Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write instructions that tell computers what to do in a computer language, or code, that the computer understands. Maintenance tasks include giving computers instructions on how to allocate time to various jobs they receive from computer terminals and making sure that these assignments are performed properly. Computer programmers also write the computer programs that are used for Internet applications to perform many tasks on the Internet, such as searching for information or making purchases. There are approximately 312,340 computer programmers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Application Programmers, Systems Programmers
Duties Write instructions that tell computers what to do; test and troubleshoot computer programs and applications to ensure that they have been coded correctly
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but about 25 percent of programmers work in California, New York, and Texas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship and on-the-job experience
Personality Traits
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Digital Media
  • Math
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Systems Analyst, Computer Manager, or Software Application Developer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Lead Programmer
  • Junior Programmer

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