Web3 Developer Salary in 2023: The Guide
The internet as we know it today has evolved by leaps and bounds from what it was even just five years ago.
And it's constantly on the verge of change.
Fast forward to 2022 – and the internet has fully ensconced itself in our daily lives.
There isn't anything we don't rely on the internet for these days.
But the thing is, we haven't even begun to scratch the tip of the iceberg as far as discovering its full potential, as the paradigm shift from web2 towards a new iteration, a new vision for the emerging internet of the future we refer to as web3.
Web3 is being developed under the fundamental principles of openness – where web3 developers create apps using open-source protocols, where participants can interact with the network without intermediaries, and where no user needs the approval of a central authority to participate.
We are nowhere close to fulfilling the potential of the internet as a game-changing technology: like the automobile industry in the '20s, the internet has yet to realize the fullness of its maturity – and web3 developers are the key towards unlocking that alpha for the entire market.
Web3 Developers Are In High Demand
We already know that web3 developers will be pivotal to the advent of web3 as the new paradigm of the internet – that's why they are in high demand by hiring managers worldwide and command high salaries across the board.
See, in web3, developers don't build and deploy apps that run on one central server nor store data on a single, central database. They are often hosted and managed by a single cloud provider.
Instead, web3 developers build and deploy apps on blockchain networks or a decentralized network involving a variety of peer-to-peer nodes – or a combination of the two, referred to as decentralized applications or dapps.
And although more and more web2 developers are transitioning towards web3 jobs and positions, the reality is that there is a massive shortfall of talent across the globe. This is why web3 developer salaries remain substantially higher than traditional full-stack developer roles.
In general, web3 developers can earn annual salaries ranging from $70,000 to $350,000 – well above the global average. As corporations, startups, and venture capital firms plow money into web3, there is an abundance of opportunities for web2 devs planning to make the transition.
If you're reading this, you're probably thinking of building a career in or transitioning to web3. That's not a bad idea, considering the demand for web3 developers outstrips the meager supply.
Metacrafters was built with this exact problem in mind, we want to become a bridge for web2 developers for their transition into web3. With you existing knowledge of programming and guidance from Metacrafters courses, you could start applying for web3 jobs in no time!
And to gain a better understanding of why blockchain engineers are making money hand over fist, we'll provide greater context as to what web3 is all about, the fundamental principles that underpin it, what web3 developers actually do, and what types of web3 developers' roles are out there.
Why Are Web3 Developers In Demand?
What's behind the growing demand for web3 developers?
Well, when you consider the fact that web3 is an entirely new industry with entirely new opportunities and standards, such as specific programming languages, techniques, and goals, it's evident why industry experts believe that smart contracts will eventually displace a notable part of all apps as dapps become the new standard, and as more startups become involved in the nascent space.
And, since the skills that professional web3 developers need are quite hard to find – not to mention that web3 is still in its embryonic stages – the average salary of a web3 developer is on the higher end of the spectrum.
Therefore, since it is hard for companies to find experienced web3 developers well-versed in developing smart contracts, blockchain technology, and token-based economics that require specialized knowledge, it stands to reason that they are paid more money.
Considering the benefits that the web3 developer path gives: the high average salary, the benefit of working remote jobs, and with constantly developing paths and demand for blockchain developer roles – it's easy to see why the total number of web3 developers worldwide is set to increase exponentially from upwards of 500,000 professionals. There is a clear and urgent need for more builders for projects across industries that isn't anywhere close to being filled.
Right now, demand outstrips supply by a wide margin, particularly in the major web3 hubs of the world such as North America and Western Europe. There is a massive shortfall of qualified web3 developers. And as web3 is still in the earliest stages of its development, it will take time for the labor market to adapt to the needs of the emerging blockchain industry.
Web3 Developer Prerequisites
That said, what skills do companies look for in a web3 developer?
Web3 developers are focused on building decentralized applications dapps in line with web3 principles such as decentralization and open-source protocols. Therefore, a deep knowledge of blockchain technology and smart contract development is paramount.
One of the key features of web3 that sets it apart from web2 is the lack of a centralized server, which forces massive changes in backend development. Web3 developers need to learn how blockchain technology works and how to write efficient, bug-free smart contracts – with Rust or Solidity knowledge a prerequisite in most job positions.
From a purely technological vantage point, writing efficient, bug-free smart contract code is one of the most important skills web3 developers need, particularly in roles for smart contract developers. Since web3 transactions cost gas fees, developers will be expected to write efficient, scalable code as often as possible across a variety of DeFi, NFT, and other smart contracts.
What Makes a Good Web3 Developer?
Hard skills form just one part of the "good" web3 developer equation.
Soft skills like communication and teamwork are just as important considering the unique, fast-paced, and dynamic web3 environment.
Being able to think algorithmically is a skill that requires the ability to develop precise, well-organized solutions to problems that can be distilled into code computers can automatically execute.
Other key soft skills include attention to detail and systems thinking to prevent bugs and understanding how services interact over the network.
What Influences Web3 Developer Salary?
