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Coding Salary: How Much Do Computer Coders Make?

Coders are responsible for building software or applications. As technology continues to become an important business tool across industries, skilled coders are considered vital to a company’s success. According to data from Glassdoor, top companies seeking to hire software developers include Amazon, IBM, and Google. They offer a high coding salary, too. 

Now, you must be wondering, “How much do coders make?” The answer varies depending on experience, location, and other factors. To give you a clearer picture, this article takes a look at what coders do and how they fare in the job market. More specifically, we aim to see how much coding actually pays and whether a coding salary is worth the career investment. 

Why Is Coding Important?

A group of programmers sitting at a desk working on lines of code on a computer.
Coding is essential for the creation and advancement of technology.

Coding is important because it is how we interact with digital machines. Coders use different types of programming languages to write instructions in a way that computers can understand. In simpler terms, coders lay out the step-by-step directions that make computers perform specific tasks.

Programming skills not only prepare you for a lucrative career in the tech industry but also empower you with problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. This is why coding is important for the future. Learning to code can help you prepare for the modern workforce as you simultaneously develop soft skills instrumental to career success.

As a coder, you can develop all kinds of applications. You can create business solutions, game applications, or even tools for your local community. You can also work as a freelancer and build personal websites. The best part is that you don’t need a degree to get a tech job that involves coding. All you need is a good grasp of programming languages. 

Top Programming Languages by Salary

 Programming languages with the highest salary potential include Java, Python, and C++. These are some of the most powerful and versatile languages, with numerous use cases in the tech industry. Such skills can help you explore areas like software development, data science, artificial intelligence, and more. 

As you may have already guessed, actual salaries for coding languages vary depending on a wide range of factors, such as your job title, location, and company. Below, we discuss top programming languages by salary using data from PayScale. We also offer key insights into some of the most widely used coding languages today. 

  1. Python. Python is a high-functioning programming language that can be used in web development, data analysis, and more. A lot of developers agree that Python does not take very long to learn due to its English-like syntax. The average Python coding salary is around $94,000 a year.
  2. C++. C++ is an object oriented language capable of high-processing tasks. As a superset of C, C++ forms the base of many popular applications like Adobe, Microsoft Office, Amazon, and Mozilla. The average C++ programmer salary varies, but in general, C++ skills are worth about $92,000 on the job market.
  3.  JavaScript. JavaScript is the most popular programming language, according to Stack Overflow. It is commonly used alongside HTML and CSS to build dynamic and responsive web applications. This beginner-friendly language is also used in backend development. The average JavaScript programming salary is $87,000 a year.
  4.  SQL. SQL, or Structured Query Language, is mainly used to communicate with databases. Companies like Adobe, Facebook, and LinkedIn use SQL to store and retrieve data from their users effectively. SQL is especially useful for those considering careers in data science. The average salary for SQL skills is $82,000.
  5. Java. Java is a favorite for mobile app and video game development, especially for the Android operating systems. Java enables the use of English-based commands to create apps for a single device or an entire network. The average Java coder’s salary is $80,744 a year.
  6. HTML. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is one of the three major building blocks of web applications. There is debate about whether HTML is a programming language, but it proves to be of high importance, especially in web development. As such, HTML skills can open up a potentially lucrative career path. The average annual salary for an HTML coder is $68,000 a year.

How Much Do Coders Make? Highest-Paying Coding Jobs

 To see how much coders make, we will look at some of the best tech career paths you can pursue, along with the salary you can expect. To set realistic expectations, we also discuss the average coder’s salary in an entry-level position. The table below will help you identify some of the highest-paying coding jobs, as well as the programming skills you need to explore these roles. 

Coding Job Average Salary Average Entry-Level Salary Programming Languages Used
Data scientist $97,645 $85,658 Python, R, SQL
Software engineer $89,243 $78,236 JavaScript, Java, C++
Information security analyst $74,587 $61,437 C, Java, PHP
Database administrator $74,570 $59,745 SQL, PHP, Python
Computer systems analyst $73,224 $60,279 Python, SQL, C
Digital marketing manager $69,982 $49,872 HTML, Python, SQL
Computer programmer $66,681 $60,196 C++, C#, Java
Video game programmer $62,955 $58,175 Java, C++, Swift
Web developer $61,059 $51,581 JavaScript, HTML, CSS

Data Scientist

  • Average Salary: $97,645
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 36%
  • Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, Delaware

Data scientists collect data from different sources and analyze it to gather insights that could be useful for an organization. These can help companies formulate strategies on how to boost sales, improve operations, and more. The most popular language in data science is Python as it supports libraries that data scientists use, such as TensorFlow and Keras.

The field is expected to grow by 36 percent over the next decade. The average annual salary of a data scientist is $97,645. This is just an example of how much coding jobs can pay, especially if you have the right skillset.

 Software Engineer

  • Average Salary: $89,243
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 25%
  • Highest-Paying States: California, Washington, Maryland

 Software engineers are professionals who make software and applications that run on PCs, laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, and other devices. They typically work with a coding language that is compatible with the intended platform. For example, Java would be the choice for Android applications and Swift for iOS devices.

