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Contract Developer Careers

A contract developer is someone who develops applications for a client on a short-term contract. Unlike a regular developer, they usually are not employed full-time at a company but sign on for a temporary contract, as long as it takes to finish a project. This offers them more flexibility with their work and the ability to take on new challenges.

Contract developers do the same tasks that regular developers do, which are designing, developing, and testing web applications. They need to be highly proficient in multiple coding languages, from alpha source code to HTML. Besides their technical skills, they also need to have good communication skills to make sure that they are on the same page with the rest of the company's team.

Some contract developers have only a high school diploma and are self-taught coders. However, a bachelor's in computer science will make it easier to stand out in this highly competitive field. Contract developers also need some experience as a developer or software engineer before striking out on their own. It takes several years to become a contract developer, but it's worth it in the end-they earn an average salary of $102,243 a year.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a contract developer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $40.58 an hour? That's $84,406 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 21% and produce 284,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Contract Developer Do

There are certain skills that many contract developers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a contract developer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.1% of contract developers included c++, while 7.6% of resumes included javascript, and 6.8% of resumes included web services. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the contract developer job title. But what industry to start with? Most contract developers actually find jobs in the technology and finance industries.

How To Become a Contract Developer

If you're interested in becoming a contract developer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.8% of contract developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 24.7% of contract developers have master's degrees. Even though most contract developers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a contract developer. When we researched the most common majors for a contract developer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on contract developer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a contract developer. In fact, many contract developer jobs require experience in a role such as senior software engineer. Meanwhile, many contract developers also have previous career experience in roles such as developer or consultant.

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Average Salary
$84,406
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
21%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
71,066
Job Openings

Contract Developer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Contract Developer

Developer
12.0 %

Top Careers After Contract Developer

Developer
11.2 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Contract Developer

Contract Developers in America make an average salary of $84,406 per year or $41 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $113,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $62,000 per year.
Average Salary
$84,406

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range94k - 142k$116k$116,260
New York, NY
Salary Range75k - 115k$93k$93,225
Horsham, PA
Salary Range68k - 105k$85k$85,178
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range67k - 102k$83k$83,264
Norwalk, CT
Salary Range66k - 102k$82k$82,465
Austin, TX
Salary Range63k - 94k$78k$77,593
$21k
$142k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
.NET & React Developer/Contract To
.NET & React Developer/Contract To
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
03/20/2021
03/20/2021
$125,22003/20/2021
$125,220
.NET & React Developer/Contract To
.NET & React Developer/Contract To
Motion Recruitment Partners
Motion Recruitment Partners
03/18/2021
03/18/2021
$93,91503/18/2021
$93,915
[Contract] Fullstack Developer (Angular 8+/Node.Js)
[Contract] Fullstack Developer (Angular 8+/Node.Js)
Motion Recruitment Partners
Motion Recruitment Partners
03/10/2021
03/10/2021
$125,22003/10/2021
$125,220
Adobe Launch Developer/Contract/Pa
Adobe Launch Developer/Contract/Pa
Motion Recruitment Partners
Motion Recruitment Partners
03/10/2021
03/10/2021
$62,61003/10/2021
$62,610
Process Development Contractor
Process Development Contractor
Randstad
Randstad
03/10/2021
03/10/2021
$52,17503/10/2021
$52,175
See More Recent Salaries

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Contract Developer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Contract Developer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Contract Developer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Contract Developer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Contract Developer Demographics

Gender

male

66.2 %

female

27.7 %

unknown

6.1 %

Ethnicity

White

59.8 %

Asian

25.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.2 %

German

17.6 %

French

9.8 %
See More Demographics

Contract Developer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

61.9 %

Masters

12.9 %

Certificate

10.4 %

Top Colleges for Contract Developers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Contract Developer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.1% of contract developers listed c++ on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Contract Developer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a contract developer. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, Washington, and Virginia. Contract developers make the most in California with an average salary of $105,828. Whereas in New York and Washington, they would average $92,807 and $92,674, respectively. While contract developers would only make an average of $90,203 in Virginia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Contract Developer Jobs:
5,053
Highest 10% Earn:
$160,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Virginia

Total Contract Developer Jobs:
2,385
Highest 10% Earn:
$134,000
Location Quotient:
1.62
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Contract Developer Jobs:
334
Highest 10% Earn:
$127,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Contract Developer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ contract developers and discovered their number of contract developer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Wells Fargo was the best, especially with an average salary of $102,672. IBM follows up with an average salary of $68,373, and then comes AT&T; with an average of $102,860. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a contract developer. The employers include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, CBS, and Kanopi Studios

1. Wells Fargo
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$102,672
Contract Developers Hired: 
12+
2. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$68,373
Contract Developers Hired: 
10+
3. AT&T
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$102,860
Contract Developers Hired: 
10+
4. CyberCoders
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$80,692
Contract Developers Hired: 
9+
5. TEKsystems
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$101,145
Contract Developers Hired: 
7+
6. Insight Global
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$88,138
Contract Developers Hired: 
7+

Contract Developer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020