Different blockchain development roles command different salaries. Web3 developer salary varies depending on certain factors such as location, seniority, and role and expertise. Let's take a closer look at them.
One of the most important factors that influence web3 developer salary is the location they choose to live and work in. Generally, developers living in larger metropolitan areas tend to make more money than developers living in smaller cities. However, it must be noted that the cost of living is significantly higher in bigger cities, which is something web3 developers need to be compensated accordingly.
Known web3 hubs around the offer more job opportunities to demonstrate your qualifications and expertise. It's not surprising that web3 developers in the United States earn the highest average salary of $155,000 per year. On the other hand, average salaries in Europe earn a typical income of $87,500 – indicating wide location-specific variance.
Let's take a look at the average web3 developer salary based on specific web3 hubs as follows.
Average Web3 Developer Salary: San Francisco
San Francisco is a key hub for web3 development. Not surprisingly, web3 development ranks among the best-paid tech positions in the Bay Area, with the highest average salary for web3 developers worldwide ($155,000 per annum).
While the cost of living in San Francisco often reduces purchasing power, many jobs are fully remote.
Average Web3 Developer Salary: New York
New York blockchain developers earn the second-highest average salary, second only to gaming engineers, with an annual average salary of $137,000.
These positions are also available as remote jobs.
Average Web3 Developer Salary: India
The average web3 developer salary in India for developers with up to two years of experience ranges from $11,000 up to $40,000 for senior developers, making India an attractive place to hire web3 talent.
Average Web3 Developer Salary: Europe
Europe is another hotbed for web3 development talent. Average base salaries for blockchain and smart contract developer positions are at $73,300 per annum, with a base salary of $55,000 on the low end and a high base salary of $91,000 on the high end of the spectrum, particularly for senior developers with around 3-6 years of experience.
Average Web3 Developer Salary: Singapore
According to LinkedIn, a Blockchain Developer's Salary in Singapore is around the range of 120,000SGD – 250,000 SGD or $89,000 to $170,000.
Another fundamental component of the average web3 developer's salary is the years in the industry and experience.
Employers in web3 are willing to pay top dollar for web3 developers whose working knowledge and legitimate experience in building on web3 are significantly over the average.
It gives you a clear-cut advantage as far as your potential salary is concerned. That is, practical experience and seniority give you an advantage in high-level job opportunities and the best compensation packages companies can offer.
Role and Expertise
Web3 requires a breadth and depth of knowledge ranging from building decentralized applications, writing smart contracts, and building on web3 technology, and specializing in any one or more of these aspects may open doors to even higher pay and more career opportunities.
Specific roles requiring specialized knowledge can pay extra in compensation than other roles. Let's take a closer look at salaries based on roles
Core Blockchain Developer
The average salary for a core blockchain developer is $170,000 per year. Core blockchain developers are primarily responsible for the security and architecture of a blockchain protocol.
This position places high value on developers with experience in C, C++, and Rust, with the requisite knowledge of layer 1 smart contracts platforms like Ethereum and supplementary layer 2 protocols like Polygon.
Core blockchain developers earn the highest average salary among blockchain engineers by a long shot. The global average blockchain developer salary ranges from $90,000 in Europe to upwards of $300,000 in the United States. We're not surprised, given the highly technical knowledge required to build and scale secure, reliable blockchain technology.
Smart Contracts Developer
Full-stack Web3 Developers
Full-stack web3 developers have the technical qualities enabling them to build the back-end and front-end of decentralized applications while making sure that UX and UI are working in unison.
Full-stack web3 developers are, therefore, both engineers and designers by nature, just as in web2. And they are well-paid for their ability to create dapps from back-end to front-end – with an average global salary of $100,000. The low end of the full-stack web3 developer salary in Europe is $80,000, while the highest average salary in the United States is upwards of $200,000.
Front-end Web3 Developer
Last but not least, we have front-end web3 developers who take up similar responsibilities as web2 developers do. However, the key difference is that front-end web3 developers primarily or exclusively use RPC libraries rather than HTTP to develop dapp front-ends. These RPC libraries include Web3.js and Ethers.js. They might also be experts in UI and UX design. Average salaries for front-end web3 developers range in the $74,000 range.
What Does The Future Hold For Web3 Developers?
The internet has undergone radical changes over time – and it has come a long way from HTML and txt-based pages, massive centralized social media, and messaging platforms to the emerging paradigm of web3 that is upon us.
Therefore, a fundamental knowledge of web3 is going to be a crucial skill for developers moving forwards as a new era of a democratized internet materializes out of open-source protocols and principles of decentralization.
It offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to work at the forefront of innovation. And if you're a web dev whose interest was piqued by the excitement surrounding web3 and forging a new path for the World Wide Web, pursuing an education in web3 will be mission critical to your success.
We are yet in the embryonic stages of web3 but the tantalizing potential of this exciting new paradigm is already evident – as shown by the rise of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, decentralized finance, and other innovations.
The mere fact that the top companies in the space are paying salaries ranging from $250,000 up to $500,000 for the cream of the crop is proof positive of the rising demand for web3 talent.
If you're thinking of making the shift, there's no better time than now - and you can do with Metacrafters.