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Top 11 Web Developer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top web developer certifications available, including key features and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for web developers in the job market because they demonstrate a level of mastery and expertise in specific areas. Certifications can also give employers an indication that a developer is up to date on the most recent technologies and best practices. Additionally, certifications provide validation that the developer has the necessary skills to complete projects successfully. Finally, certifications can help set candidates apart from other applicants and increase their chances of getting hired.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Web Developers and explains how they can add value to a web developer's career.

What are Web Developer Certifications?

Web developer certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a person’s proficiency in web development. It can help individuals advance their career by demonstrating their knowledge and skills to employers or clients. Certification also serves as a validation of the individual’s commitment to their profession, as well as providing recognition for the dedication and effort put into learning and mastering web development technologies.

By earning a web developer certification, individuals can learn best practices for coding, develop problem-solving skills, understand industry trends, and gain an understanding of the latest tools used in web development. This knowledge can be leveraged to create efficient and reliable websites or applications that meet customer needs. Additionally, certification programs often include practice tests and mentorship opportunities which can help ensure success in the field.

Overall, web developer certification provides numerous benefits including job security, higher salaries, better job prospects, improved credibility with employers or clients, increased confidence in coding abilities, a greater understanding of industry trends, and access to exclusive resources.

Pro Tip: Before investing in a web developer certification, make sure to research the program thoroughly. Look into the curriculum, instructors, and job placement opportunities it offers to ensure that you are selecting a program that will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your career.

Related: What does a Web Developer do?

Top 11 Web Developer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Web Developers today.

1. Certified Web Developer (CWD)

Certified Web Developer (CWD) is a professional certification that demonstrates a web developer’s knowledge and understanding of web development technologies. It is an industry-recognized credential that validates the skills and expertise of web developers.

The CWD certification is offered by the International Association of Web Professionals (IAWP). To become certified, you must pass the IAWP's Certified Web Developer Exam. The exam covers topics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, XML, PHP, MySQL, and other web development technologies.

It typically takes about two to three months to prepare for the CWD exam. During this time, you should review all relevant materials including online tutorials and books on web development technologies. You can also take practice exams to help you prepare for the actual exam.

To get your CWD certification, you must first register with the IAWP and pay the required fee. The fee is currently $250 USD for members of IAWP or $350 USD for non-members. After registering and paying the fee, you will be able to access the CWD exam online and take it at your own pace within a designated period of time (usually one month). Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive your official CWD certification from IAWP.

2. Certified Professional Web Developer (CPWD)

Certified Professional Web Developer (CPWD) is a certification program designed to recognize web developers who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the development of web applications. It is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a professional’s expertise and knowledge in web development.

The CPWD certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in developing websites, web applications, and other related technologies. To earn the CPWD credential, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, PHP, MySQL, and more. The exam also requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to create dynamic websites with user interaction and data storage capabilities.

The CPWD certification typically takes around two months to complete. Applicants should plan on spending at least 10 hours per week studying for the exam. In addition to studying for the exam, applicants must also submit an application form with proof of their work experience as well as references from employers or clients who can attest to their proficiency in web development.

The cost of the CPWD certification varies depending on where you take the exam and which organization is administering it. Generally speaking, it costs between $200-$500 USD for the exam fee alone. Additional fees may be required for training materials or other services associated with the certification process.

3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is a certification program offered by Microsoft that validates an individual’s ability to develop and maintain applications on the Microsoft platform. This certification is designed for individuals who have experience developing applications using Microsoft .NET technologies, such as C#, ASP.NET, Visual Basic .NET, and SQL Server.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete the MCSD certification program. To get certified, individuals must pass four exams: two core exams and two elective exams. The core exams are: Exam 70-483: Programming in C# and Exam 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications. The elective exams include Exam 70-487: Developing Windows Azure and Web Services, Exam 70-488: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions, or Exam 70-489: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions.

The cost of the MCSD certification varies depending on the country you are taking the exam in and which exam you choose to take. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $150 USD per exam. Therefore, it would cost approximately $600 USD to get certified as an MCSD.

4. Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE Web Component Developer (OCPJWCD)

Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE Web Component Developer (OCPJWCD) is an Oracle certification that demonstrates a professional’s expertise in developing web components with the Java Enterprise Edition (EE) platform. This certification is designed for developers who are experienced in developing web applications using Java EE technologies such as servlets, JSPs, and EJBs.

It typically takes about 3-6 months to prepare for the OCPJWCD exam. To get certified, you must pass one or more exams that cover topics such as Servlet/JSP fundamentals, EJB fundamentals, web services development, and database connectivity. You can find study materials online or purchase them from Oracle University.

