write the step-by-step
instructions that direct
computers to process
programs, tell the computer
what to do in a series of
Education Requirements – 1 of 2
Usually include at least a Bachelor's Degree in computer science,
mathematics, or information systems, as well as knowledge of
the major programming languages.
Some employers will consider candidates with an Associates
Degree or courses from a specialized training school.
New hires are often required to know how to work with database
National certification courses are offered for most major
computer languages. Private companies sometimes offer
certification on their newer programming languages and
Certification proves to an employer that a programmer knows
that language and increases a programmer's job prospects.
Education Requirements – 2 of 2
Large companies may have formal training programs.
New programming languages and technologies continually arrive
on the marketplace so programmers continue their training
throughout their careers by attending seminars and continuing
High school students interested in this type of work should study
mathematics, computer science, and physics. Also computer
programming courses or learning computer languages in their
spare time is advantageous.
Sometimes employers will hire inexperienced college graduates
who show promise and send them to special computer training
schools to update their skills at the company's expense
Along with education, programmers should have
strong analytical thinking skills, efficient problemsolving skills, an attention to details, be openminded and have the ability to work alone and on
A programmer should be knowledgeable about the
characteristics of the business they are employed at
such as finances for banking or artistic expression
for graphic design programming.
Computer programmers work in clean, comfortable
Most programmers work a forty-hour week.
Sometimes work during evenings and weekends is
Often programmers work long hours to meet deadlines.
Programmers work independently and also as part of a
Programmers may have to travel to a client's location to
work, especially if working for a consulting company.
Computer Programmers work in software
companies, banks, insurance companies,
manufacturing, industry, engineering firms,
government offices, hospitals, telecommunications,
office equipment manufacturers and educational
Some are self-employed on a contract by contract
Earnings and Benefits
Salaries are usually higher than those earned by non
supervisory workers in other fields.
Median annual wage for computer programmers in
2004 was $62,890 (reported by The Bureau of Labor
Statistics) and more than $71,000 in 2010. With the
top 10% making more than $114,180.
Benefits vary according to individual employer, but
most programmers receive paid vacations, sick
leave, and insurance plans. Some companies offer
profit sharing and pension plans..
Job Outlook for Computer
Computer programmer was the No. 9-ranked job on U.S.
News & World Report’s list of the best jobs of 2012.
Federal government projections call for the number of
programmer jobs to continue growing at least through the
end of the decade.
The number of computer programmers nationwide should
expand by about 12% between 2010 and 2020, according
to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Programming can be done from anywhere, which has
allowed companies to outsource some jobs to other
Many experienced Computer Programmers advance
to supervisor or higher levels.
Business paths include systems analyst, business
analyst, project manager, or systems architect.
Health Risks to Computer
Because they spend all day sitting at a computer,
programmers are susceptible to eye strain, back
problems and carpel tunnel syndrome.