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Become A Senior Computer Programmer

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Working As A Senior Computer Programmer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $87,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Computer Programmer Do

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.

Duties

Computer programmers typically do the following:

  • Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java
  • Update and expand existing programs
  • Test programs for errors and fix the faulty lines of computer code responsible
  • Create and test code in an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Use code libraries, which are collections of independent lines of code, to simplify the writing

Programmers work closely with software developers, and in some businesses their duties overlap. When such overlap occurs, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing the program. Program design entails planning the software initially, creating models and flowcharts detailing how the code is to be written, writing and debugging code, and designing an application or systems interface. Programmers often use an IDE, which allows them to create, edit, and test code.

A program’s purpose determines the complexity of its computer code. For example, a weather application for a mobile device will require less programming than a social-networking application. Simpler programs can be written in less time. Complex programs, such as computer operating systems, can take a year or more to complete.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which consists of applications provided through the Internet, is a growing field. Although programmers typically need to rewrite their programs to work on different system platforms, such as Windows or OS X, applications created with SaaS work on all platforms. Accordingly, programmers writing SaaS applications may not have to rewrite as much code as other programmers do and can instead spend more time writing new programs.

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How To Become A Senior Computer Programmer

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers hire workers with an associate’s degree. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages.

Education

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate’s degree. Most programmers get a degree in computer science or a related subject. Programmers who work in specific fields, such as healthcare or accounting, may take classes in that field to supplement their degree in computer programming. In addition, employers value experience, which many students gain through internships.

Most programmers learn a few computer languages while in school. However, a computer science degree gives students the skills needed to learn new computer languages easily. During their classes, students receive hands-on experience writing code, testing programs, fixing errors, and doing many other tasks that they will perform on the job.

To keep up with changing technology, computer programmers may take continuing education and professional development seminars to learn new programming languages or about upgrades to programming languages they already know.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Programmers can become certified in specific programming languages or for vendor-specific programming products. Some companies require their computer programmers to be certified in the products they use.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in computer programming by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Advancement

Programmers who have general business experience may become computer systems analysts. With experience, some programmers may become software developers. They may also be promoted to managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer programmers must understand complex instructions in order to create computer code.

Concentration. Programmers must be able to work at a computer, writing lines of code for long periods.

Detail oriented. Computer programmers must closely examine the code they write because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.

Troubleshooting skills. An important part of a programmer’s job is to check the code for errors and fix any they find.

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 4.7 years
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Senior Programmer 3.5 years
Lead Programmer 3.2 years
Programmer 2.5 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Senior Computer Programmer
Programmer 6.0%
Analyst 2.0%
Top Careers After Senior Computer Programmer
Consultant 6.4%
Programmer 4.6%
Manager 4.0%

Do you work as a Senior Computer Programmer?

Average Yearly Salary
$87,000
Show Salaries
$65,000
Min 10%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nike
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
5.6 years
How much does a Senior Computer Programmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Computer Programmer in the United States is $87,119 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $65,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $116,000.

