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React Developer Career Guide

What is a React developer?

React developers are software professionals who work with React, an open-source front-end JavaScript library, to build user interfaces (UIs) and their components. 

Duties and responsibilities

React developers create and maintain UIs for web and mobile applications and websites. They are involved from conception to completion and play a key role in designing and programming what users see and interact with. This includes developing functional interactive items such as buttons, scroll bars, text boxes, online forms, etc. 

Some React developers work directly with clients, testers, designers, web designers, and project managers to create strong and effective applications. In most situations, these developers create responsive and interactive technology for dynamic web pages and applications. It involves testing and troubleshooting software, building reusable components and front-end libraries for future use, and optimizing components for maximum performance. 

Work environment

React developers typically work in an office however, quite a few positions work remotely full-time and freelance. React developers spend many hours sitting in front of a computer. Being comfortable sitting or standing in front of a screen for long periods will be necessary. They also spend time collaborating with developer teams and working with clients as well.

Typical work hours

The typical work hours for a React developer are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Freelance developers may choose hours that fit their schedule, and the work can be done anytime. There might be some collaboration required during business hours.

How to become a React developer

In order to become a React developer, you will need a combination of education, training, and experience. In this career guide section, we cover the steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goal:

Step 1: Get a bachelor’s degree in computer science

Most developers work toward a bachelor’s degree in computer science after high school graduation. This provides the proper education to learn and understand coding and web development and take the required courses in other subjects to learn how your future career may impact business.

Step 2: Take additional courses to become a React expert

To become a React developer, having a strong knowledge base of React is important. Some great online courses are available to help you build up your comfort level and learn some tricks. Here are some of the options we recommend:

  • Try the React Basics course from Coursera. You’ll learn about the fundamental concepts underpinning the React library and the basic skills needed to build an app that is simple, fast, and scalable. This is a beginner-level course, so it’s a great place to start, and you can also review some of the skills you learned in college.
  • The Managing React State course is another beginner option where you’ll learn the React components. Figure out how to change React state within a Class using SetState, create an API call in a React component, and track its state.
  • Check out The Complete React Developer Course (w/ Hooks and Redux) from Udemy. You’ll learn to build, test, and launch React apps using cutting-edge ES6/ES7 JavaScript. Practice setting up authentication and user accounts and deploying your React apps live to the web.
  • The Complete 2023 Web Development Bootcamp is perfect for anyone looking to become a full-stack web developer. Build 16 web development projects throughout the course and prep your portfolio. You’ll learn professional developer best practices and master frontend development with React.
  • Become a Senior React Developer with the Complete React Developer in 2023 (w/ Redux, Hooks, GraphQL) course on Udemy. Like a senior developer, you’ll learn to build reactive, performant, large-scale applications. Learn all the latest features in React and test your application with Jest, Enzyme, and snapshot testing.

Step 3: Obtain a professional certification

Once you’ve completed additional coursework in React, you can become certified and add it to your resume. This helps you stand out against others applying for the same job. There are multiple certifications you can get. Here are a few recommended options:

  • Modern React with Redux – This React JS course includes React and Redux with React Router, Webpack, Create-React-App, and Hooks. This course will teach you how to create single-page applications using React JS and Redux. You will master the fundamental concepts behind structuring Redux applications and the power of reusable components. This course has full lifetime access and includes 4.75 hours of on-demand video, 18 articles, one downloadable resource, and six coding exercises. A certificate of completion is given once the course is completed.
  • The Complete React Developer Course – This will help you learn and build React web applications using React, Redux, Webpack, React-Router, and more. You will learn how to use JavaScript and learn React libraries and tools. This course will help you learn how to build, test, and launch React apps. This course includes full lifetime access and comes with 39 hours of on-demand video and 165 downloadable resources. Once completed, you will be given a certificate of completion. Prerequisites include knowledge of JavaScript functions, objects, arrays, and callback functions. 
  • React – The Complete Guide – This will help you build powerful, fast, user-friendly, and reactive apps using Hooks, React Router, Redux, and more. This course will teach you how to provide amazing user experiences by easily leveraging JavaScript’s power. This course has full lifetime access to 44.5 hours of on-demand video, 56 articles, and 255 downloadable resources. Once completed, you will be given a certificate of completion. Prerequisites include knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JS.
  • Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization – This course was created by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is 100% online and will be completed in six months. It comes with a full package with full-stack web development with React JS. After this course, students will know to become full-stack developers. This course teaches front-end and hybrid mobile development for implementing a multi-platform solution. Students will receive a certification once the course is completed.

