Computer Programmer Career

computer-programmer-500The roles that computer programmers play are varied. A computer programmer may be an independent contractor who creates websites for small businesses, or an app developer looking to create the next big hit. They may work for a large company like Facebook, Google, or Microsoft, or help create systems for a local government.

Although stereotypes of computer programming may lead you to believe that computer programs tend to work alone, modern computer programming is a very collaborative affair. If you want to work as a programmer, prepare to work in teams to discuss solutions to various computing problems. Communicating your ideas and solutions is an essential part of succeeding in the programming industry.

Computer Programmer Career Snapshot

The majority of computer programmers work in an office setting; however, many are increasingly being given the opportunity to telecommute or work remotely. Most work a typical 40 hour workweek, but flexible schedules are becoming more common throughout the industry. Overtime may be expected as project deadlines near.

Further details on a career as a computer programmer are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly pay for computer programmers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 11% have a post-secondary certificate.

Computer Programmer Education

To become a computer programmer, you will generally need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. In recent years, programming boot camps have sprung up with the intention of teaching novices the basics of computer programming in the span of a few months; however, a bachelor’s degree is still the most secure path to success in this industry.

Computer Programmer Job Outlook

This profession is currently in decline as some jobs that were formerly performed by computer programmers become automated. There were 328,600 computer programmers in the United States in 2014, however, that number was expected to shrink 8 percent by 2024.

Computer Programmer Job Duties

On a typical day, a computer programmer may meet with clients or employers to discuss potential needs, read over code to find potential errors, write new programs to accomplish specific tasks, and test programs to ensure that they are working the way they are supposed to. They may meet with colleagues to discuss joint projects and work towards solutions as a team. Telecommuters in particular may spend a significant amount of time each day corresponding with coworkers and supervisors.

Computer Programmer Salaries

According to statistics, the median salary for a computer programmer was $79,530 in May 2015. The top 10 percent of earners made $130,800 or more, and the bottom 10 percent made $44,450 or less.

Computer Programmer Skills & Traits

Computer Programmer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Computer Programmers:Typical Work Activities:
• Programming
• Reading Comprehension
• Complex Problem Solving
• Critical Thinking
• Active Listening
• Written Comprehension
• Information Ordering
• Near Vision
• Oral Comprehension
• Deductive Reasoning
• Computer servers
• Desktop/notebook computers
• Mainframe operating systems
• Serial port cards
• Interacting With Computers
• Decision making
• Problem solving
• Getting information

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