Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Computer Programmers

What Computer Programmers 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.

Work Environment

Programmers usually work in offices, most commonly in the computer systems design and related services industry.

How to Become a Computer Programmer

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

Job Outlook

Employment of computer programmers is projected to decline 8 percent from 2014 to 2024. Computer programming can be done from anywhere in the world, so companies sometimes hire programmers in countries where wages are lower.

Growth & Trends

This occupation supported 343,700 jobs in 2012 and 328,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 4.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 8.3% in 2022 to 372,100 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 349,300, compared with an observed value of 328,600, 5.9% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to decrease by 7.7% in 2024 to 302,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 377,700 jobs for 2024, 25.0% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

Computer Programmers Employment and Labor Information 2023

Computer Programmers Employment Brief:

Create, modify, and test the code and scripts that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software and web developers or other individuals. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.

Computer Programmers Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Computer Programmers.

Computer Programmers Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Train subordinates in programming and program coding.
  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.
  • Collaborate with computer manufacturers and other users to develop new programming methods.
  • Prepare detailed workflow charts and diagrams that describe input, output, and logical operation, and convert them into a series of instructions coded in a computer language.
  • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
  • Write or contribute to instructions or manuals to guide end users.
  • Investigate whether networks, workstations, the central processing unit of the system, or peripheral equipment are responding to a program's instructions.
  • Assign, coordinate, and review work and activities of programming personnel.
  • Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Train users on the use and function of computer programs.

Typical Daily Tasks of Computer Programmers:

  • Working with Computers: Resolve computer software problems. Write computer programming code.
  • Processing Information.
  • Analyzing Data or Information.
  • Getting Information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems.
  • Thinking Creatively: Design websites or web applications. Develop computer or online applications. Develop diagrams or flow charts of system operation. Develop models of information or communications systems. Modify software programs to improve performance.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information.

Computer Programmers Skills and Requirements:

  • Management of Material Resources Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
  • Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Management of Financial Resources Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • GraphicsWorking with pictures in graphics programs or other applications, including creating simple graphics, manipulating the appearance, and inserting graphics into other programs.

Computer Programmers Education and Training:

Typical education for include: Bachelor's degree.

Computer Programmers Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Computer Programmers average pay is: $47.02 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in Scientific Research and Development Services are the highest paid making $65.87, while Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools make the least at $42.08 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Computer Programmers:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

Boulder, CO




San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA




San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA




Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA




San Diego-Carlsbad, CA



2.48 Computer Programmers data