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JavaScript Developer Salary 2021: A Guide to Costs and Expenses

As a C-level startup executive, your main concern is to develop a neat and performant app that delivers value in the shortest time possible. The key word here is “neat,” as no user will stick with an app that’s bulky or slow.

This means you’ll almost inevitably end up using JavaScript (JS) at some point for your frontend (and possibly backend) interactions. JS is so ubiquitous—something like the duct tape of the internet—that you’d be forgiven for thinking any developer can use it easily.

Which is where you’d be wrong.

In the words of Douglas Crockford, a leading JavaScript language developer and JS evangelist,

“JavaScript is the only language that I'm aware of that people feel they don't need to learn before they start using it. Actually, JavaScript is the world’s most misunderstood programming language.”

According to Crockford, in JavaScript lies “a beautiful, elegant, and highly expressive language buried under a steaming pile of good intentions and blunders.” In other words, most developers can grasp the basics of JavaScript, but not many can master it to a point where they can use it safely.

The reason is simple. Because JavaScript is just-in-time compiled in every browser, anyone with the right skills can mess with the JS on your website or app—and some hackers definitely will.

This is why ensuring there are no backdoors and loopholes in your JS is essential for guaranteeing your app’s security. To do this, you’ll need to pay a full-stack JavaScript developer salary, which will be quite hefty if you’re recruiting in the US.

Some better news? You don’t have to pay the earth if you’re willing to broaden your horizons.

Read on to discover the state of the market and how you can reduce the JavaScript developer’s salary you have to pay without compromising on the security of your code.

JavaScript developer salary in the US

Hired’s 2021 State of Software Engineers report states that more than half of all open positions in 2020 were for frontend and backend software developers with JS expertise.

Such high demand has forced industry players to increase developer salaries in order to attract talent.

What’s more, our research on the average Node.js developer salary uncovered some uncomfortable data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It turns out that in 2020, employers spent nearly 30% on worker benefits and compensations—over and above their stated salaries.

What does this mean for the average full stack JavaScript developer salary in the US? PayScale places the figure at $78,951 annually. If we add a similar 30% for benefits and another 20% for the difference between real-life salaries and what PayScale shows (due to various cash bonuses and perks), the final sum comes to more like... $120,000 a year!

Fortunately, you don’t pay that much to every engineer, as salaries vary considerably with experience: an entry-level JavaScript developer salary is almost half what a late-career specialist can expect.

Full-stack software developer salaries
Source: PayScale research on full-stack software developer salaries, August 2021

To be fair, other estimates also vary. According to Glassdoor, the average JavaScript developer salary is $90,121 in the US in August 2021, and senior specialists get up to $152,000 a year.

Average JavaScript developer salary in the US

Finally, Indeed data on the average base JavaScript programmer salary places it at $108,618 annually.

The takeaway? Be prepared to pay between $78,000 and $120,000 a year for a good JS developer in the US. Keep in mind, though, that the average salary also changes across the country.

Let’s take a look at the difference you can expect.

Average JavaScript developer salary across the US

Here’s a recap of the average JavaScript developer salary in the US, based on the data above.

Average JavaScript developer salary in the US

While these numbers are impressive by themselves, don’t forget that they should also be increased by 30% to cover worker compensations.

Now let’s look at the situation in different US cities, as per PayScale.

Javascript Developer salary in different US cities

As you can see, hiring in major IT hubs is… well, expensive. Moving your R&D to other states is one way out, but it’s not the only one.

Let’s take a peek at what happens when you look further afield.

Javascript developer salaries in Western Europe: The UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Israel

Outsourcing to European contractors is popular with US startups who want to ensure high product quality while reducing costs.

Here are the average JavaScript salaries for the main European IT outsourcing hubs and Israel, according to PayScale.

avaScript salaries for the main European IT outsourcing

To sum up, a JavaScript developers salary in Europe is around half of a comparable salary in the US. On the other hand, talent in Israel costs much the same as US talent.

Is it possible to reduce your expenses even more? Of course—if you decide to hire in Eastern Europe.

JavaScript developer salaries in Eastern Europe: Poland, Ukraine, and Romania

Eastern Europe has a much lower cost of living, which translates to much more affordable developer salaries. Here are the average salaries for Poland (from, Ukraine (from, and Romania (from Glassdoor).

Javascript Developer salary in Poland, Ukraine, and Romania

As you can see, hiring JavaScript developers in Eastern Europe gets you significant savings.

But is it safe and reliable?

The short answer is yes: Ukrainian and Polish developers are making quite a name for themselves as an IT outsourcing hub with high-quality deliverables. Polish and Ukrainian companies also feature regularly as top choices in IT outsourcing ratings.

Naturally, not all JavaScript developers are equal, and skills and background also affect salaries. I delve deeper into this below.

Factors affecting a JavaScript developer salary: Skillset and career longevity

Let’s compare an entry-level JavaScript developer salary to the paycheck for senior JS talent, based on PayScale and Glassdoor data for the US.

JavaScript developer salaries in the US

With such a big difference in pay, you obviously need to get clear on your exact needs to avoid over-spending.

Here’s a brief summary of the difference between the skills of junior, mid-level, and senior JS developers:

The complexity of your development project will dictate which skill level you need. A junior JS developer will be enough for common tasks. Still, a more experienced JS developer will be able to bring much more value to your project, as they’ll be able to utilize JavaScript to its full potential and maximize your app’s performance and security.


JavaScript is such a widespread technology that you’ll definitely need to hire a JS developer at some point. As salary data shows, hiring out-of-state or overseas can cut your employment costs significantly.

Another key question is, should you hire a software engineer yourself or work with a remote specialist or team? The choice is up to you, of course. You might want to hire someone in-house, or you might decide to outsource this task to a reliable technology partner like Altigee.

As a well-established web development agency, we’re ready to provide JS experts at all levels that will help you complete your projects on time and within budget. Say hello to us today, and let’s get talking about your project needs!


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Altigee helps startups and tech companies build remote engineering teams or extend their existing teams with senior tech talent. For the past 4 years, we helped our clients to hire 200+ engineers.

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