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Computer Programmer

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Life As a Computer Programmer

Computer Programmer Definition Create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals. May assist software developers by analyzing user needs and designing software solutions. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.

List of Computer Programmer Job Duties

  • Consult with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
  • Investigate whether networks, workstations, the central processing unit of the system, or peripheral equipment are responding to a program’s instructions.
  • Train subordinates in programming and program coding.
  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Collaborate with computer manufacturers and other users to develop new programming methods.
  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.

Skills Needed to be a Computer Programmer

Computer Programmers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Programming: Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Other Computer Programmer Job Titles

  • Database Programmer
  • Programmer Analyst
  • COBOL Programmer (Common Business Oriented Language Programmer)
  • .NET Programmer
  • Web Programmer

Computer Programmer Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 294,900 jobs in the United States for Computer Programmer. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Computer Programmer. The BLS estimates 15,500 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Computer Programmers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Computer Programmer are Utah, Louisiana, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Maine, or New Jersey. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Computer Programmers Salary

The average yearly salary of a Computer Programmer ranges between $48,790 and $134,630.

Salary Ranges for Computer Programmers

Computer Programmers who work in Washington, District of Columbia, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Computer Programmers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $87,340
Alaska $86,080
Arizona $95,900
Arkansas $71,540
California $97,470
Colorado $94,750
Connecticut $93,370
Delaware $80,260
District of Columbia $105,200
Florida $78,890
Georgia $92,390
Hawaii $72,370
Idaho $76,500
Illinois $91,860
Indiana $80,850
Iowa $78,940
Kansas $75,780
Kentucky $72,190
Louisiana $77,450
Maine $84,830
Maryland $93,000
Massachusetts $95,380
Michigan $76,450
Minnesota $86,710
Mississippi $73,940
Missouri $76,530
Montana $94,480
Nebraska $76,540
Nevada $80,580
New Hampshire $75,680
New Jersey $85,750
New Mexico $72,770
New York $91,250
North Carolina $94,570
North Dakota $76,180
Ohio $74,930
Oklahoma $83,090
Oregon $79,470
Pennsylvania $85,800
South Carolina $81,940
South Dakota $57,060
Tennessee $82,400
Texas $91,970
Utah $83,700
Vermont $81,680
Virginia $94,470
Washington $126,920
West Virginia $83,160
Wisconsin $79,420
Wyoming $71,910

Tools & Technologies Used by Computer Programmers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Computer Programmers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Git
  • Python
  • React
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft Access
  • Node.js
  • MySQL
  • Data entry software
  • MongoDB
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio

Becoming a Computer Programmer

What kind of Computer Programmer requirements are there?

Computer Programmer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Computer Programmer?

Computer Programmer Work Experience

Where do Computer Programmers Work?

Computer Programmer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Computer Programmer Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Computer Programmer might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Computer Programmer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Negative Space via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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