’ll earn a salary comparable to a Laravel developer. And having both the frontend and backend development skills of a full stack developer will net you over $10K more per year.
If you’re thinking about working as a Laravel developer, sharpening your frontend developer skills alongside your skills in Laravel development could be an excellent way to get a pay increase and add diversity to your daily job requirements.
Is Laravel Development Worth It?
As mentioned earlier, the Laravel framework has been steadily growing in popularity. It’s a framework that’s reasonably easy to learn and nets you slightly more than you’d earn as a non-specialized PHP developer.
However, keep in mind that some more popular jobs, like Django developer or full-stack developer, result in a better salary.
Compared to other similar jobs, you’ll earn slightly less working as a Laravel developer than if you were to focus on a different framework. However, the difference is not too drastic.
It’s worth mentioning that you can continually expand your skillset and add another framework later on in your career if money is the primary concern. And as with any other job, you’ll earn more as you progress in your career and gain more experience and practical use of the Laravel framework.
This particular PHP framework has been gaining in popularity steadily and is voted as one of the most popular and favorite PHP frameworks, so job security is looking pretty decent.
A career as a Laravel developer is undoubtedly a good choice. Based on the numbers we’ve seen above, the average pay is slightly higher than that of a PHP developer, proving that specializing in a particular technology can result in a pay increase.
To become a Laravel developer, you’ll need to broaden your skillset. Your job responsibilities will be slightly more demanding than if you’re a general PHP developer, but not as demanding as the responsibilities of a full stack developer or a DevOps engineer.
With that in mind, becoming a Laravel developer is a decent and viable career option if you want the opportunity to collaborate with others and work on exciting projects running the whole gamut of industries.
What are your thoughts on these salary levels for a Laravel developer? Let us know in the comments section!
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