According to 2020 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for computer programmers was $95,640 per year ($45.98 per hour). Computer programmer salaries will vary depending on the industry and location of the job and the programmer’s qualifications, skills and seniority. Keep in mind this is not an entry-level estimate – you will need to work towards reaching this level of pay.
The BLS reports that the top industries which employed computer programmers in 2019 were:
Computer Systems Design and Related Services - $94,830 average wage
Software Publishers - $129,410
Management of Companies and Enterprises - $97,520
Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services - $102,350
Computer programmers play a critical role in the function of the global, technology-driven economy. They write, test, and maintain the code that creates software programs and applications. Their day-to-day duties will generally include:
Using computer languages such as C++, Java, Python and more to write programs
Testing and “debugging” programs by editing mistakes in computer code
Updating existing programs
Utilizing integrated development environments (IDEs) or code libraries to create and test code
Computer programmers also typically work very closely with software developers. As a result, programmers may also participate in the program design process, creating models showing how the program will work and designing aspects of the user interface as well as writing the code for it.
Job titles for computer programmers
Different companies will use different job titles when recruiting computer programmers. According to O-Net Online, some of the alternative titles may include:
Job outlook for computer programmers & related occupations
According to the BLS, overall job openings for computer programmers look set to decline by 9% nationwide over the 2019-2029 period. This is likely due to continued offshoring of entry-level programming jobs. As a result, the job market for some types of computer programmers will be very competitive.
However, note that with the right computer programming and development skills, it’s possible to be qualified to pursue many computer programming-related roles which are projected to grow quickly, including:
Having the right qualifications and skills in programming, web/software development or computer systems can help you stand out in job market and pursue fast-evolving, exciting career opportunities.
How to become a computer programmer
At Herzing University, our online Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming program offers students comprehensive preparation for computer programming roles and the foundation of skills necessary to move into software development, database management, and analyst roles. The program features:
Project-based learning which replicates the cooperative workflow found in many programming work environments
An emphasis on web and mobile application programming and development skills—among the most in-demand skills employers are looking for
Virtual programming labs featuring state-of-the-industry tools and processes
Flexible online learning you can complete anywhere
Dual MBA credit option, so you can add up to 12 credits of master’s-level management skills to your profile
Find out more about how to become a computer programmer in as few as 36 months of online study: contact Herzing University today!
Learn more about our online computer programming degree
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.