Computer programer is one of the most popular job titles for computer science graduates. Programmers can be found in just about any industry one can imagine, and the demand for them is growing exponentially. Since programmers can do their work from just about anywhere and connect with their employer via the internet, many work from home and telecommute. While work is often limited to one’s office, there is  also many travel opportunities.  Typically, programmers only need Bachelor’s degree, but should expect to further their education with on the job training and continuing education courses throughout the course of their career.


On average, full-time computer programmers make between  $40,820 – $114,180 annually.

Average Starting Salary:
Average starting salary for a computer programmer is between $34,753 – $51,548 annually.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Write computer programs using a variety of programming languages
  • Update and improve existing programs
  • Debug and resolve issues with existing programs
  • Design User interface and layout
  • Create documentation for programs

Necessary Skills:

  • Advanced Math skills
  • Time Management
  • Detail Oriented
  • Troubleshooting
  • Work both individually and as a part of a team

Degree and Experience Requirements:
A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is typically required, however sometimes an Associate’s Degree may suffice. Certifications can also be beneficial in giving one a competitive edge by being certified in a programming language, protocol or product. Programmers must have  continued education for new programming languages, and other job-specific information as technology evolves. Many programmers often take business classes to move up into management roles and other higher up programming positions.  Earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is often useful when moving into executive and upper management positions. Unlike many other computer-related fields, there is little on the job training which is logical since the

Getting Started:

Internships are often a great way to get started as a computer programmer because many employer train their interns and hire them after graduation.

Future Outlook: 
It is expected that since there is an increasing dependency on computer, there will be an increasing demand for computer programmers. It is important however to note, that employers often “outsource” programming jobs to areas with lower wages. However, as more things become computerized including healthcare and other important operations, computer programmers will remain in demand. In addition to full-time opportunities, programmers also have numerous freelance, project-based jobs.

Companies That Employ Programmers:

  • Software Development Firms
  • Web Development Firms
  • Social Network Companies
  • Video Game Developers
  • Financial Institutions
  • Insurance Companies
  • Higher Education
  • Electronic Manufacturer
  • Government agencies

Traits of A Good Computer Programmer:

  • Problem Solver
  • Detail oriented
  • Work well under deadlines
  • Calm under pressure
  • Analytics
  • Communication
  • Concentration
  • Customer-Service
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Advanced Math skills

Common Programming Languages Used: 

  • SQL
  • Java
  • HTML
  •  Javascript
  • C++
  • C#
  • XML
  • C
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Visual Basic

Bureau of Labor Statistics
College Board
Computer World

About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.