A senior programmer is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of software programs and applications that align with the business requirements. He/She or she leads a team of junior programmers in encoding, testing, and debugging an organization's software programs and applications.

They are also responsible for holding client meetings, implementing new projects, proposing business solutions, and generally providing technical support to all personnel in an organization.

Senior programmers work closely with other programmers, analysts, IT staff, finance staff, and managers to understand system needs and develop solutions within set timelines and budgets. A successful senior programmer should have extensive knowledge and experience in programming, leadership skills, communication skills, analytical skills, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills.

Senior programmers typically work 40 hours a week Monday to Friday from 9 to 5. They may work remotely sometimes or work off-site when they have client meetings.

What Does a Senior Programmer Do

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

Learn more about what a Senior Programmer does

How To Become a Senior Programmer

If you're interested in becoming a senior programmer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.5% of senior programmers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.9% of senior programmers have master's degrees. Even though most senior 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 Senior Programmer

Senior Programmer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Senior Programmer

Senior Programmers in America make an average salary of $105,509 per year or $51 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $141,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $78,000 per year.
Average Senior Programmer Salary
$105,509 Yearly
$50.73 hourly
$78,000
10 %
$105,000
Median
$141,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Senior Programmer Education

Senior Programmer Majors

Senior Programmer Degrees

Bachelors

69.5 %

Masters

16.9 %

Associate

9.2 %

Top Colleges for Senior 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 • Private

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

Top Skills For a Senior 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, 12.6% of senior programmers listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as concentration and troubleshooting skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Programmer Resume templates

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

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Senior Programmer Demographics

Senior Programmer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
81%
Female
Female
19%

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

  • Among senior programmers, 19.0% of them are women, while 81.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among senior programmers is White, which makes up 66.1% of all senior programmers.

  • The most common foreign language among senior programmers is Spanish at 39.0%.

Online Courses For Senior Programmer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Project Based SQL Course: Code like a SQL Programmer
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Attempt Projects and Tests on a mock database that is designed to simulate the day-to-day work of a SQL programmer...

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Using PL/SQL learn how to combine the efficiency of SQL & Procedural Language(PL) to build a powerful PL/SQL Application...

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Learn to build a practical Data Driven Windows Forms Application using C#, LINQ and SQL Server Express...

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Best States For a Senior Programmer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior programmer. The best states for people in this position are California, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia. Senior programmers make the most in California with an average salary of $115,853. Whereas in Oregon and Washington, they would average $112,944 and $111,798, respectively. While senior programmers would only make an average of $108,629 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. Oregon

Total Senior Programmer Jobs:
1,418
Highest 10% Earn:
$156,000
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

2. Washington

Total Senior Programmer Jobs:
2,667
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
1.65 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. Delaware

Total Senior Programmer Jobs:
397
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.43 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
Full List Of Best States For Senior Programmers

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Top Senior 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 senior programmers and discovered their number of senior programmer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that IBM was the best, especially with an average salary of $79,949. Accenture follows up with an average salary of $83,678, and then comes Cytel with an average of $111,063. 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 senior programmer. The employers include Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and Merck

Most Common Employers For Senior Programmer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Citi$132,454$63.6828
2PlayStation$129,710$62.3631
3Rockstar Games$123,639$59.4428
4American Express$112,333$54.0147
5Cytel$111,063$53.40149
6General Dynamics$110,339$53.0523
7Parexel International$110,279$53.02113
8Tech Data$109,112$52.46146
9Covance$106,508$51.21108
10Gilead Sciences$103,518$49.77127

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