Computer Programmer

Computer programmers create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. They work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals.

Computer Programmer

Average Hourly Earnings



Bachelor's Degree


  • Make appropriate changes and recheck programs to correct errors
  • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they produce desired information and have accurate instructions
  • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory and storing or retrieving data
  • Apply knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic to write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using work flowcharts and diagrams
  • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements
  • Consult with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes
  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software
  • Compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program

Work Environment

Computer programmers almost always work indoors in comfortable air temperatures. They spend most of their days sitting. These workers frequently use email and spend part of their workdays on the telephone. Their workdays sometimes include face-to-face discussions. Accuracy is very important in this work, as is being able to quickly repeat the same tasks.

Key Traits

Conventional. They often follow set procedures and routines and may work with data and details more than with ideas. Usually have a clear line of authority to follow. Due to the fast-changing nature of technology, programmers should be dedicated to lifelong learning in order to stay current.

Valuable Certifications

  • SQL (Programming Language)
  • JavaScript (Programming Language)
  • .NET Framework
  • C Sharp (Programming Language)
  • Agile Software Development
  • SAS (Software)
  • Debugging
  • C++ (Programming Language)
  • Web Services