The cost of the OCPJWCD exam varies depending on where you take it. In some countries, the exam fee may be included in the cost of a course offered by Oracle University. In other countries, you may need to pay for the exam separately. The cost of the exam can range from $100-$400 USD depending on your location and currency exchange rate at the time of purchase.

In addition to passing the exams, you must also have at least six months of experience developing web applications using Java EE technologies before you can become certified as an OCPJWCD.

5. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)

Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) is a certification program offered by Adobe that validates an individual's skills and knowledge of Adobe products. It is designed to demonstrate proficiency in the use of Adobe software and provide a competitive edge in the job market.

The ACE certification program tests an individual’s understanding of the features, tools, and techniques available in Adobe software. It requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to use these features efficiently and effectively. The exam covers topics such as design principles, file management, digital imaging, typography, web design, animation, video editing, and more.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to become certified depending on the individual’s experience level with Adobe products. To get started on the path towards ACE certification you must first purchase an exam voucher from Adobe or one of its authorized resellers. After purchasing the voucher you will need to register for an exam at Pearson VUE testing centers located around the world.

The cost of an ACE exam varies depending on your location but typically range from $100-$200 USD per exam.

6. CIW Web Foundations Associate (CIW-FA)

CIW Web Foundations Associate (CIW-FA) is an entry-level certification program designed to provide individuals with the foundational knowledge and skills they need to pursue a career in web development. This certification is offered by the CIW, or Certified Internet Webmaster, program. It is targeted at those who are just starting out in the field of web development and want to gain a basic understanding of how websites work.

The CIW-FA certification consists of four courses: Introduction to HTML, Introduction to CSS, Introduction to JavaScript and Introduction to Website Development. Each course focuses on a different aspect of website design and development, providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for successful website creation. The entire program takes approximately 40 hours to complete, depending on the student’s prior experience.

To get the CIW-FA certification, you must first pass all four courses with a minimum score of 70%. Once you have completed all four courses successfully, you will be eligible for the CIW-FA exam. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. You can take the exam online or in person at an approved testing center.

The cost of the CIW-FA certification varies depending on where you take it from. Generally speaking, it costs around $250 for all four courses plus the exam fee which is usually around $150-$200.

7. Zend Certified PHP Engineer (ZCPE)

The Zend Certified PHP Engineer (ZCPE) is a certification program designed to assess the knowledge and skills of experienced PHP developers. The certification is offered by Zend Technologies, a leading provider of enterprise-level open source solutions for web applications.

The certification exam covers topics such as object-oriented programming, security, performance tuning, database access, web services and more. It takes approximately two hours to complete the exam and it can be taken either online or at an authorized testing center.

To get the ZCPE certification, you must first pass the Zend Certified PHP Engineer exam. You can purchase the exam voucher from Zend's website for $195 USD. After passing the exam, you will receive your certificate and become a certified Zend Certified PHP Engineer.

The cost of the exam may vary depending on your location and other factors. In addition to the cost of the exam voucher, there may be additional fees associated with taking the test at an authorized testing center.

8. CompTIA A+ Certification for IT Professionals

CompTIA A+ Certification is an industry-recognized credential for IT professionals. It is a vendor-neutral certification that validates the knowledge and skills necessary to install, configure, maintain, troubleshoot, and support computers and other related technologies.

It typically takes between 6 months to 1 year to get CompTIA A+ Certification depending on the individual’s prior experience and study habits. To obtain the certification, individuals must pass two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). The exams cover topics such as hardware, networking, mobile devices, virtualization & cloud computing, security, operational procedures and more.

The cost of the CompTIA A+ Certification varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking it costs around $200 USD per exam or $400 USD for both exams combined. Additionally there are prep courses available from CompTIA which may require additional fees.

9. Apple Certified Webmaster (ACW)

Apple Certified Webmaster (ACW) is a professional certification program offered by Apple Inc. that recognizes individuals who demonstrate expertise in building and maintaining websites using Apple technologies. The ACW program is designed to provide web professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to create, deploy, and maintain successful websites built on Apple platforms such as Mac OS X, iOS, and iCloud.

The ACW program consists of two exams: the Apple Certified Webmaster Foundations Exam and the Apple Certified Webmaster Professional Exam. The Foundations Exam covers basic concepts such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, web design principles, and website optimization techniques. The Professional Exam covers more advanced topics such as server-side scripting languages (PHP/MySQL), database design and development, e-commerce strategies, search engine optimization (SEO), content management systems (CMS), mobile web development, accessibility standards, security best practices, and more.