Real Senior Computer Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Computer Programmer (Knit Footwear) NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR Oct 24, 2016 $187,204
SR. Computer Programmer System Soft Technologies LLC Naperville, IL Nov 30, 2015 $179,000 -
$199,584
Senior Computer Programmer (Knit Footwear) NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR Feb 06, 2015 $151,000
SR. Clinical Computer Programmer VM Global Partners LLC South San Francisco, CA Jul 18, 2016 $137,000
Senior Computer Programmer Tekmark Global Solutions LLC New York, NY Jul 26, 2016 $130,666
Senior Computer Programmer Tekmark Global Solutions LLC Jersey City, NJ Jun 13, 2016 $130,666
Senior Computer Programmer Nextgen Realty, Inc. MA Aug 12, 2016 $127,421
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Jan 02, 2016 $125,757
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Jun 05, 2015 $125,757
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Jan 26, 2016 $125,757
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Feb 02, 2016 $125,757
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Aug 03, 2015 $125,757
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Jun 16, 2015 $125,757
Senior Computer Programmer United Software Solutions, Inc. Sterling, VA Jan 25, 2016 $125,757
SR. Computer Programmer Emage Software Services LLC Monmouth Junction, NJ Jul 27, 2016 $103,168
Senior Computer Programmer Saama Technologies, Inc. Campbell, CA Dec 16, 2015 $103,000
Senior Computer Programmer Saama Technologies, Inc. Campbell, CA Dec 21, 2015 $103,000
Senior Computer Programmer Sharpedge Solutions, Inc. Naperville, IL Dec 15, 2015 $103,000
Senior Computer Programmer Sharpedge Solutions, Inc. Naperville, IL Dec 23, 2015 $103,000
Senior Computer Programmer Sharpedge Solutions, Inc. Naperville, IL Jan 15, 2016 $103,000
Senior Computer Programmer Resource America Information Technology Inc. Wildwood, MO Apr 04, 2016 $101,900
Senior Computer Programmer Mastech Digital Technologies, Inc., A Mastech Digital, Inc. Company Quincy, MA Sep 27, 2016 $100,948
Senior Computer Programmer Mastech, Inc., A Mastech Holdings, Inc. Company Austin, TX Aug 15, 2016 $90,501 -
$105,501
Senior Computer Programmer Mastech, Inc., A Mastech Holdings, Inc. Company Millington, MD Feb 05, 2016 $90,367
Senior Computer Programmer Mastech, Inc., A Mastech Holdings, Inc. Company Millington, MD Feb 05, 2016 $90,064 -
$105,064
SR. Computer Programmer It Spin Inc. Frisco, TX Sep 26, 2016 $90,000
Senior Computer Programmer/Architect Greycell Labs Inc. New York, NY Nov 14, 2016 $90,000
Senior Computer Programmer Schrill Technologies Inc. Boston, MA Aug 15, 2015 $90,000
Senior Computer Programmer Schrill Technologies Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 15, 2016 $90,000
SR. Computer Programmer JP Consulting, Inc. Vienna, VA Jan 26, 2015 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Computer Programmer

  1. Client Database Applications
  2. Cobol
  3. SQL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Convert Assembly to COBOL VSE.
  • Worked with campus consultant to provide SQL queries and reports needed for campus wide federal audits of the Space Inventory System.
  • Scoped, managed and designed a web application that was required by the State of California for the assets in California.
  • Developed and maintained inventory, accounting and marketing systems using COBOL language under the Unix operating system.
  • Create programs using mainframe languages such as COBOL, JCL, Easytrieve, and Ideal for the Student Assessment group.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Computer Programmers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. North Carolina
  3. Connecticut
  4. Georgia
  5. California
  6. Washington
  7. Virginia
  8. Alabama
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (49 jobs)
  • (163 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (175 jobs)
  • (573 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (173 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (195 jobs)

Senior Computer Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

67.5%

Female

23.1%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

57.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Asian

12.8%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

5.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Tagalog

50.0%

Spanish

50.0%

Senior Computer Programmer Education

Schools

Wayne State University

11.4%

University of South Florida

8.6%

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

8.6%

Monmouth University

5.7%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

5.7%

Florida State University

5.7%

Strayer University

5.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.7%

Hudson Valley Community College

5.7%

Bowling Green State University

5.7%

Defense Acquisition University

5.7%

University of Southern Maine

2.9%

Ashland Theological Seminary

2.9%

Richland Community College

2.9%

Lake Forest College

2.9%

EdNet Career Institute

2.9%

University of San Francisco

2.9%

De Anza College

2.9%

Iona College

2.9%

University of the District of Columbia

2.9%
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Majors

Computer Science

33.3%

Computer Information Systems

12.3%

Business

7.2%

Information Technology

5.8%

Management

4.3%

Mathematics

4.3%

Computer Programming

4.3%

Computer Engineering

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Accounting

3.6%

Finance

2.9%

Management Information Systems

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Systems Engineering

1.4%

Mathematics And Computer Science

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Information Systems

1.4%

Educational Leadership

1.4%

Data Processing

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.5%

Other

20.2%

Masters

19.1%

Associate

10.4%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

3.5%

Diploma

2.3%
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