Computer Programmer Salary
Median pay for Computer Programmers in the United States is around $60K per year. Total cash compensation for Computer Programmers runs from $36K to $99K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $10K and profit sharing that can reach almost $15K. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by career length, but the particular city and the specific company are influential factors as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The vast majority of Computer Programmers (83 percent) survey respondents are men. A fair number enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just under one-half. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Computer Programmer
Computer programmers work in a wide range of industries, but generally in offices as salaried employees who code or write computer software and write, design, debug, troubleshoot, and maintain source code related to various computer programs. They also ensure that all source code is written in programming languages that can be understood by the computer so that programs can then be used by end-users. They may also customize computer programs which were purchased from vendors.Read More...
Computer programmers must know computer algorithms and application domains, and they may be required to work with vendors to test and approve their products. They must document the programs they write, and documentation should include charts, flowcharts, layouts, diagrams, and code comments and revision dates.
A bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology (IT), or a related field and prior work experience are generally required for this position, and some employers may prefer those who have a master's degree and research experience. Computer programmers must have thorough knowledge of Java/Java EE, C, C++, C#, .NET, Java Script, and other programming languages relevant to the job, and strong written and verbal communication skills are also important. They must be able to work in a team environment and always stay up-to-date with new technologies and programming languages that become available. Some may have to travel to vendors' or clients' offices, attend relevant classes, workshops or conferences, or train and coach new computer programmers.
Computer Programmer Tasks
- Write, modify, and debug software for server applications.
- Write code to create multi-threaded, networked server applications.
- Use source debuggers, program dumps, and performance monitoring tools.
- Test and document software for server applications.
- Write, modify, and debug software for client applications.
Common Career Paths for Computer Programmer
Computer Programmers who go on to become Senior Software Engineers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Senior Software Engineers is $108K annually. It is not uncommon for a Computer Programmer to continue on to become a Software Engineer or a Programmer Analyst.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Computer Programmer
International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., TCS America, TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED, Google, Inc., and Accenture are top-notch employers for Computer Programmers in this area. Igate Global Solutions Ltd. offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $75K. Other leaders in compensation levels are International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. at $73K, Accenture at $69K, and TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED, where Computer Programmers annually earn $68K.
Google, Inc., Techmahindra Ltd and TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $62K, $65K, and $68K.
Popular Skills for Computer Programmer
Pay by Experience Level for Computer Programmer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Computer Programmers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $52K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $68K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Computer Programmers make a median salary of $79K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $88K.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Computer Programmers that is 33 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Computer Programmers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+24 percent), Seattle (+19 percent), Atlanta (+17 percent), and San Diego (+17 percent). In Columbus, salaries are 7 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 6 percent less in Houston and 1 percent less in San Jose, below-median salaries for those in this field.