Software development roles are expected to see an increase of 25 percent between 2021 to 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary across all software-related jobs is $109,020. 

Information Security Analyst

  • Average Salary: $74,587
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 35%
  • Highest-Paying States: California, New York, Maryland

Information security experts are sometimes called cyber security specialists. They protect an organization’s systems and networks from security threats. The industry research firm Cybersecurity Ventures claims the number of current openings for information security positions in the world is “enough to fill 50 NFL stadiums.”

In the next nine years, information security jobs are expected to grow by 35 percent. This is equivalent to 56,500 more jobs. BLS also predicts that information security analysts earn a median salary of $102,600 per year.

Database Administrator

  • Average Salary: $74,570
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 9%
  • Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington

Database administrators are responsible for secure database environments. Aside from creating and maintaining systems for data storage, they also ensure that users have access to relevant data. While it’s not compulsory for data administrators to know how to code, SQL knowledge is beneficial for tasks related to data management.

The BLS projects database administration to grow by nine percent between 2021 to 2031, a figure that is two percent higher than the average for all other occupations. It is estimated that database administrators earn a median salary of $101,000 a year.

Computer Systems Analyst

  • Average Salary: $73,224
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 9%
  • Highest-Paying States: California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts

Computer systems analysts generally monitor the computer systems of an organization. They propose solutions that will improve the organization’s performance, allowing for smoother operations. Systems analysts don’t necessarily have to code but they may require basic knowledge of programming languages.  

It is also one of the highest-paying computer science careers. According to BLS, computer systems analysts earn close to $100,000 a year. It also predicts that over 50,000 new positions will be created between 2021 and 2031.

Digital Marketing Manager

  • Average Salary: $69,982
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 10%
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, California

Digital marketing managers are responsible for an organization’s online presence. While not necessary, coding skills play a significant role in optimizing advertising campaigns and generating business revenue. Digital marketing managers can use social media as a tool to direct users and increase traffic to well-coded sites. 

As new trends emerge in the digital space, digital marketing managers have to adapt and come up with strategies that meet current user needs and demands. The outlook for similar roles is positive, too. The BLS forecast predicts a 10 percent growth in the field by 2031. The average salary for all roles under the marketing manager umbrella is $133,380. 

Computer Programmer

  • Average Salary: $66,681
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: -10%
  • Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, Virginia

 Computer programmer is a broad term that refers to all tech professionals who code. Depending on your area of specialization, you could be working in various fields of development, like mobile applications, web applications, or full stack development. Your toolkit may comprise top programming languages like Java, C++, Rust, Python, or C#.

According to the BLS, computer programmers earn a median salary of $93,000 a year. Although the field is expected to see a decline in job growth, close to 10,000 openings are projected each year over the next decade.  

Video Game Programmer

  • Average Salary: $62,955
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 25%
  • Highest-Paying States: California, Washington, Maryland

Video game programmers are coders who specialize in game development. They build, update, and maintain the games that people play every day. Some developers work as part of a larger team while others work on independent projects. Your projects also determine which coding language to use. Popular languages include C#, GML, and Python.

The median salary for this coding job is $62,955 per year, according to PayScale. BLS predicts a 25 percent growth over the next decade for all careers related to software development, which includes video game programming. 

Web Developer

  • Average Salary: $61,059
  • Projected Job Growth, 2021-31: 30%
  • Highest-Paying States: Virginia, Washington, Rhode Island

Web developers are in charge of text, visuals, audio, and video specifications for websites. Web developers who specialize in the front end generally use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create dynamic and responsive web applications. Meanwhile, backend developers work with languages like C#, Python, Golang, Ruby, and JavaScript. 

The number of web developers is expected to grow by 23 percent between 2021 and 2031, with approximately 45,400 new positions created. BLS also estimates that web developers earn an average of $77,030 annually. 

Coding Salary by Degree Level

 Another factor that influences how much a coder makes is their educational background. For example, a master’s degree holder would undergo more extensive training, in comparison to someone with an associate degree. As such, the former would likely earn higher pay. This section will compare coding degree salaries based on academic backgrounds.

Associate Degree in Computer Science Salary

 An associate degree generally takes around two to three years to complete. It exposes students to the fundamentals of programming and computer science concepts. You should gain enough skills to explore entry-level roles in web and software development. According to PayScale, the potential salary for an Associate Degree in Computer Science is $65,000.

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Salary

A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science (CS) is a four-year program that covers foundations before moving into an area of specialization. A bachelor’s degree can prepare you to become a software engineer or developer. There is no doubt that this computer science (CS) degree salary is higher than an associate degree salary. PayScale reports that the potential salary for a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science is $89,000.

Master’s Degree in Computer Science Salary

This is an advanced coding degree that can propel you toward leadership positions. Because your training revolves strictly around your area of specialization, you can expect to gain more in-depth and practical knowledge. With a Master’s in Computer Science, you can explore a role like senior software engineer or data scientist. According to PayScale, the potential salary for a Master’s in Computer Science is $109,000.

