What do Computer Programmers Do?
Computer programmers help create, design, and program computers to perform desired functions, software, and platforms. They must write and test computer coding, and create scripts and forms that help computers to function properly. Computer programmers sometimes use software and specifications written up by other individuals, or they may also create their own programming instructions. There is an 8% annual growth projected for this position within the next ten years, which equates to over 10,000 jobs, although the number may be higher in certain states depending on demand. This employment growth is expected especially within computer, mathematical, and technical industries.
Computer Programmers Skills and Abilities
Computer programmers must have excellent computer and electronic skills, and they should know about all the internal hardware components of computers as well as computer applications, programs, and software. As a programmer, you will need to understand computer coding and how to write computer programs that can serve a variety of functions. Mathematical skills in calculus, geometry, algebra, and statistics are also needed to excel in this position. Programmers should also have exceptional problem solving, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning skills.
Computer Programmers Duties
Computer programmers have many tasks that they will need to accomplish each workday. Daily duties for this position may include:
- Preventing and correcting errors within computer systems, software, and programs
- Performing routine system checks to ensure proper functioning of all computers, servers, and software
- Create, implement, and troubleshoot potential computer programs and functions
- Consult and collaborate with other programmers to create software, programs, or gaming platforms
- Compile and manage records of computer program development
- Create instruction manuals for computer programs, databases, and other software for other programmers to use
- Mentor and oversee assistant or junior computer programmers
- Consult with managerial staff and other administration to discuss the possibilities, problems, and maintenance required for existing computer systems
Computer Programmers Tools and Technology
As a computer programmer, computers and all things computer-related will be your tools on a daily basis, so you must understand the components of computers as well as basic machine maintenance, computer network servers, and mainframe operating systems. The technology you will use as a computer programmer covers web platform development, database management, and code generation, among other software programs. You will need to be familiar with the language of computer coding and data manipulation in order to utilize development and programming technology in your position.
Education and Training for Computer Programmers
In order to find a position as a computer programmer, you need to first earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Some individuals take it a step further by continuing their education and earning a master’s degree in this area. Earning a degree in computer programming means an increase in knowledge, skills, and qualifications, which can equal better career opportunities, improved professional development, and a higher annual salary.
Computer Programmers Salary
As a computer programmer, you can expect to make around $75,000 per year, on average. The lowest 25% of computer programmers make around $44,000- $60,000, but there are some states where this number is higher, such as in Washington, New Mexico, and in the District of Columbia, where computer programmers can earn over $88,000 annually.
Computer Programmers Jobs By Geography
The need for computer programmers can vary from state to state, however, computer programmers are projected to be in high demand within the next ten years in Louisiana, Wyoming, and Washington, where there is an estimated over 22% growth in available positions. California is home to the most computer programmers in the nation, with New York and Texas the states with the second and third-most computer programmers.