Computer Programmer

Occupation Information table
Overview: Computer programmers write the detailed instructions (programs and software) that list in a logical order the steps the computer must follow to organize data to solve a problem. Determines how to capture and enter information needed and summarize computer results in reports & displays.
Duties: They survey decision makers in an organization to identify their needs for computer services and the kind of programs that can improve their decision making.

Determine what kind of information and data are needed to produce the computer results expected by the organization's decision makers.

Decide how to analyze and process the information and summarize the results in printed reports or graphic displays needed by decision makers.

Determine what programming language to use to write programs to satisfy the organization's needs. Flow charts the program operations to be performed and then writes the program code.

Degree(s): A.A.S. Computer Engineering Technology 
A.A.S. Computer Information Systems 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to decline by 2% or more from 2018 to 2028. For comparison, the average growth rate for all occupations over the same time period is projected to be 5% to 8%.
Starting Salary: The average starting salary for programmers with a bachelor's degree is about $50,000 per year, and $32,500 with an associate's degree. According to Robert Half International, a firm providing specialized staffing services, average annual starting salaries range from $52,500 to $83,250 for applications development programmers/analysts, and from $55,000 to $88,250 for software developers. Average starting salaries for mainframe systems programmers ranged from $50,250 to $67,500 in 2005.With experience and advancement, programmers can earn over $65,000 per year. Senior managers can earn over $85,000 per year.
Salary Range (National Average): $45,000 to $50,000
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires an Associate Degree from a 2 year or community college.
Additional Training/Education: Many programmers obtain a 2-year associate degree from a college for an entry position. However, the majority of programmers hold a 4-year bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems. The trend has been toward the requirement of a bachelor's degree.
Advancement Info: For skilled workers who keep up to date with the latest technology, the prospects for advancement are good. In large organizations, programmers may be promoted to lead programmer and be given supervisory responsibilities. Some applications programmers may move into systems programming after they gain experience and take courses in systems software. With general business experience, programmers may become programmer-analysts or systems analysts or be promoted to managerial positions. Other programmers, with specialized knowledge and experience with a language or operating system, may work in research and development for multimedia or Internet technology and may even become computer software engineers. As employers increasingly contract with outside firms to do programming jobs, more opportunities should arise for experienced programmers with expertise in a specific area to work as consultants.
Recommended Skills:
  • Analyzing requirements for a new product or service and creating a design to satisfy those needs.
  • Writing computer programs to perform specific information handling operations.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Analyzing the symptoms of a problem and deciding what actions should be taken to resolve the problem.
Recommended Values:
  • Create new ideas, programs, things, or anything else not previously developed by another person.
  • Having a routine job where the duties are very predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.