Front End Engineers vs. Back End Engineers: Which is Harder-to-Fill?

We recently received a request from a reader for Front End and Back End Engineer hiring trends. Since it takes both of these jobs to make a website or software, we compared demand for these two positions. Over the past 30 days, there were about 29,450 job ads posted online for Front End Engineers and about 18,000 job ads listed for Back End Engineers. Demand for both roles is down compared to the same 30-day period last year. These specializations are often advertised in New York City's Silicon Alley and the Silicon Valley. Employers most commonly advertise this expertise for Software Developer (Applications) and Web Developer occupations.

Hiring Demand for Front End and Back End Engineers

Hiring Demand for Front End and Back End Engineers
SOURCE: WANTED Analytics

These professions share certain skills because some of their duties are related - Front End Engineers work on the client facing part of the website or software and Back End Engineers work on the server function of the technology. However, since these jobs perform different tasks, varying specializations also appear among the most commonly advertised skills, tools, and technologies. As you can see below, some skills are the same in each list, just ranking in different spots. Graphical User Interface Design (UI), Website Development, and HTML5 only appear among the most in-demand skills, tools, and technologies for Front End Engineers. Extensible Markup Language (XML), Linux, and Quality Assurance are unique to Back End Engineers.

Most Commonly Advertised Skills, Tools, and Technologies for

Front End Engineers Back End Engineers
  1. JavaScript (JS)
  2. Cascading Style Sheets
  3. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  4. Java
  5. jQuery
  6. Software Development
  7. Graphical User Interface Design (UI)
  8. Website Development
  9. HTML5
  10. Structured Query Language (SQL)
  1. Java
  2. JavaScript (JS)
  3. Software Development
  4. Structured Query Language (SQL)
  5. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  6. Cascading Style Sheets
  7. Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  8. Linux
  9. jQuery
  10. Quality Assurance

Do these skills affect hiring difficulty for Front End and Back End Engineers? On average, Front End Engineers are slightly more difficult to recruit nationally, scoring an 85 on our Hiring Scale. In comparison, Back End Engineers score an 84. The score on our Hiring Scale ranges from 1 - 99, with 99 indicating the most challenging recruiting conditions. When combining certain skills sets with these positions, recruiting conditions become even more difficult. Back End Engineers with jQuery knowledge or Back End Engineers with Cascading Style Sheets experience, each score an 88 on our Hiring Scale. Front End Engineers with jQuery skills or Front End Engineers with Web Development experience each score an 89 on our Hiring Scale. Front End Engineers score the lowest on our Hiring Scale in the Toledo, OH metro area, a 38. The least challenging conditions for Back End Engineers, which are considered moderately difficult, are likely to be in the Allentown, PA metro area, scoring a 54.

When looking at this data, we searched for the terms "Front End" and "Back End" paired with computer occupations. Some Recruiters may search for these specializations with more specific occupations, which might reduce their talent pool and increase difficulty-to-fill. By searching for these keywords along with the broader occupational category, we expanded the talent pool and makes them slightly easier to recruit. For instance, when we paired the terms "Front End" with the Web Developers occupation, the recruiting difficulty increased to a score of 93. By including all computer occupations instead of a specific occupation, conditions were less challenging, scoring an 85.

Hiring Scale for Web Developers with Front End Experience

Web Developers with Front End Experience
SOURCE: WANTED Analytics

Hiring Scale for Computer Occupations with Front End Experience

Hiring Scale Computer Occupations with Front End Experience
SOURCE: WANTED Analytics

Are you recruiting for specialized tech talent? Sign up for a free trial of WANTED Analytics to see what hiring conditions are like in your area. You can also view sample profiles of candidates that match your search criteria.

Already an Analytics user? Log in here and enter either the keywords, Front End or Back End and add the occupation you require. Also include your location and any other requirements that fit your search. Let us know if you need help.