Salary

Computer Programmer Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Computer programmers make around $65,142 to $101,567 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a computer programmer’s salary in the US ranges between $65,142 and $101,567, with an average salary of $75,501. As of June 2022, the base salaries for computer programmers are listed as follows:

PayscaleZipRecruiterIndeedSalary.comGlassdoor
$65,960$65,142$76,363$68,474$101,567

Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Computer Programmer? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

Your salary as a computer programmer will be impacted by your experience, the company you work for, the location of your job, and your education. Here’s a closer look at how each of these factors can affect your pay.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a computer programmer, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your computer programmer salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$45,893
Early career (1 to 4 years)$57,714
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$74,184
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$91,748
Late career (20+ years)$115,296
Location

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a computer programmer. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average computer programmer salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$99,010
Washington DC, DC$82,938
Chicago, IL$81,848
Houston, TX$81,817
Boston, MA$80,893
Milwaukee, WI$66,123
Tampa Bay, FL$63,668
Omaha, NE$63,470
Oklahoma City, OK$62,878
Detroit, MI$60,431

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a computer programmer’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Software Developer$86,523
Web Developer$75,073
Application Developer$93,371
Systems Analyst$82,901
Database Administrator$86,833
Network Engineer$90,926
Information Systems Manager$90,937
Computer Systems Analyst$72,176

How to increase your computer programmer salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a computer programmer, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Coding: Write code in one or more programming languages to create software applications
  • Debugging: Find and fix errors in code so that programs run correctly
  • Systems Analysis: Understand user needs and design software to meet those needs
  • Algorithm Design: Develop step-by-step solutions to problems that can be executed by a computer
  • Project Management: Plan and oversee the development of software projects from start to finish
2. Negotiate your job offer

When you’re offered a job, be sure to negotiate your salary. It’s common for employers to offer less than they’re willing to pay, so don’t be afraid to ask for more. If you have the skills and experience they’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get the salary you want.

3. Maintain a consistent performance

Computer programmers who maintain a consistent level of performance are more likely to receive salary increases than those who do not. If you can show that you are consistently meeting or exceeding expectations, you will be in a better position to negotiate for a higher salary.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey, https://www.bls.gov/ncs/.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151251.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Computer Programmer Salary, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Computer_Programmer/Salary.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Computer Programmer Annual Salary, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Computer-Programmer-Salary.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder, https://www.indeed.com/career/salaries.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

6. Salary.com. “Computer Programmer Salary, https://www.salary.com/research/salary/listing/computer-programmer-salary.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Computer Programmer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/computer-programmer-salary-SRCH_KO0,19.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

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