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Working as a Mainframe Systems Programmer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a mainframe systems programmer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.23 an hour? That's $87,833 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 Systems Programmer Do

There are certain skills that many mainframe systems programmers 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 detail oriented, troubleshooting skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a mainframe systems programmer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 7.2% of mainframe systems programmers included mainframe, while 6.6% of resumes included technical support, and 6.4% of resumes included hardware. 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 systems programmer job title. But what industry to start with? Most mainframe systems programmers actually find jobs in the technology and finance industries.

How To Become a Mainframe Systems Programmer

If you're interested in becoming a mainframe systems programmer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 56.4% of mainframe systems programmers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.7% of mainframe systems programmers have master's degrees. Even though most mainframe systems programmers 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 systems programmer. When we researched the most common majors for a mainframe systems programmer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on mainframe systems programmer resumes include master's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a mainframe systems programmer. In fact, many mainframe systems programmer jobs require experience in a role such as systems programmer. Meanwhile, many mainframe systems programmers also have previous career experience in roles such as applications programmer or computer operator.

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Average Salary$87,833
Job Growth Rate-7%

Mainframe Systems Programmer Demographics

Gender

male

83.5 %

female

12.9 %

unknown

3.5 %

Ethnicity

White

69.5 %

Asian

16.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0 %
See More Demographics

Mainframe Systems Programmer Education

Majors

Business
18.6 %

Degrees

Bachelors

56.4 %

Associate

18.2 %

Masters

12.7 %

Top Colleges for Mainframe Systems Programmers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

6. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
See More Education Info
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Top Skills For a Mainframe Systems Programmer

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, 7.2% of mainframe systems programmers listed mainframe on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and troubleshooting skills are important as well.

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Top Mainframe Systems Programmer Employers

1. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$106,535
Mainframe Systems Programmers Hired: 
17+
2. Electronic Data Systems
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$98,629
Mainframe Systems Programmers Hired: 
8+
3. CSC Holdings
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$92,946
Mainframe Systems Programmers Hired: 
3+
4. Tennessee
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$95,546
Mainframe Systems Programmers Hired: 
2+
5. SunTrust Banks
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$108,621
Mainframe Systems Programmers Hired: 
2+
6. General Dynamics
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$78,694
Mainframe Systems Programmers Hired: 
2+
Updated October 2, 2020