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.

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.

Learn more about what a Mainframe Developer does

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 75.9% of mainframe developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.4% of mainframe developers have master's degrees. Even though most mainframe developers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Mainframe Developer

Mainframe Developer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Mainframe Developer

Mainframe Developers in America make an average salary of $90,902 per year or $44 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $117,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $70,000 per year.
Average Mainframe Developer Salary
$90,902 Yearly
$43.70 hourly
$70,000
10 %
$90,000
Median
$117,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

salary-calculator
How To Become a Mainframe Developer
How To Become a Mainframe Developer Career Overview

States With The Most Mainframe Developer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active mainframe developer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where mainframe developers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Mainframe Developer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California6,900$105,541
2Texas4,365$92,413
3Virginia3,099$90,236
4Florida2,459$84,726
5Pennsylvania2,261$90,451
6New York2,191$93,569
7Maryland2,131$92,319
8Illinois2,076$84,059
9Ohio1,896$88,828
10New Jersey1,851$94,231
11Washington1,825$110,097
12Georgia1,798$94,641
13Massachusetts1,764$94,393
14North Carolina1,701$92,301
15Indiana1,297$81,264
16Michigan1,276$83,808
17Minnesota1,239$82,614
18Colorado1,218$89,761
19Arizona1,133$91,779
20Oregon1,052$96,278
21Missouri946$82,042
22Wisconsin847$87,041
23Utah803$89,680
24Tennessee770$86,066
25Alabama673$90,119
26Kansas610$83,205
27Connecticut565$88,823
28Iowa558$80,758
29Kentucky551$84,144
30South Carolina494$92,200
31Arkansas469$80,945
32Nebraska455$82,470
33Louisiana435$87,621
34Nevada405$94,189
35New Mexico397$77,137
36Rhode Island356$96,025
37Oklahoma353$84,870
38Delaware326$78,708
39Idaho323$94,555
40New Hampshire305$82,457
41Maine241$93,029
42Montana240$77,839
43West Virginia211$77,028
44Mississippi209$86,642
45Vermont208$89,648
46South Dakota192$85,871
47North Dakota190$89,639
48Hawaii142$87,632
49Alaska132$100,183
50Wyoming120$79,416

Mainframe Developer Education

Mainframe Developer Majors

Mainframe Developer Degrees

Bachelors

75.9 %

Masters

14.4 %

Associate

6.5 %

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 • Private

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

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, 11.1% of mainframe developers listed db2 on their resume, but soft skills such as troubleshooting skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Mainframe Developer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Mainframe Developer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Mainframe Developer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume
Mainframe Developer Resume

Mainframe Developer Demographics

Mainframe Developer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
74%
Female
Female
26%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among mainframe developers, 26.4% of them are women, while 73.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among mainframe developers is White, which makes up 61.3% of all mainframe developers.

  • The most common foreign language among mainframe developers is Spanish at 36.4%.

Work Experience Programs For Mainframe Developers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Developer and Technology Program

Company: Accenture UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5.75-8 hours

Software Development Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4.5-5.5 hours

Process Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Product Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 4 hours

Developer Program

Company: Accenture Nordics

Cost: Free

Duration: 2-3 hours

Design Program

Company: BCG

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Law and Professional Development Program

Company: Clyde & Co

Cost: Free

Duration: 4.5 hours

Coding: Development & Advanced Engineering Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Commercial Banking Innovation Development Program Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase

Cost: Free

Duration: 8-12 hours

Technical Interview Prep Program

Company: Girls Who Code

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Online Courses For Mainframe Developer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  
Mainframe: Code DB2 on COBOL Programs for Absolute Beginners
udemy
4.4
(1,833)

Master the DDL and DML operations on DB2. Code multiple COBOL DB2 Programs. Master the concept of Cursors on DB2...

Mainframe: The Complete COBOL Course From Beginner To Expert
udemy
4.5
(2,106)

Become an Expert on COBOL Programs by coding it. Run COBOL Programs with JCL. Basic TSO/ISPF operations are also covered...

Mainframe: The Complete JCL Course from Beginner to Expert
udemy
4.4
(2,965)

Become an expert on JCL. Jcls are used for COBOL Programs. Procedures, Utilities, GDG and basics of TSO/ISPF are covered...

Show More Mainframe Developer Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Washington, California, Alaska, and Oregon. Mainframe developers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $110,097. Whereas in California and Alaska, they would average $105,541 and $100,183, respectively. While mainframe developers would only make an average of $96,278 in Oregon, 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. Washington

Total Mainframe Developer Jobs:
1,825
Highest 10% Earn:
$145,000
Location Quotient:
1.26

2. Rhode Island

Total Mainframe Developer Jobs:
356
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
Location Quotient:
1.47

3. Oregon

Total Mainframe Developer Jobs:
1,052
Highest 10% Earn:
$127,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Full List Of Best States For Mainframe Developers

How Do Mainframe Developer Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Mainframe Developer? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Mainframe Developer?
Rate how you like work as Mainframe Developer. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Mainframe Developer Employers

Most Common Employers For Mainframe Developer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Citi$119,929$57.6629
2UBS$109,030$52.4220
3Walmart$106,486$51.2020
4American Express$105,959$50.9435
5State Farm Insurance Agency$99,693$47.9326
6Populus Group$97,687$46.9643
7Epitec$95,619$45.9725
8Bank of America$93,693$45.0473
9CSX$90,780$43.6424
10Humana$90,737$43.6232