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Become An Applications Programmer

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Working As An Applications Programmer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Applications Programmer Do

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.

Duties

Computer programmers typically do the following:

  • Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java
  • Update and expand existing programs
  • Test programs for errors and fix the faulty lines of computer code responsible
  • Create and test code in an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Use code libraries, which are collections of independent lines of code, to simplify the writing

Programmers work closely with software developers, and in some businesses their duties overlap. When such overlap occurs, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing the program. Program design entails planning the software initially, creating models and flowcharts detailing how the code is to be written, writing and debugging code, and designing an application or systems interface. Programmers often use an IDE, which allows them to create, edit, and test code.

A program’s purpose determines the complexity of its computer code. For example, a weather application for a mobile device will require less programming than a social-networking application. Simpler programs can be written in less time. Complex programs, such as computer operating systems, can take a year or more to complete.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which consists of applications provided through the Internet, is a growing field. Although programmers typically need to rewrite their programs to work on different system platforms, such as Windows or OS X, applications created with SaaS work on all platforms. Accordingly, programmers writing SaaS applications may not have to rewrite as much code as other programmers do and can instead spend more time writing new programs.

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How To Become An Applications Programmer

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers hire workers with an associate’s degree. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages.

Education

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate’s degree. Most programmers get a degree in computer science or a related subject. Programmers who work in specific fields, such as healthcare or accounting, may take classes in that field to supplement their degree in computer programming. In addition, employers value experience, which many students gain through internships.

Most programmers learn a few computer languages while in school. However, a computer science degree gives students the skills needed to learn new computer languages easily. During their classes, students receive hands-on experience writing code, testing programs, fixing errors, and doing many other tasks that they will perform on the job.

To keep up with changing technology, computer programmers may take continuing education and professional development seminars to learn new programming languages or about upgrades to programming languages they already know.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Programmers can become certified in specific programming languages or for vendor-specific programming products. Some companies require their computer programmers to be certified in the products they use.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in computer programming by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Advancement

Programmers who have general business experience may become computer systems analysts. With experience, some programmers may become software developers. They may also be promoted to managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer programmers must understand complex instructions in order to create computer code.

Concentration. Programmers must be able to work at a computer, writing lines of code for long periods.

Detail oriented. Computer programmers must closely examine the code they write because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.

Troubleshooting skills. An important part of a programmer’s job is to check the code for errors and fix any they find.

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Applications Programmer Career Paths

Applications Programmer
Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Programmer Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Programmer Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Programmer Consultant Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Senior Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Technical Consultant Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Applications Programmer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Senior Programmer 3.5 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Programmer 2.5 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Java Programmer 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Applications Programmer
Programmer 14.1%
Consultant 4.6%
Internship 2.7%
Developer 2.1%
Top Careers After Applications Programmer
Consultant 7.2%
Programmer 4.9%
Developer 4.0%

Do you work as an Applications Programmer?

Applications Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

65.8%

Female

24.4%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

55.8%

Asian

16.5%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.3%

French

12.8%

Chinese

10.6%

German

8.5%

Portuguese

4.3%

Mandarin

4.3%

Polish

4.3%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Filipino

2.1%

Greek

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Thai

2.1%
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Applications Programmer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.2%

University of Texas at Dallas

7.5%

New York University

5.7%

University of Houston

5.7%

University of Georgia

5.7%

Johns Hopkins University

5.7%

Texas Tech University

5.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.4%

DePaul University

4.4%

Drexel University

4.0%

Strayer University

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

National University

3.5%

Arizona State University

3.5%

Texas A&M University

3.5%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

University of South Florida

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

37.4%

Computer Information Systems

9.8%

Business

9.6%

Information Technology

5.4%

Computer Engineering

5.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.9%

Computer Programming

3.8%

Management Information Systems

3.3%

Computer Applications

3.2%

Information Systems

3.2%

Mathematics

3.1%

Management

2.1%

Finance

1.8%

Engineering

1.5%

Accounting

1.4%

Physics

1.3%

Project Management

1.1%

Education

1.1%

Information Sciences

1.0%

Mechanical Engineering

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.8%

Masters

26.5%

Other

12.7%

Associate

7.1%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

1.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$77,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$57,000
Min 10%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
National Semiconductor
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does an Applications Programmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Applications Programmer in the United States is $77,817 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $58,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $104,000.

Real Applications Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Application Programmer Norgate Technology Warren, NJ Aug 28, 2015 $177,395
Application Programmer Norgate Technology Jersey City, NJ Aug 17, 2015 $177,395
Application Programmer V Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC Charlotte, NC Dec 12, 2016 $166,960
Application Programmer/Developer Ciber, Inc. Greenwood Village, CO Jun 30, 2016 $156,000
Principle, Applications Programmer PICS Auditing, LLC Irvine, CA Dec 15, 2015 $150,000
Applications Programmer Apex It Services, LLC Columbia, MD Dec 12, 2016 $136,635
Applications Programmer IBG LLC Greenwich, CT Jul 29, 2016 $135,000 -
$145,000
Applications Programmer, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Apr 10, 2015 $135,000
Applications Programmer/Developer Spectrum Systems, Inc. Manassas, VA Apr 06, 2015 $134,000
Applications Programmer/Developer Spectrum Systems, Inc. Manassas, VA Jun 17, 2016 $134,000
Application Programmer V Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC Charlotte, NC Dec 19, 2016 $132,378
Applications Programmer, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Aug 02, 2016 $132,288
Applications Programmer Lead University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Nov 24, 2016 $132,240
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Mar 09, 2016 $77,334 -
$86,807
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Raritan, NJ Feb 07, 2015 $77,334
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jul 27, 2016 $77,334 -
$83,375
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Albany, NY Aug 13, 2015 $77,273
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Minneapolis, MN Jul 16, 2015 $77,273
Applications Programmer University of California, Los Angeles Oakland, CA Nov 25, 2016 $70,554 -
$123,000
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Windsor, CT Jul 13, 2016 $70,533
Application Programmer Fintech Consulting LLC Edison, NJ Jun 15, 2015 $70,500
Application Programmer Fintech Consulting LLC Edison, NJ Jun 08, 2015 $70,500
Application Programmer IBM India Pvt. Ltd. Schaumburg, IL Sep 08, 2015 $70,494 -
$70,658
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Schaumburg, IL Sep 05, 2015 $70,494 -
$70,658
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Middletown, NJ Apr 20, 2015 $70,304

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Top Skills for An Applications Programmer

  1. Web Application
  2. Database
  3. SQL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design, construction and maintenance of internal administrative web applications within the Department of Psychology.
  • Analyzed functional requirements for a wide variety of database reports and applications.
  • Design and deployed a SQL relational database (DATEASE) for statistical reporting, scheduling and user password generation.
  • Designed and developed a COBOL computer program that created user-specified reports based on telephone network information.
  • Generated concise modification reports, which included verification statements, build procedures, and technical investigation per software discrepancy resolution

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Top 10 Best States for Applications Programmers

  1. Washington
  2. Rhode Island
  3. District of Columbia
  4. North Carolina
  5. Connecticut
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Georgia
  8. Maryland
  9. Colorado
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (5,011 jobs)
  • (214 jobs)
  • (676 jobs)
  • (1,792 jobs)
  • (712 jobs)
  • (2,698 jobs)
  • (1,577 jobs)
  • (2,236 jobs)
  • (1,802 jobs)
  • (2,085 jobs)

Top Applications Programmer Employers

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Jobs From Top Applications Programmer Employers

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