Step 4: Apply for jobs

Once you are well-versed in the programming language and have completed all the necessary education courses, you can start applying for jobs as a React developer. Check the online job boards for openings or follow up with companies you have experience working with. As the need increases, there are also many opportunities for contractors in temporary positions that can become full-time.

Step 5: Continue your education

Technology is constantly changing, especially for web developers. It’s good to have a plan for continuing education. Whether you sign up for courses on sites like Udemy and Coursera to further your knowledge. You could also work toward a Master’s degree, especially if your employer offers tuition reimbursement or assistance. It will help set you up for future success.

How much do React developers make?

There are many variables that go into determining how much a React developer makes, from company size to experience to education just to name a few.

Highest paying states

  • Virginia – $140,256
  • California – $136,100
  • New York – $133,020
  • Illinois – $131,550
  • Massachusetts – $127,086

Browse React developer salary data by market

Types of React developers

React developers may work for various companies, each with unique roles and responsibilities. Five types of React apps might utilize a developer, so it’s good to know what those applications are when looking for a job.

React is great for complex web applications to offer a fantastic user experience. You can add it to existing apps to boost functionality while keeping the look consistent. There might be companies with already well-established apps looking for these developers to help revitalize the back end and update the applications moving forward.

Cross-platform mobile applications are another spot where these professionals can be extremely useful. React Native allows you to create apps that work on Android and iOS devices. This simplifies the process and allows the app to use the same fundamental building blocks on the either operating system.

A growing market is virtual or augmented reality (AR/VR). React can be used to create these 3D, interactive apps. If you can create these 3D scenes, you can work with companies that provide content for the Samsung Gear VR or the Oculus Rift products.

Social media applications often utilize React for construction. The apps can load quickly initially and change the screen’s counts and colors without reloading the entire page. React makes the user experience quite a bit more enjoyable. With the rate at which these apps are growing in popularity and new apps are joining the marketplace, these jobs are a great entry point to the industry.

The last main type of application that uses these developers is eCommerce applications. It allows each component to be independent so each can be updated and maintained without impacting the others. 

All of these types of applications require a React developer to assist with the build and maintenance. Find companies that fit these categories and find job openings that interest you.

Top skills for React developers

To become a React developer, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computer science or a related field. A master’s degree is even better for the current job market. It’s essential to have some experience in software development and possibly even a portfolio to showcase your work. 

In addition to schooling, you’ll need strong proficiency in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Knowledge of ReactJS, JSX, Babel, data structures, and algorithms can also be helpful in this field of work. Strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills are also essential. 

React developer career path

Typically, people begin their careers as junior React developers and advance to senior roles. Juniors work under the supervision and guidance of the more senior positions and gain experience. Once in a senior role, you’ll contribute more to the design of projects and mentor junior developers. Sometimes, a Lead React Developer position even oversees the entire team.

React architects are responsible for the overall architecture of a React application and provide technical guidance to development teams. This is the highest level for a developer working in the React space. There are executive-level positions above this if you have a mind for business and management. 

The employment of web developers is projected to grow in the future. As eCommerce expands, online purchasing is expected to grow faster than retail. As the use of mobile devices to search the web rises, there will be an increase in demand for sites and interfaces that work on mobile devices from many different screen sizes, ultimately resulting in more work and a greater need for web developers. 

