What Does A PHP Developer Do?


A PHP developer is in charge of developing programs, websites and applications using the PHP programming language. They troubleshoot issues and maintain developed systems for companies. What Does A PHP Developer Do?

What is PHP?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open-source programming language that is widely used in web development. It runs on the server (back end).

It was released in 1995 and has been a widely used language in development as it can be used on most servers (both SQL and NoSQL) and all operating systems (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X) and platforms, for free.

Role Overview - PHP Developer
Role Overview – PHP Developer

Is PHP a good career? PHP was a widely used language on millions of websites and servers in the past, and for this reason the role of the PHP developer continues to be very important, since the cost of migrating PHP to a new technology is on the higher end and is one not all companies are willing to pay.

However, if you check the latest trends or the TIOBE programming community index, you will see PHP has lost popularity in the last few years.

TIOBE Programming Community Index
TIOBE Programming Community Index

Although not so many websites are using PHP lately, PHP is still the most popular server-side / back end programming language so you might want to consider learning it. Besides, PHP is the framework for WordPress.

PHP is part of one of the most popular back-end tech stacks used by developers – the LAMP tech stack. It consists of:

  • Linux (operating system),
  • Apache (web server),
  • MySQL (database) and
  • PHP / Pearl / Python (programming languages)

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Responsibilities of a PHP Developer

A PHP back end developer is responsible for programming web pages and applications for a company or for clients using PHP.

They are in charge of designing a project structure, creating PHP scripts as well as designing features to meet project requirements.They use computer software and hardware to write and modify programming code and test websites on all sorts of browsers.

Responsibilities of a PHP Developer
Responsibilities of a PHP Developer

Other tasks also include troubleshooting and maintenance of developed programs, developing plans for keeping the website updated and current, and exploring alternatives for implementing new and updated application features.

What are the tasks of a PHP developer?

  • Designing solutions to meet project requirements
  • Implementation and support of solutions
  • Management of incidents and evolutionary requirements of the system
  • Regular code reviews
  • Support and leadership in the execution of development projects
  • Ensure efficient work in version control and workflow
  • Define the appropriate processes to promote rapid and efficient development
  • Ensure efficient, reusable and maintainable code creation
  • Test websites on various devices
  • Troubleshooting and maintenance of developed programs
  • Exploring alternatives for implementing new application features

What skills do PHP developers need?

A PHP developer is skilled extensively in PHP, and has knowledge of web development tools such as Ajax, jQuery, and MySQL. They also have knowledge of other programming languages such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

PHP web developers have an understanding of CakePHP – an open-source web framework as well as PHPUnit – a unit testing framework. They also have experience with Laravel – a free and open source PHP web framework. 

Skills of a PHP Developer
Skills of a PHP Developer

They need to have strong analytical skills and be creative. Like any other developer skilled in other languages, they must be good at problem solving and have the ability to think critically.

Depending on the company, you may want to go looking for more previous experience in something in particular, but this list of skills and knowledge is valid for all PHP developers.

What are the skills of a PHP developer?

  • Strong understanding of PHP
  • Knowledge of web development tools such as Ajaz and jQuery
  • Experience in HTML, CSS, Bootstrap 
  • Modelling of relational databases, queries, stored procedures and functions in MYSQL and SQL Server engines
  • Development of virtual stores and management systems
  • Development of data control and means of payment such as Webpay and Servipag
  • Experience handling Git or SVN
  • Experience with object-oriented PHP (Zend Framework)
  • Linux web server and command line management
  • Web services and Microservices
  • Knowledge of frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, Docker
  • Experience with package handling such as Dreamweaver and Flash

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How to be a PHP Developer: Training and Education

In general, to become a PHP developer you need a degree in computer science or software engineering, or similar. It is also possible to work as a PHP back end developer without formal qualifications, but generally, companies prefer professionals with a relevant degree.

Also certain courses and bootcamps can be a good starting point to get started with PHP programming.

However, what companies value most is previous experience in projects or with tasks that involve designing, testing, or implementing software using the PHP programming language. Generally, 2 to 5 years of experience are required.

Is it difficult to learn PHP? Although this may vary depending on your starting point, PHP is relatively easy to learn. It has a syntax that is similar to HTML and a strong system of resources available for beginners. Due to the fact that you can reuse blocks of code and built-in features, PHP can be considered to be one of the simplest programming languages.

Consider the following courses to help gain experience and skills:

Find the right PHP project for yourself

Knowing PHP can also be helpful if you are looking for a career in full-stack development, or cybersecurity

Salary of a PHP Developer

The salary of a PHP developer in the US starts at $60,000, with the average salary being around $87,000/year. The higher end of the salary range comes in at $148,000/year from years of experience and increased skills. 

If we look at other countries like Germany, we see that the salary ranges between €42,500 and €70,000. And in the UK, you’ll see average PHP salaries of between €35,000 and €65,000.

Location is not the only influencing factor when it comes to salary. The total remuneration will also depend a lot on the experience that the developer has or on the particular company in which they work, among other things.

How much does a PHP developer make?

US $60,000 – $148,000
Germany €42,500 – €70,000
UK €35,000 – €65,000

How much do freelance PHP Developers make?

Freelance PHP Developers on freelancermap charge on average:


Rates in this field range between $22 and $76/hour for most freelancers.

The daily rate for PHP Developers (8 working hours) would be around:

Stand 27/01/2023

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Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

By Natalia Campana

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