If you’re thinking of studying computer programming or pursuing a career as a programmer, you might be wondering what a typical computer programmer salary is. Which industries pay computer programmers the highest salaries? Which credentials can help to maximize a computer programmer’s earnings? Let’s take a look at the factors that can influence the amount of compensation computer programmers earn.
The Average Computer Programmer Salary
As of 2016, computer programmers in the USA earned median annual salaries of $79,840, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average hourly pay was $38.39.
Credentials That Influence a Computer Programmer’s Compensation
Most employers prefer to hire computer programmers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Certifications can also influence a computer programmer’s compensation. Infoworld reports that certain certifications can increase a computer programmer’s salary by as much as 10 percent above the national average.
Global Knowledge reports on the most lucrative certifications in information technology. Certifications relating to risk management, cybersecurity, cloud computing and virtualization top the list. Vendor-specific certifications also made up a significant percentage of the certifications on the list, with Windows and Citrix both being important vendors for information professionals to demonstrate proficiency in their products.
Industries That Typically Pay Computer Programmers the Highest Salaries
Records kept at the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal which industries pay computer programmers the best salaries. In 2016, the highest paid programmers were working in the finance industry for securities and commodity brokerage firms. The 1,800 programmers employed in that industry enjoyed hourly mean pay of $55.64 and annual mean earnings amounting to $115,720. Some other types of employers in the finance industry also paid their programmers well, with mean annual earnings of $112,720 and mean hourly pay of $54.19. Not all finance industry programming jobs were quite that lucrative; the median annual earnings of programmers across the entire group of finance and insurance industries amounted to $87,930 as of the year 2016.
Dry cleaning and laundry services only employ a small number of programmers; in 2016, there were only about 30 total jobs in this niche. That year, those few programmers working for dry cleaners enjoyed mean annual paychecks of $110,580 and hourly pay of $53.16.
An important takeaway: If you’re interested in maximizing your salary as a computer programmer, it would be worthwhile to understand the types of software products that finance industry professionals find valuable. It would also be helpful to network with finance industry professionals and aspiring finance industry business people. If you’re a college student, you’ll likely find it beneficial to take as many finance and business courses as your schedule allows. If computer programming is your major course of study, you might even find it worthwhile to declare a minor in finance.
We hope this information has helped you gain a better understanding of the factors that can influence a computer programmer’s earnings. If you’re thinking of pursuing a computer programming career, you’re now better equipped to tailor your class schedule to maximize your future earnings in this field. Consider yourself updated on the most important known factors that influence a computer programmer salary; we hope you’ll put this knowledge to good use.