Mobile app development is a burgeoning industry, and its growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. As a result, many intelligent and ambitious people find themselves drawn to the field.

If you’re interested in a career in app development, you probably have some questions: What type of careers are available? Do I need to go to school for this? How much money would I earn?

The following guide will give you a better idea of what you can expect, should you decide to pursue this opportunity.

Career Opportunities

There are several career options for those looking to work in the app development industry, one of which is working at digital media agencies or firms. When major companies and organizations want to release an app, they often outsource the project to professional app developers. You could join one of these companies and get the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects for multiple clients.

However, some companies and organizations find it’s better to have in-house app developers. Working for a single, consistent client represents another potential  job opportunity. This might be preferable to you if you enjoy focusing on one major project intensely and continuing to improve it, instead of moving on from one unrelated project to the next.

Depending on your talent and resources, you could also be a freelance app developer. Unless you have established connections in the industry, your initial clients won’t bring a high return, but as you build a reputation, you’ll attract better-paying jobs.

Education

Attending one of the best colleges in the country for app development will not only provide you with a quality education in your chosen field, but also can provide the opportunity to network with people who can help you land a dream job after graduating.

Attending a major university isn’t the only way to break into the business. In the software development field, results matter more than the name of the school you went to. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available–ranging from books to online courses–to anyone interested in learning app development. Stanford even made their popular course on the subject available through iTunes U.

Another good way to stand out is by acquiring important certifications, including CompTIA Mobile App Security+, OCA (Oracle Certified Associate), and OCP (Oracle Certified Professional).

Pay

According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for someone working in the app development field at this time is $98,260. Those in the 25th percentile earn around $75,160, while those in the 75th percentile make $124,400.

The amount you can expect to make depends on a variety of factors, including occupational experience, where you choose to live, which type of company you choose to work for, etc. Currently, the best city to move to if you want to maximize your earnings in this industry is San Jose, California, where the average developer makes $147,220 a year.

Outlook

Now is possibly one of the best times ever to seek a career in mobile app development. Some experts anticipate that by 2020, 300,000 new jobs will have been added to the industry. As mobile and digital technologies continue to improve, it’s clear that the demand for talented and ambitious developers will increase.

A career in app development isn’t merely attractive to someone who likes to work with computers. Developing an app requires creative thinking, a love for problem-solving, and a commitment to doing work you can be proud of. If that sounds like you, you may have found the right industry to jumpstart your career.

Written By
Joe Oliveto is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in many digital publications, including Thrillist, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Time, Yahoo! Health, Elite Daily, and numerous others. He focuses on trends and other content covering technology. Joe resides in New York, where he can stay the most up to date with tech coverage. He can be reached via Email

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