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Computer Programmer

Computer Programmer

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.

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

The job outlook for computer programmers is -8%, which means they predict a decline in jobs.  This number represents the amount of decline in the number of jobs for computer programmers through 2024.

Work Environment

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


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.


The median annual wage for computer programmers was $77,550 in May 2014. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $127,640.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics