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Working as a Senior Computer Programmer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior computer programmer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.83 an hour? That's $89,088 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 Senior Computer Programmer Do

There are certain skills that many senior computer 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 senior computer programmer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.8% of senior computer programmers included c++, while 11.8% of resumes included c #, and 7.6% of resumes included javascript. 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 senior computer programmer job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior computer programmers actually find jobs in the technology and professional industries.

How To Become a Senior Computer Programmer

If you're interested in becoming a senior computer programmer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 51.4% of senior computer programmers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.0% of senior computer programmers have master's degrees. Even though most senior computer 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 senior computer programmer. When we researched the most common majors for a senior computer programmer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior computer programmer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary$89,088
Job Growth Rate-7%

Senior Computer Programmer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Computer Programmer

Top Careers After Senior Computer Programmer

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Average Salary for a Senior Computer Programmer

Senior Computer Programmers in America make an average salary of $89,088 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $112,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $70,000 per year.
Average Salary
$89,088

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range86k - 127k$105k$105,228
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range74k - 108k$90k$89,868
Durham, NC
Salary Range75k - 106k$90k$89,632
McLean, VA
Salary Range75k - 106k$89k$89,481
Wildwood, MO
Salary Range74k - 101k$87k$87,136
Bensalem, PA
Salary Range71k - 104k$87k$86,669
$60k
$127k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Senior Computer Programmer
Senior Computer Programmer
New York City Board of Elections
New York City Board of Elections
10/31/2019
10/31/2019
$66,70210/31/2019
$66,702
Senior Computer Programmer
Senior Computer Programmer
Board of Elections In The City of New York
Board of Elections In The City of New York
08/05/2019
08/05/2019
$64,75908/05/2019
$64,759
Senior Computer Programmer
Senior Computer Programmer
EBS Minds It Inc.
EBS Minds It Inc.
07/19/2019
07/19/2019
$82,03507/19/2019
$82,035
Senior Computer Programmer
Senior Computer Programmer
EBS Minds It Inc.
EBS Minds It Inc.
07/18/2019
07/18/2019
$82,03507/18/2019
$82,035
Senior Computer Programmer
Senior Computer Programmer
V-Soft Consulting Group, Inc.
V-Soft Consulting Group, Inc.
07/15/2019
07/15/2019
$96,00007/15/2019
$96,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior Computer Programmer Demographics

Gender

male

72.0 %

female

24.4 %

unknown

3.6 %

Ethnicity

White

69.6 %

Asian

16.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Tagalog

50.0 %

Spanish

50.0 %
See More Demographics

Senior Computer Programmer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

51.4 %

Masters

20.0 %

Associate

12.9 %

Top Colleges for Senior Computer Programmers

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 • Public

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
See More Education Info
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Top Skills For a Senior Computer 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, 11.8% of senior computer programmers listed c++ on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and troubleshooting skills are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Computer Programmer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior computer programmer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and California. Senior computer programmers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $129,757. Whereas in Oregon and Colorado, they would average $100,177 and $99,491, respectively. While senior computer programmers would only make an average of $98,263 in California, 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. Alaska

Total Senior Computer Programmer Jobs:
17
Highest 10% Earn:
$119,000
Location Quotient:
2.32
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. District of Columbia

Total Senior Computer Programmer Jobs:
49
Highest 10% Earn:
$147,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
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. North Carolina

Total Senior Computer Programmer Jobs:
163
Highest 10% Earn:
$122,000
Location Quotient:
1.25
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 Senior Computer Programmer Employers

1. Persistent Systems
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$85,006
Senior Computer Programmers Hired: 
149+
2. Mastech Digital
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$97,971
Senior Computer Programmers Hired: 
105+
3. Tekmark Global Solutions
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$90,076
Senior Computer Programmers Hired: 
37+
4. United Solutions
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$76,937
Senior Computer Programmers Hired: 
13+
5. Client Network Services
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$95,684
Senior Computer Programmers Hired: 
9+
6. Electronic Data Systems
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$97,704
Senior Computer Programmers Hired: 
8+
Updated October 2, 2020