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Backend and frontend: salary differences

When a potential tech enthusiast faces the decision of which side of programming to be on, the dichotomy between backend and frontend is often brought up. Here, we discuss salaries, opportunities, and further differences that can tip the scale in favor of one or the other.

Web development wouldn’t be the same without backend and frontend development. The synergy between both is what ensures the proper functioning of the internet and everything we know in digital format. The battle between databases, different programming languages, user experience… is underway.

Want to learn more about the frontend vs. backend battle? We have a comprehensive article on the topic. Click here.

Beyond personal preferences, there are objective data that can guide us in choosing one path over the other. If I decide to become a web developer… backend or frontend? Which one earns more in the work model I prefer? Which one requires my hard and soft skills?

On Backend and Frontend Salaries

The data in this article comes from our report on the tech ecosystem and the offered and demanded salaries. Download on this page.


Is it fair to say that a senior backend developer earns more than a senior frontend developer? At first glance, and according to the data, yes. On average, a backend developer earns 64,000 euros annually in a city like Barcelona.

Frontend developers bring this figure down a bit, with 63,000 euros. Still, the numbers don’t lie: frontend starts from a minimum of 54,000 while backend starts from 56,000. It’s not just about looking at averages.

In Madrid, a middle-level backend developer (with 2 to 4 years of experience) has improved their salary over the past four years, going from a maximum of 46,000€ to a maximum of 52,000€.

Salary for Remote Work

A trend in the tech sector is to offer remote work, either fully remote or in a hybrid format. At Joppy, we’ve investigated the salaries in this employment model and… here, backend takes a clear lead.

The figures might not be as striking, but we can see that while a junior developer, whether backend or frontend, will earn around 30,000 euros, as we move up in seniority, the difference is up to 73,000€ or up to 65,000€ (backend and frontend respectively).

We can deduce that in the early years, the salary difference is not significant, but as experience increases, differences in favor of the backend expert become evident.

Most In-Demand Profiles for Backend and Frontend

f we look at the city of Madrid, there’s a trend towards specialization in job offers. The main three profiles are no longer sufficient; now, experts in mobile, Sys Admin, Big Data are demanded… However, the most sought-after profile is backend, followed by fullstack, and frontend is third in line.

When it comes to programming languages and hard skills, Java leads the job offers for backend, while JavaScript leads for frontend. PHP and Python on one hand; HTML, CSS, and JavaScript frameworks on the other.

Remember that programming languages and their tools aren’t isolated compartments. Something commonly used for frontend can assist you in backend development.

Conclusion? Salary and the number of job offers tilt the scale in favor of backends, but as you can see, there are job offers for all profiles. Our advice is to choose what you enjoy and/or what you excel at. That way, you won’t go wrong.

What about the salary of full stack developers?

This multidisciplinary profile also has its place in our article. We’ll give you a summary, but remember that our salary report contains 30 pages on the topic.

  • In Barcelona, a senior fullstack developer can earn from 52,000 to 75,000 €.
  • In remote work, a middle-level fullstack developer earns an average of 41,500 €.
  • It’s the second most demanded profile in Madrid, after backend.
  • The most demanded skills for these professionals are: JavaScript and its frameworks & libraries.

Once again, choose the option that convinces you the most. And you can always pivot later on; you won’t be the first to switch from one side of the code to the other.

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