Programmers are responsible for writing and testing code to ensure that computer applications and other software programs are working correctly. So if working on the behind-the-scenes of computers is right up your alley, then you should consider this career.

Generally, programmers go to school for their bachelor's degree before pursuing this career. But there have been a few that only have an associate's degree. Almost all programmers know a few programming languages. The job isn't taxing on you, as you'll mostly be working in an office. But you might be able to improve your brain a bit.

What Does a Programmer Do

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

Learn more about what a Programmer does

How To Become a Programmer

If you're interested in becoming a programmer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.2% of programmers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.8% of programmers have master's degrees. Even though most programmers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Programmer

Programmer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Programmer

Programmers in America make an average salary of $73,007 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $98,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $54,000 per year.
Average Programmer Salary
$73,007 Yearly
$35.10 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

How To Become a Programmer
How To Become a Programmer Career Overview

States With The Most Programmer Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Programmer Jobs By State

Programmer Education

Programmer Majors

Programmer Degrees


67.2 %


13.3 %


12.8 %

Top Colleges for Programmers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a 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, 8.6% of programmers listed java on their resume, but soft skills such as troubleshooting skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Programmer Resume templates

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

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Programmer Demographics

Programmer Gender Distribution


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

  • Among programmers, 25.6% of them are women, while 74.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among programmers is White, which makes up 67.3% of all programmers.

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

Work Experience Programs For Programmers

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!

Introduction to Accenture Program

Company: Accenture UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Wealth Management Program

Company: Goodbody

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-4.5 hours

Data Analytics Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Elevate - Project Management Virtual Experience Programme Program

Company: SAGEA

Cost: Free

Duration: 6-8 hours

Data Analytics and Visualization Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Data Science Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4 hours

Working at a Start Up Program

Company: Y Combinator

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Power Programmer Program

Company: Infosys

Cost: Free

Duration: 7-8 hours

Project Management Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Online Courses For Programmer That You May Like

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Best States For a Programmer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a programmer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, California, and West Virginia. Programmers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $91,320. Whereas in Oregon and California, they would average $81,648 and $81,522, respectively. While programmers would only make an average of $77,842 in West Virginia, 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 Programmer Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Oregon

Total Programmer Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Idaho

Total Programmer Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Programmers

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Top Programmer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ programmers and discovered their number of programmer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Tech Mahindra was the best, especially with an average salary of $75,069. Infosys Public Services follows up with an average salary of $74,175, and then comes Larsen & Toubro Infotech with an average of $72,817. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a programmer. The employers include Broadridge, QuintilesIMS, and Live Nation Entertainment

Most Common Employers For Programmer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2iTech US$87,370$42.00132
4Bank of America$78,660$37.8255
5Tata Group$77,883$37.44265
7Apps Associates$76,050$36.56116
9Tech Mahindra$75,069$36.092,318

Programmer Videos

Becoming a Programmer FAQs

Software Engineer Vs. Programmer

A software engineer is someone who designs and develops software applications and products, while a programmer is a tech professional who writes, modifies, and tests computer code.

A software engineer designs and creates computer systems and software applications.

Do Programmers Get Paid Well?

Yes, programmers get paid well. The average programmer makes around $67,000 a year ($32.63 an hour). The top programmers can make upwards of $125,000 a year. Factors such as location and industry impact how much a programmer gets paid.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Programmer?

It takes between three months to four years to become a programmer. The time it takes largely depends on the program, such as a bachelor's degree or if you're self-taught. Someone who is self-taught, able to learn quickly, and can devote 20 to 30 hours a week can learn programming in as little as three months.

Is It Hard To Become A Programmer?

Yes, it is hard to become a programmer. To be a programmer requires being tech-savvy and learning computer languages (e.g., Python, C++). Technology is constantly evolving, and as such, a programmer to always be able to adapt and learn new technologies.

Programmer Vs Developer

A programmer is a tech industry professional that specializes in code, while a developer is a designer or project manager in the tech industry.

A programmer is a coding professional. This means they make, test, and troubleshoot different computer code languages within a software application. The aim of a programmer is to have a software application run successfully without any glitches or bugs. Programmers are given instructions about code, and then they must think about ways to make the code functional.

What Degree Do You Need To Be A Programmer?

No, you do not need a degree to be a programmer. In many cases, however, employers may require a candidate to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related area. Other employers may focus just on previous work experience.

Developer Vs. Programmer

A developer is a designer or project manager who is able to understand, write, and use code, while a programmer is a technician who specializes in code.

A developer is a software professional who writes, manages, and debugs the code in computer programs. They typically specialize in a specific type of coding language and manage other tasks related to software creation, modification, and management.

Software Developer Vs. Programmer

A software developer uses code to modify, write, or debug software for end-customer use, while a programmer is a technician who specializes in code.

A software developer is a professional who writes, manages, and debugs the code in computer programs. They typically specialize in a specific type of coding language and manage other tasks related to software creation, modification, and management. They have a more holistic view of software and are involved in the full cycle of development.

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