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Programming Engineer Careers

Programming engineers can be known as software engineers, computer programmers, or computer engineers. Their role varies slightly between organizations, but it involves the design, testing, implementation, and troubleshooting of software. Some professionals may also specialize in robotics, virtual reality, or mobile operating systems.

A large part of a programming engineer's job is to write code for a software program. But before this, they conduct research to learn the purpose of the program. After writing the code, engineers subject the program to extensive testing to identify and fix bugs.

Programming engineers may also maintain operating systems, design robots, and create programs that support unique uses like aircraft flight. They need skills like programming, analytical thinking, problem-solving, time management, and communication.

To become a programming engineer, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Competence and proficiency is a critical factor when employers hire for this role. You must be able to demonstrate technical skills when required.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a programming engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.09 an hour? That's $87,537 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 12,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Programming Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many programming engineers 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 mechanical skills, creativity and listening skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a programming engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.7% of programming engineers included project management, while 7.2% of resumes included hardware, and 6.9% of resumes included c++. 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 programming engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most programming engineers actually find jobs in the manufacturing and technology industries.

How To Become a Programming Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a programming engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.9% of programming engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.8% of programming engineers have master's degrees. Even though most programming engineers 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 programming engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a programming engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on programming engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a programming engineer. In fact, many programming engineer jobs require experience in a role such as project engineer. Meanwhile, many programming engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as engineer or engineering internship.

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Average Salary
$87,537
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
69,157
Job Openings

Programming Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Programming Engineer

Top Careers After Programming Engineer

Programming Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Programming Engineer

Programming Engineers in America make an average salary of $87,537 per year or $42 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $116,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.
Average Salary
$87,537
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range93k - 152k$120k$119,542
Cambridge, MA
Salary Range92k - 133k$112k$111,562
New York, NY
Salary Range80k - 122k$99k$99,139
Vancouver, WA
Salary Range81k - 114k$97k$96,521
Aurora, CO
Salary Range79k - 115k$96k$95,878
Arlington, VA
Salary Range70k - 106k$86k$86,471
$56k
$152k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Operations Program Engineer
Operations Program Engineer
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
06/12/2021
06/12/2021
$77,50606/12/2021
$77,506
Operations Program Engineer
Operations Program Engineer
State of Florida
State of Florida
06/11/2021
06/11/2021
$77,50606/11/2021
$77,506
OPS Design Program Engineer
OPS Design Program Engineer
Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com, Inc.
06/08/2021
06/08/2021
$84,00006/08/2021
$84,000
CNC Programming Engineer
CNC Programming Engineer
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
03/29/2021
03/29/2021
$60,00003/29/2021
$60,000
North American Regional BMS Program Engineer
North American Regional BMS Program Engineer
Facebook
Facebook
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$148,00003/26/2021
$148,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Programming Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

78.5 %

female

15.8 %

unknown

5.7 %

Ethnicity

White

75.7 %

Asian

10.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.7 %

Chinese

7.2 %

Japanese

7.2 %
See More Demographics

Programming Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

68.9 %

Masters

12.8 %

Certificate

7.7 %

Top Colleges for Programming Engineers

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

2. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

3. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

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

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

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

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

10. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Programming Engineer That You May Like

Reliability and Maintenance Engineering - FMEA
udemy
4.2
(318)

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis - A mechanical engineering approach to risk management of plant and machinery...

Managing Major Engineering Projects
coursera

Accelerate your career by improving your project management skills. This Specialization delivers a rigorous exploration of the best practices for planning and delivering these major engineering projects. You'll learn about the measures of success, how to resolve challenges of governance and typical financing approaches of these projects. If you are an engineer or a project manager and you aspire to get involved with major engineering projects, or you are already working on one, then this Special...

Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
coursera

The course is aimed at university-level students of all engineering backgrounds, who would like to learn the basics of modern biomedical engineering, including the development of human-robotic interfaces and systems such as bionic prosthetics. The course is covering the practical basics of almost everything that a modern biomedical engineer is required to know: electronics, control theory, microcontrollers (Arduino), and high-level programming (MATLAB). All covered disciplines do not require any...

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Top Skills For a Programming Engineer

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, 12.7% of programming engineers listed project management on their resume, but soft skills such as mechanical skills and creativity are important as well.

Best States For a Programming Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a programming engineer. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Alaska, California, and New Hampshire. Programming engineers make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $111,574. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $110,134 and $109,495, respectively. While programming engineers would only make an average of $102,646 in New Hampshire, 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. Massachusetts

Total Programming Engineer Jobs:
1,865
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
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. California

Total Programming Engineer Jobs:
8,537
Highest 10% Earn:
$175,000
Location Quotient:
1.82
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. New Hampshire

Total Programming Engineer Jobs:
282
Highest 10% Earn:
$143,000
Location Quotient:
1.01
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 Programming Engineer Employers

1. Google
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$133,338
Programming Engineers Hired: 
80+
2. General Electric
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$92,912
Programming Engineers Hired: 
59+
3. Boeing
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$90,200
Programming Engineers Hired: 
30+
4. Cummins
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$68,500
Programming Engineers Hired: 
29+
5. Ford Motor Company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,396
Programming Engineers Hired: 
28+
6. Cooper-Standard Automotive
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$102,604
Programming Engineers Hired: 
22+

Programming Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020