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Working as a Mainframe Developer

A mainframe developer is essentially a software developer but one who works within the mainframe system. As such, they have similar responsibilities as a software developer.

Mainframe experts are a diminishing group of developers. This has created an increasing demand for mainframe experts on a global scale. With the right skill set, they could find work in a wide range of industries anywhere in the world.

To start, they need to have a strong knowledge of mainframe languages and tools. Additionally, knowledge of project management and software development cycle can also be beneficial. Depending on the sector, industry-specific skills and knowledge may be required, too.

Most mainframe programmers have a bachelor's degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate's degree. While a degree in computer science is important, in the programming field, programming skill is what counts.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a mainframe developer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.11 an hour? That's $81,355 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -7% and produce -17,900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Mainframe Developer Do

There are certain skills that many mainframe developers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed troubleshooting skills, detail oriented and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a mainframe developer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.2% of mainframe developers included db2, while 9.6% of resumes included jcl, and 7.1% of resumes included cics. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the mainframe developer job title. But what industry to start with? Most mainframe developers actually find jobs in the finance and technology industries.

How To Become a Mainframe Developer

If you're interested in becoming a mainframe developer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.2% of mainframe developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 26.9% of mainframe developers have master's degrees. Even though most mainframe developers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a mainframe developer. When we researched the most common majors for a mainframe developer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on mainframe developer resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a mainframe developer. In fact, many mainframe developer jobs require experience in a role such as programmer analyst. Meanwhile, many mainframe developers also have previous career experience in roles such as senior programmer analyst or senior software engineer.

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Average Salary$81,355
Job Growth Rate-7%

Mainframe Developer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Mainframe Developer

Top Careers After Mainframe Developer

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Average Salary for a Mainframe Developer

Mainframe Developers in America make an average salary of $81,355 per year or $39 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $101,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.
Average Salary
$81,355

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Sacramento, CA
Salary Range83k - 125k$103k$102,541
Durham, NC
Salary Range75k - 108k$91k$90,588
Springfield, MA
Salary Range73k - 106k$88k$88,098
San Antonio, TX
Salary Range75k - 101k$87k$87,305
Salt Lake City, UT
Salary Range74k - 101k$87k$87,205
McLean, VA
Salary Range71k - 104k$87k$86,747
$61k
$125k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Senior Mainframe Developer
Senior Mainframe Developer
Randstad
Randstad
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$93,91501/30/2021
$93,915
Mainframe Developer Training Program
Mainframe Developer Training Program
Us Bank
Us Bank
12/22/2020
12/22/2020
$54,23012/22/2020
$54,230
Mainframe Developer Training Program
Mainframe Developer Training Program
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank
12/21/2020
12/21/2020
$54,23012/21/2020
$54,230
Mainframe JCL Developer
Mainframe JCL Developer
Robert Half
Robert Half
09/18/2020
09/18/2020
$93,91509/18/2020
$93,915
Mainframe Developer
Mainframe Developer
Randstad
Randstad
08/21/2020
08/21/2020
$96,00208/21/2020
$96,002
See More Recent Salaries

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Mainframe Developer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Mainframe Developer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Mainframe Developer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Mainframe Developer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Mainframe Developer Demographics

Gender

male

69.0 %

female

26.9 %

unknown

4.0 %

Ethnicity

White

61.4 %

Asian

26.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

5.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.4 %

Carrier

27.3 %

French

9.1 %
See More Demographics

Mainframe Developer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

62.2 %

Masters

26.9 %

Associate

4.3 %

Top Colleges for Mainframe Developers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Mainframe Developer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.2% of mainframe developers listed db2 on their resume, but soft skills such as troubleshooting skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Mainframe Developer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mainframe developer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Rhode Island, and Colorado. Mainframe developers make the most in California with an average salary of $99,040. Whereas in Washington and Rhode Island, they would average $92,941 and $91,545, respectively. While mainframe developers would only make an average of $90,561 in Colorado, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Carolina

Total Mainframe Developer Jobs:
471
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Mainframe Developer Jobs:
45
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
1.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Texas

Total Mainframe Developer Jobs:
1,268
Highest 10% Earn:
$114,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Mainframe Developer Employers

1. Tata Consultancy Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$75,057
Mainframe Developers Hired: 
98+
2. Bank of America
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$85,179
Mainframe Developers Hired: 
70+
3. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$72,891
Mainframe Developers Hired: 
66+
4. Cognizant
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$77,268
Mainframe Developers Hired: 
60+
5. Infosys Public Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$90,999
Mainframe Developers Hired: 
45+
6. Populus Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$115,054
Mainframe Developers Hired: 
40+
Updated October 2, 2020