How to Become a Coder Without a Degree

As more and more employers move toward skills-based hiring, there are several ways to become a coder without a degree. Learning how to code can be hard so you will have to be committed, consistent, and patient. To give you a more concrete idea, here’s a list of things you can do to master coding and potentially get a coding job without a degree.

Step 1. Choose the Right Coding Language

Before you start learning, it is best to determine an area of tech that you would like to explore. Consider your interests in life, career goals, skill level, and academic background before making a decision. Once you’ve found an area that excites you, find out which is the best language to learn that can help you meet your objectives. Note that all programming languages are useful to a certain extent, but some may suit your intended purpose better.

Step 2. Join a Coding Bootcamp

It is highly possible to become a coder without a degree, especially with the availability of learning resources today. Coding bootcamps, for example, are a great alternative to a conventional degree. They offer intensive, short-term programs that are designed to equip you with the technical skills needed for a specific line of work. The curriculum is generally industry-aligned, which means you’ll be exposed to in-demand tools and technologies.

Step 3. Sign Up for Online Courses, Classes, and Tutorials

There are a lot of online coding courses available, suitable for coders from all walks of life. Some beginner courses are more in-depth than others, introducing learners to the basics of computer science before delving into advanced programming. Meanwhile, some courses focus on one programming language. If you are looking for a convenient way to ease into learning, free online classes and tutorials are a great starting point.  

Step 4. Practice and Build a Portfolio

One way for you to perfect your craft is by putting in the work. Find a project that you’re passionate about and start working on it in your free time. Put theory into practice and keep track of your own progress. If you are unclear about certain things, look to the developer’s community for answers and support. When you feel more confident, you can start building more complex projects, which can be added to your professional portfolio.

Step 5. Hone Your Creativity

There’s a misconception that coding is all about the 1s and 0s, leaving no room for creativity. But creativity is an essential skill for coders. This is because coding involves a lot of problem-solving that usually requires thinking outside the box. Take this opportunity to further develop your creativity through coding projects, exercises, quizzes, and games. 

How Much Do Coding Bootcamp Graduates Make?

 Coding bootcamp graduates make between $60,000 to upwards of $100,000 depending on the program, location, school, and employer. To find out more about your potential salary after coding bootcamp, let’s look at five popular coding bootcamps that have published their job outcomes reports. Note that actual coding bootcamp starting salaries may be influenced by other factors not addressed in this article.

  •  App Academy. According to App Academy’s 2020 Outcomes Report, graduates of its San Francisco Campus Software Engineering Program saw an average first-year compensation of $104,037. 
  • Hack Reactor. Based on HackReactor’s GRAD Report from 2021, 95.5 percent of graduates reported an average compensation rate of $95,000.
  • Springboard. Springboard’s software engineering students who received a full-time offer reported an average entry-level coding salary of $75,237. 
  • Flatiron School. According to 1,666 Flatiron School graduates who received a full-time job offer and shared information about their compensation, the average starting salary is $70,694. 
  • Thinkful. Among those who studied at Thinkful between July and December of 2021, the school’s full-time software engineering graduates reportedly went on to earn a median salary of $66,071.

Conclusion: Do Coders Make Good Money?

A pair of glasses in front of a blurry computer screen
Computer programmers use coding languages like Java, C, and Python to build dynamic and responsive applications.

Yes, coders make good money. Coders are well compensated because their skillsets are highly valued by modern employers. Companies need good computer programmers to help develop cutting-edge business solutions, improve customer satisfaction, drive business engagement, and expand brand recognition. 

To earn more money as a computer programmer, it is a good idea to match your skills to market demand. Keep an eye out for jobs on the rise and acquire the skills needed for those roles through a four-year degree, coding bootcamps, or self-study. If you already know how to code in one programming language, explore other projects outside of your comfort zone to further refine your expertise.

Now that you know how much coders make and the general outlook of popular programming jobs, it’s time to use the resources we have suggested to learn an in-demand programming language and kickstart your journey toward a career in coding.

FAQ: How Much Do Coders Make?

Is coding a hard job?

Coding is a hard job if you are a complete beginner to programming. However, as you practice and gain confidence in your own skills, coding will prove to be a rewarding job. There are a lot of resources available that can help you work through any challenge you may face in the development stage. You can refer to online tutorials or look for support from the developer community. A coding job is not hard if you have the right tools at your disposal.

What are the easiest coding jobs?

Some of the easiest coding jobs include web development and web design. These coding jobs are ideal for beginners as they don’t require advanced coding skills. With a good grasp of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can easily build robust and dynamic websites. 

How can I make money coding from home?

You can make money coding from home by exploring a variety of freelancing opportunities. As a freelance coder, you can make money by taking on website-building or other independent projects for multiple clients. According to Glassdoor, the average freelance coder’s salary in the US is $81,808 per year. 

Which programming language should I learn first?

The programming language you should learn first depends on your interest, skill level, experience, and career goals. If you are new to coding, you might want to start with HTML and CSS, which are the basic building blocks of a website. Two of the easiest programming languages to learn first are JavaScript and Python, which have English-like syntax. 

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