It typically takes between six months to one year of study to prepare for the ACW exams. To get certified you must pass both exams with a score of 70% or higher within 18 months of taking your first exam.

The cost for the ACW program varies depending on which exam you take first. The Foundations Exam costs $150 USD while the Professional Exam costs $350 USD.

10. W3Schools Front-End Web Developer Certificate

W3Schools Front-End Web Developer Certificate is a professional certification program offered by W3Schools, an online web development platform. The certificate is designed to demonstrate proficiency in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the three core technologies used for developing web applications. It is intended for web developers who want to demonstrate their expertise in front-end development.

The program consists of 3 courses: Introduction to HTML, Introduction to CSS and Introduction to JavaScript. Each course takes approximately 10 hours to complete and covers the basics of each technology as well as more advanced topics such as responsive design and animation. Once all three courses have been completed, students can take an online exam that tests their knowledge of the material covered in the courses. Upon passing the exam, they will be awarded with a W3Schools Front-End Web Developer Certificate.

The cost of the certificate program is $99 USD. This fee covers access to all three courses as well as the final exam. There are no additional fees or hidden costs associated with obtaining the certificate.

Overall, it typically takes around 30 hours of study time to complete all three courses and obtain the W3Schools Front-End Web Developer Certificate.

11. Google Mobile Sites Certification

Google Mobile Sites Certification is a program that helps website owners create mobile-friendly websites. It is designed to help businesses make sure their sites are optimized for mobile devices, so they can reach more customers and increase conversions.

The certification process takes about two weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the website. The first step is to register for the program by creating an account with Google. Once registered, you will be asked to submit your website URL for review. After submitting your URL, Google will review it and provide feedback on how to improve its mobile-friendliness.

Once you have implemented the suggested changes, you can resubmit your website URL for another review. If all requirements are met, then you will receive your Google Mobile Sites Certification within two weeks of submission.

The certification is free of charge and does not require any additional fees or payments.

Do You Really Need a Web Developer Certificate?

The short answer to this question is no, you do not necessarily need a web developer certificate to be successful in the field of web development. However, there are a few advantages to having one.

First, having a web developer certificate can demonstrate to potential employers that you have taken the initiative and have gone beyond the typical requirements for entry-level positions. It shows that you have invested time and money into your education and that you are serious about developing your skills. Additionally, having a web developer certificate may give you an edge over other applicants when competing for jobs or promotions.

Second, having a web developer certificate can help increase your knowledge base and provide additional opportunities to gain experience in the field. Many certificates require students to complete courses or projects related to specific areas of web development, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. This gives students the chance to learn new technologies and develop their skills in areas they may not otherwise have access to without enrolling in formal classes or programs.

Finally, having a web developer certificate can make it easier for employers to see what type of experience and qualifications you possess before they even hire you. For example, if an employer is looking for someone with experience building websites using HTML5 and CSS3 but doesn't want to spend time sifting through resumes trying to determine who is qualified for the job then having a certificate showing that you already know these technologies can make it much easier for them to find candidates who fit their needs.

In conclusion, while it is not essential that you have a web developer certificate in order to be successful in this field, it can certainly give you an advantage over other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions and provide additional opportunities for learning new technologies and gaining experience.

Related: Web Developer Resume Examples

FAQs About Web Developer Certifications

1. What is the benefit of getting a web developer certification?

Answer: A web developer certification can demonstrate your knowledge and skills in web development, making you more competitive in the job market. It can also help you advance your career by showing employers that you are committed to staying up-to-date on web technologies and best practices.

2. How long does it take to get a web developer certification?

Answer: The length of time it takes to get a web developer certification varies depending on the type of certification and how much prior experience you have. Generally, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete the necessary courses and exams.

3. Is there an entry-level web developer certification?

Answer: Yes, there are entry-level certifications available for those just starting out in the field of web development. These certifications focus on basic concepts such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other core programming languages.

4. Are there any free or low-cost certifications?

Answer: Yes, there are several free or low-cost certifications available online from a variety of sources including universities, coding schools, and private organizations. These certifications usually focus on specific topics such as HTML5 or JavaScript but may not provide as comprehensive coverage as more expensive options.

5. What resources should I use to prepare for a web developer certification exam?

Answer: There are numerous resources available online for preparing for a web developer certification exam including books, tutorials, video lectures, practice tests, and study groups . Additionally, many organizations offering certifications provide official study guides that cover all the material you will need to know for the exam.