Computer Programmers

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$97,800 Median Wage (2022)
6,700 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
-11.20% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

Detailed Work Activities

  • Test software performance.
  • Resolve computer software problems.
  • Document design or development procedures.
  • Modify software programs to improve performance.
  • Write computer programming code.
  • Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
  • Prepare instruction manuals.
  • Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
  • Develop diagrams or flow charts of system operation.
  • Develop models of information or communications systems.
  • Supervise information technology personnel.
  • Manage information technology projects or system activities.
  • Assign duties or work schedules to employees.
  • Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
  • Train others in computer interface or software use.
  • Develop computer or online applications.
  • Design websites or web applications.
  • Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
  • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
  • Consult with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
  • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct.
  • 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.
  • Compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program.
  • Consult with and assist computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs.
  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.
  • 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.
  • Train subordinates in programming and program coding.
  • Develop Web sites.
  • Train users on the use and function of computer programs.
  • Collaborate with computer manufacturers and other users to develop new programming methods.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.