Becoming a Full Stack Developer in Michigan

Employers are increasingly looking for website and app developers capable of working on both the front and back end. This means being able to build and code the parts the user sees as well as those they don’t, the so-called under the hood components.

Being able to code for both ends requires knowledge of various coding languages. Someone who can do this is known as a full stack developer. In Michigan and throughout the U.S., demand is growing for these multi-talented professionals.

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Training and Licensing Requirements

Full stack developing is more about skills than degrees and licenses. In Michigan, you do not need to have a particular degree, diploma or certification to work in the industry. What you need are verifiable skills that show an employer you know how to code at the front and back end of a website.

The best way to get those skills, and prove them, is to take training courses. You can complete just enough courses to learn the coding languages, or you can earn a two- or four-year degree in a related field.

Not all schools have full stack development programs or degrees, but if you can’t find one, put together the courses you need to learn front-end languages like JavaScript, CSS, or HTML and back-end languages like Ruby or PHP. It is also useful to take some courses in web or app design and user experience design.

Full Stack Training Programs in Michigan

Michigan residents interested in a career in full stack development have a few training and degree options:

  • Michigan State University. MSU has partnered with Trilogy Education to offer working students a 6-month coding boot camp. The program includes coding languages for both front- and back-end programming. The curriculum has been built to meet the demands of employers in the Detroit area.
  • Oakland Community College. At OCC campuses in the Detroit area, you can earn an associate degree in software engineering as a path to becoming a full stack developer. Courses include HTML, JavaScript, C++ and PHP as well as mobile app development, data structures and networking.
  • Henry Ford College. This associate degree program also includes a full complement of courses to prepare graduates to work in full stack development. You’ll learn HTML, CSS, PHP, C# and JavaScript.

Salaries and Career Growth for Full Stack Developers

Full stack development is a new career. Previously, professionals either knew front-end or back-end coding but not both. Because the job is newer, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report career information.

By looking at BLS data for related careers, though, it is clear that the industry is growing. Jobs for web developers, for instance, are growing by 13 percent across the U.S. Software developer careers are increasing by about 10 percent.

In Michigan, according to, full stack developers earn $91,126 per year on average. Expect to work up to that salary. Developers with less than one year of experience make about $75,000 per year. The BLS reports average annual salaries of $73,860 and $66,070 for related careers in Michigan.

Working as a Full Stack Developer in Michigan

As a full stack developer with the right skills, you should find it easy to land your first job in Michigan. This is a career you can do on a freelance basis, working from home, or in a more traditional office setting. Employers in the Detroit area are especially searching for more qualified full stack professionals. In 2019, the Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler—struggled to fill thousands of coding jobs.

With either a degree or a set of courses in front- and back-end coding, you’ll be ready for this exciting career. In Michigan, you can look forward to a great salary and excellent job stability.