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Become An Application Programmer Analyst

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Working As An Application Programmer Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $75,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Application Programmer Analyst Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become An Application Programmer Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Education

Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Application Programmer Analyst Career Paths

Application Programmer Analyst
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Leader Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Systems Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Senior Systems Analyst Application Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Project Manager Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Consultant Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Consultant Consultant/Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Technical Consultant Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Developer Functional Consultant Implementation Consultant
Hris Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Programmer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Application Programmer Analyst
Programmer 9.0%
Consultant 4.1%
Internship 2.2%
Top Careers After Application Programmer Analyst
Consultant 9.1%
Developer 3.5%
Manager 2.7%

Do you work as an Application Programmer Analyst?

Average Yearly Salary
$75,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$57,000
Min 10%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Chevron
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
Oregon
Avg Experience Level
4.5 years
How much does an Application Programmer Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Application Programmer Analyst in the United States is $75,778 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $57,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $100,000.

Real Application Programmer Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Applications Programmer/Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA Jul 26, 2016 $138,362
Applications Programmer Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA May 16, 2016 $138,362
Specialist-Applications Analyst/Programmer Hitachi Data Systems Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jun 20, 2016 $135,000
Application Programmer Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA Apr 18, 2016 $133,000
CRM Applications Programmer/Analyst Harmonic, Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 08, 2016 $129,150
Application Programmer Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA Dec 19, 2016 $128,669 -
$140,000
Applications Programmer/Analyst III ICMA-RC Washington, DC Sep 29, 2016 $127,379
Application Programmer Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 27, 2016 $125,000
Applications Programmer/Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA Jun 09, 2016 $117,603
Application Programmer Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA Feb 05, 2016 $117,000
Programmer Analyst_Web Based Applications Born Group, Inc. FKA Group FMG Inc. Boston, MA Jun 20, 2016 $115,000
Applications Programmer/Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 26, 2015 $114,400 -
$153,000
Specialist-Applications Analyst/Programmer (SR IT LD Dvlpr) Hitachi Data Systems Corporation San Francisco, CA Mar 30, 2015 $114,393 -
$156,000
Oracle Applications Programmer Analyst Config Consultants Corporation Round Rock, TX Apr 16, 2015 $112,258
Applications Programmer Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Rafael, CA Oct 14, 2015 $94,162
Oracle Applications Programmer Analyst Config Consultants Corporation Plano, TX Apr 16, 2015 $93,891
Programmer Analyst, Business Application Management Schaeffler Group USA, Inc. Fort Mill, SC Jul 10, 2016 $92,000 -
$106,000
Applications Analyst Programmer IV Harris Teeter, Inc. Matthews, NC Oct 26, 2015 $91,208 -
$121,600
Web Application Programmer/Analyst ICMA Retirement Corporation Washington, DC Jul 12, 2016 $91,104
Programmer Analyst-Enterprise Applications (ERP, CRM) (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited East Brunswick, NJ Jan 13, 2016 $90,459 -
$105,000
Programmer Analyst-Application Development (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited East Brunswick, NJ Jan 29, 2016 $90,459 -
$105,000
Programmer Analyst-Application Development (Multiple Openings) Wipro Limited East Brunswick, NJ Apr 12, 2015 $90,459 -
$105,000
Business Application Programmer Analyst Kaizen Technologies, Nc. Minneapolis, MN Feb 27, 2015 $79,102
Programmer/Applications Analyst Yakshna Solutions, Inc. Herndon, VA Dec 10, 2016 $78,000
Applications Programmer/Analyst CMC Americas, Inc. Atlanta, GA Dec 31, 2015 $77,563
Applications Programmer/Analyst CMC Americas, Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 25, 2016 $77,563
Applications Programmer/Analyst CMC Americas, Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 09, 2016 $77,563
Oracle Applications Programmer Analyst Config Consultants Corporation Santa Clara, CA Aug 19, 2015 $75,546
Web Application Programmer/Analyst I ICMA Retirement Corporation Washington, DC Jul 09, 2016 $75,000
Oracle Application/Programmer Analyst Infotech Valley, Inc. Raleigh, NC Jan 19, 2015 $75,000

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Top Skills for An Application Programmer Analyst

  1. Data Warehouse
  2. SQL
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created client-server and web-based applications allowing users to query the Data Warehouse and create management reports.
  • Developed dynamic web based database documentation of DB2, Oracle and SQL databases to increase accessibility of data definitions by developers.
  • Interfaced with Portfolio Managers to scope requirements, design and develop complex reporting web application used to analyze equity data.
  • Designed and developed COBOL worker's compensation interfaces into Underwriting Workstation expert system.
  • Developed Hyperion Excel retrieve spreadsheets for financial reconciliations between Hyperion and mainframe general ledger and sales systems.

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Top 10 Best States for Application Programmer Analysts

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. California
  4. Rhode Island
  5. North Carolina
  6. Delaware
  7. Connecticut
  8. Missouri
  9. New York
  10. Minnesota
  • (418 jobs)
  • (1,526 jobs)
  • (3,119 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (808 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)
  • (347 jobs)
  • (468 jobs)
  • (1,374 jobs)
  • (581 jobs)

Application Programmer Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

61.6%

Female

30.5%

Unknown

7.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

11.9%

Black or African American

11.0%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

28.6%

Spanish

28.6%

Russian

14.3%

Portuguese

14.3%

Carrier

14.3%
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Application Programmer Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.3%

University of South Florida

5.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

5.1%

University of Maryland - University College

5.1%

Wichita State University

5.1%

DePaul University

5.1%

Southern University and A & M College

5.1%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.1%

Southeastern Louisiana University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Marist College

4.1%

Texas Tech University

4.1%

Webster University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.1%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.1%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

4.1%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

4.1%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.1%

Stephen F Austin State University

4.1%

Central Connecticut State University

4.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

29.6%

Business

15.1%

Computer Information Systems

10.1%

Management Information Systems

5.5%

Information Systems

5.5%

Computer Programming

4.0%

Computer Engineering

3.4%

Finance

3.4%

Information Technology

3.4%

Mathematics

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%

Project Management

2.2%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Accounting

1.5%

Data Processing

1.4%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

Economics

1.2%

Physics

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.0%

Masters

25.4%

Other

12.2%

Associate

8.6%

Certificate

4.2%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

1.1%
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