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Summary Report for:
15-1131.00 - Computer Programmers

Create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals. May assist software developers by analyzing user needs and designing software solutions. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.

Sample of reported job titles: Analyst Programmer, Applications Developer, Computer Programmer, Computer Programmer Analyst, Internet Programmer, Java Developer, Programmer, Programmer Analyst, Software Developer, Web Programmer

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Consult with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Consult with and assist computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Investigate whether networks, workstations, the central processing unit of the system, or peripheral equipment are responding to a program's instructions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assign, coordinate, and review work and activities of programming personnel. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write or contribute to instructions or manuals to guide end users. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Computer servers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mainframe computers — Mainframe operating systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Serial port cards See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — SAS software; Simulation program with integrated circuit emphasis SPICE; The MathWorks MATLAB See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Application server software — JBoss Application Server; Oracle WebLogic See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Business Intelligence See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Compiler and decompiler software — Command interpreters; Just-in-time compiler; Stage compiler; Threaded code compiler (see all 14 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Configuration management software — IBM Rational ClearCase; Revision control software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Content workflow software — Emerald Software Group Emerald Green Office; Workflow software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server; MySQL software; Oracle procedural language/structured query language PL/SQL; Pick software (see all 12 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base reporting software — ReCrystallize Crystal Reports See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — dBASE Plus; IEA Software Emerald; Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — C; Microsoft Visual Basic; Tier generator software; Xerces2 Java Parser (see all 52 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Virage VS Archive See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML; IBM WebSphere; Progress Sonic ESB; SAP NetWeaver BW (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — ERP software; Oracle PeopleSoft See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise system management software — Microsoft Systems Management Server See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphical user interface development software — Basis BBx VisualPRO/5; Graphical user interface GUI development software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network conferencing software — Microsoft Sharepoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++; Greatis Object Inspector; PowerSoft PowerBuilder; Python (see all 22 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object oriented data base management software — Microsoft Visual FoxPro See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Bourne Shell; Job control language JCL; Linux; UNIX (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Program testing software — Debugging software; Low-level debugger software; Source code editor software; Symbolic debugger software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Unified modeling language UML See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Cold Fusion; Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player; CoffeeCup software; Microsoft FrontPage See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web platform development software — Hypertext markup language HTML; JavaScript; Microsoft Silverlight; Progress WebSpeed Workshop (see all 17 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

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

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 89% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 86% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 92% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 65% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 60% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 47% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 49% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 38% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 51% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 38% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 32% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 49% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 30% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience 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.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
78   Bachelor's degree
11   Post-secondary certificate Help
6   High school diploma or equivalent Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Computer Science — Computer and Information Sciences, General; Computer Graphics; Computer Programming, Specific Applications; Computer Programming/Programmer, General; Management Information Systems, General; Medical Office Computer Specialist/Assistant

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IC

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $37.28 hourly, $77,550 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 344,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 118,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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