Employment projections for React developers

Over the next decade, web developers, which includes React developers, are projected to grow 8% because of the increasing demand for web-based applications and services. The growing use of mobile devices and e-commerce has also created a need for web developers skilled in creating responsive and user-friendly web applications.

React developer career tips

Have a logical system for comments and clear variable names, so they’re easy to work with. Develop a portfolio of projects that you’ve created. Showcase a range of small to large-scale applications that you’ve built. Know all the information available on Reactjs.org. The documentation available on this site is the best guide available online, and React developers rely on it for information. 

Commonly required skills and qualifications

Practice coding as much as possible. You want to be able to write clean and organized code.  Keep up with all the technological updates and changes, especially in the React space. It’s constantly evolving and changing, so staying current is important. Learn JavaScript because React is a JavaScript library, and a thorough understanding is crucial. Add Git to your toolkit. You should be able to track changes with add, commit, push, and pull and handle merge conflicts and strategies.

Develop a professional network

Join online communities and networking groups that share your interests in web development. It’s always good to see what others are working on and collaborate and share ideas. Here are a few professional networks to explore: 

  • React Native Community
  • Women Who Code
  • LinkedIn Groups and Communities
  • Reactiflux Online Community

Where the React development jobs are

Top companies

  • Innowise Group
  • Resourcifi
  • ScienceSoft
  • Altoros
  • Belitsoft

Top states

  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Oregon
  • Wyoming
  • Rhode Island

Top job sites

  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Careerbuilder
  • Upwork


How long does it take to learn React to become a developer?

Learning React in a few months is possible, especially if you have previous experience with computer programming. Some courses are self-paced, so if you have a lot of free time to study and practice, you can master this framework quickly.

What companies are hiring React developers?

If you are becoming a React developer, you can look for job openings at companies with web applications. React is the most common framework for web apps right now, so for companies that have their apps (which is most at this point), there’s a good chance that they may need a React developer.

Is becoming a React developer a good career path?

React is one of the most common frameworks to build applications right now, so becoming a React expert will give you practical knowledge and experience in web development. Knowing how to build apps is an essential skill for years to come and can help you build a strong career.

What are the best ways to gain experience in React?

Build your portfolio by starting with a simple app. Use the knowledge you’ve learned in classes to create your app, and then as you gain experience, you can work on more complex projects to add to your portfolio. 

How can someone learn to become a React developer?

To become a React developer, you’ll need a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then learn React. You can take great online courses with the option to become certified at the end. 

What are good entry-level jobs for developers?

Developers that are newly out of college can jump right into their careers by applying for junior developer roles. You’ll be able to put your knowledge into practice while under the supervision of an experienced developer and receive feedback and on-the-job training. 

What resources are suitable for staying up to date with React technology?

Follow along with blogs and online forums to stay up-to-date with any changes and advancements in React technology. You can also attend conferences and forums with industry leaders that share important information. 

Are React developers paid well?

The salary levels for developers depend on experience and the level within your organization. Typically, developers’ salaries are higher than many other jobs, so it’s a great career path. The more experience you have, the higher your salary will become.

What skills are required to become a React developer?

Becoming a React developer requires experience using JavaScript and other programming languages, strong problem-solving skills, and the ability to troubleshoot and fix bugs when they pop up. Getting a bachelor’s degree in computer science will give you a great start, but it’s good to dive deeper into React.

How do I get a job building apps?

Building apps requires knowledge of web development methods. React is commonly used in building and maintaining different apps across multiple platforms, so it’s a great place to start if you want a career in creating applications.

Should I build a portfolio to become a web developer?

A portfolio of projects you’ve designed and worked on can be extremely beneficial when you’re applying for jobs. It shows a potential employer you have experience and lets them see what work you can do. You can upgrade the collection over time as your skills and knowledge progress.