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Software Developers

Software Developers
Quick Facts : Software Developers*
2010 Median Pay$90,530
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012913,100
Job Outlook30% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change270,900

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.

What Software Developers Do

  • Analyze users' needs, then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers' existing programs and systems
  • Create flowcharts and other models that instruct programmers how to write the software's code
  • Document every aspect of the application or system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Work Environment

Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers. Others work in computer and electronic product manufacturing industries. Most work full time, and nearly one-fourth worked more than 40 hours per week in 2010.
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Job Outlook

Employment of software developers is projected to grow 30 percent, applications developers 28 percent, and systems developers 32 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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The average salary of applications developers was $87,790 in May 2010.
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Software Developers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Software Developers


Computer and Information Technology Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Software Developers*
Percent Change in Employment

Software Developers


Computer and Information Technology Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Software Developers

Software developers usually have a bachelor's degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming.
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