According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, webmasters are web developers who maintain websites once they are up and running. When websites don't function properly, webmasters diagnose the problem and fix it. Webmasters typically need a bachelor's degree in computer science, programming, or a closely-related field. However, some positions that do not entail a lot of programming may require only that a candidate hold an associate degree.
National Salary Statistics
The BLS reports that web developers, including webmasters, earned an average salary of $66,100 a year as of May 2012. This is the equivalent of an hourly wage of about $31.78. The median-earning half of web developers earned between $44,860 and $83,450 a year in 2012. The lowest-paid 10 percent made $33,550 or less each year, while the highest-paid 10 percent brought home $105,200 or more a year.
Pay by Industry
As of 2012, about one-fifth of web developers worked for computer design firms, and earned an average of $66,970 per year. Those employed by scientific and technical consulting firms averaged $68,280 per year, while web developers working for advertising and public relations firms earned an average of $64,400 a year. Those working directly for electronic retailers reported a salary somewhat below the national average, $61,380 per year. Of industries that employed at least 1,000 web developers, banks paid the highest average salary, $86,620 per year.
Pay by State
Web developers working in the Northeast reported the highest average pay in 2012, with Washington, D.C. leading the pack at $81,150. New York ranked second at $76,190 per year, followed by Maryland at $75,560 and Virginia at $75,540. Massachusetts ranked fifth overall with an average web developer salary of $74,000. Western states also tend to be good for web developers; Washington reported an average salary of $72,430, and California an average of $71,530. The lowest average pay in the nation, $43,290, was reported in West Virginia.
The employment prospects for webmasters are good. The amount of content on the Internet continues to increase, as does the amount of business conducted on the Internet. With an increased number of websites comes an increased need for webmasters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American economy is expected to add jobs at a rate of 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. By comparison, the bureau expects jobs for web developers to grow by 22 percent.