Career Profile: Programmer Analyst

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What is a Programmer Analyst?

Programmer analysts, or computer programmers, are tasked with creating, modifying, and testing the code, forms, and scripts that allow computer applications to run. You would report directly to software developers. They’re comparable to a film director, whereas you would be the actor in this case. Your developer would give you a schedule and the parameters, and then you would have to complete your tasks by a certain deadline. You could work for hundreds of different kinds of companies and do this job, and there are even some freelancing opportunities related to this job as telecommuting increases in popularity.


As a programmer analyst, you would be responsible for planning, designing, scheduling, and coding surrounding client applications, and software for websites. You would also be responsible for troubleshooting and debugging this software if something went awry. You would need to work with others so that you could understand the system requirements for your clients to be able to use the program you create. You would be responsible for the planning, designing, scheduling, and coding database stored procedures and complex queries to extract, calculate or manipulate information; you would also need to be able to debug this as well. You would be responsible for adhering to sometimes strict confidentiality practices related to the system, data, and security access depending on the policies of your employer. You would be responsible for keeping thorough knowledge of Java/Java EE, C, C++, C#, .NET, JavaScript, and other programming languages. You would need to make sure that you were a good communicator in writing and conversation because you would often need to consult with other programmers and your superiors throughout the different stages of completing a project. You would be responsible for keeping up to date with computer technology as it continues to be innovated. You would need to be able to work independently, and be more of a self-starter, but still be able to cooperate in a team environment. You would be responsible for taking your deadlines very seriously. You may need to customize existing programs to suit the needs of your client. You would also be responsible for understanding computer algorithms, formal logic, and application domain. There may be times in which you would have to work with vendors, and that can sometimes mean you need to travel to meet with them, in order to test their products and approve them on behalf of your client or employer. You may also have to participate in relevant classes, workshops, or conferences. There is also a training element associated with being a programmer analyst, as you may be required to coach newer employees.


The minimum annual salary for this job is $46,652, and the maximum is $91,128. The average programmer analyst makes $64,523 a year. Additional income from bonuses and profit sharing are a possibility in this position depending on where you work. Experience level or longevity in the field are the biggest factors in higher income among programmer analysts. Proficiency in Oracle and Java are also linked to better pay. Entry level positions pay 12% below the national average. A recent job satisfaction poll ran by Payscale, the source of salary information used here, reports that this career was rated 4 out of 5. There is room for advancement in this job, and most people do not spend more than twenty years in this position.


To qualify to do this job you will need a Bachelors in Computer Science.

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