Computer Programmer Salary & Career Outlook

The IT&C industry developed with incredible alacrity in the past two decades and has now become a veritable powerhouse of the economy. Becoming a computer programmer is a very popular career choice, and has made the labor market in this sector very competitive. The computer programmer salary reached a pay of $60,445 in the United States, C$52,544 in Canada, E30,400 in the United Kingdom, AU$55,230 in Australia, NZ$63,673 in New Zealand, Rs 434,483 in India, and R171,265 in South Africa.

Computer programming is now firmly established as a top-level job, prone to yield great rewards and various career development opportunities.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make per Year by Country?

Computer Programmer Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $20.75 C$20.23 E15.00 AU$40.00 NZ$30.85* Rs 226.29* R89.20*
Annual Pay $60,445 C$52,544 E30,400 AU$55,230 NZ$63,673 Rs 434,483 R171,265

*These figures are estimated based on the other pay information given. This assumes a 40 hour work week.

Computer Programmer Salary Influencing Factors

The primary factors that influence the salary of a computer programmer are the specific company and targeted industry, the location of the company and the employee’s experience.

1. Location

The salary of a computer programmer varies per the company’s location. Finding a well-paid IT job in the Silicon Valley, or in Palo Alto’s “Programmer Heaven” will probably be easier than trying to land a top-notch IT job in Bismarck, North Dakota.

As such, you will find a good computer programmer salary level, and more IT jobs, in states which have large urban and industrial centers, such as California, New York, Ohio, and Illinois. It might be a little more difficult to land top-paying It jobs in less populated states like Wyoming and Montana, though these states also have their fair share of computer programmer jobs. The best computer programmer salary is in the District of Columbia, standing at $83,000 a year, while Hawaii has the lowest computer programmer salary, at $41,000 a year.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in the US?

The annual computer programmer salary in the United States ranges between $39,725 and $96,181. In addition, they have the opportunity of a bonus between $14.79 and $10,147. Their hourly rate goes between $12.88 and $47.82. Even more, they can get a $0.81 tip per hour and overtime pay between $15.46 to $52.29.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in Canada?

The computer programmer salary per year in Canada is between C$37,531 to C$77,995, with a bonus of C$96.35 to C$10,406. Their hourly rate is C$14.69 to C$48.18. Additionally, they have the possibility of a bonus between C$1.01 to C$54.63.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, a computer programmer makes between E19,750 and E54,928, with a bonus up to E5,087. Their pay per hour ranges from E6.54 to E39.73, and overtime pay of E12.45.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in Australia?

The computer programmer salary in Australia ranges between AU$37,313 to AU$85,140 per year. They also have a possibility of an AU$2,000 bonus. Their hourly rate goes between AU$24.83 to AU$78.30, and a bonus of AU$2,000.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, the median computer programmer salary is NZ$63,673, which translates to NZ$32.85 per hour.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in India?

The computer programmer salary in India is between Rs 123,267 and Rs 1,183,591 per year. In addition, they have the opportunity of a bonus up to Rs 101,014. That means their hourly pay ranges between Rs 64.20 to Rs 616.45.

How Much Does a Computer Programmer Make in South Africa?

A computer programmer in South Africa makes between R71,517 to R503,371 and a bonus between R2,959 and R25,826. Their hourly rate goes from R37.24 to R.262.17.

2. Experience

Another important factor determining computer programming salary is previous experience, which, as in any industry, matters a great deal when looking for well-paid jobs. By comparison to the national median, salaries usually rise by 11% when moving to a mid-level position, and by 35% when moving to a management or decision-making position. However, these numbers are relative, and what really matters is the internal policy of each company.

3. Industry

The computer programmer salary varies greatly from company to company. Large corporations, like Microsoft and Google, can pay as much as $80,000 a year (or more), due to the highly complex projects they usually do. If you can’t land a job at Google, don’t panic just yet. Many smaller IT companies also have very good salaries when compared to the average salaries from other economic sectors.

Smaller companies can pay somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 a year, depending on the clients they work with and on the market value of the project. NexGen Technologies, for instance, is not amongst the US IT giants but still offers $50,000 per year and above for skilled programmers.

In the IT industry, who your company works for is really important. For instance, if your company develops online banking apps or banking management software, the rewards will likely be very high. The same goes for companies developing newer and better CRM software, which is very popular amongst major corporations. Therefore, your field can influence it as well. For example, the numbers will diffe for a Python programmer.

Schedule & Working Hours

A computer programmer works a regular 9 to 5 job, with variations depending on specific company policy. However, working longer hours is not unusual, especially when trying to finish major projects within a deadline. Depending on the specifics of each job, extra hours can be rare or very common. Night shifts are not common but might become required when dealing with overseas companies on a regular basis. In addition, weekend hours could also happen when dealing with high-priority projects or requests.

Bonuses & Benefits

Many companies also offer flexible hours, where employees can choose when to work, as long as they respect contractual obligations and the minimum required hours. Importantly, the programming can often be done from home, and not a few computer programmers work from home or even while traveling.

The pay is not the only benefit of a computer programmer. In fact, the flexibility is probably the biggest advantage. You can opt to be a freelancer and, thus, don’t need to rent office space or work for a bigger company. As long as you have a computer and internet access, you should be able to do your job.

Computer Programmer Salary by State

To get a complete picture regarding the average computer programmer salary, we have prepared the following table for you:

State Annual Mean Wage
Alabama $67,000
Alaska $49,000
Arizona $55,000
Arkansas $68,000
California $71,000
Colorado $59,000
Connecticut $77,000
Delaware $58,000
District of Columbia $83,000
Florida $62,000
Georgia $76,000
Hawaii $41,000
Idaho $44,000
Illinois $75,000
Indiana $64,000
Iowa $65,000
Kansas $61,000
Kentucky $57,000
Louisiana $59,000
Maine $59,000
Maryland $68,000
Massachusetts $80,000
Michigan $67,000
Minnesota $58,000
Mississippi $70,000
Missouri $65,000
Montana $55,000
Nebraska $49,000
Nevada $51,000
New Hampshire $66,000
New Jersey $72,000
New Mexico $58,000
New York $80,000
North Carolina $63,000
North Dakota $59,000
Ohio $64,000
Oklahoma $61,000
Oregon $64,000
Pennsylvania $64,000
Puerto Rico $64,000
Rhode Island $61,000
South Carolina $66,000
South Dakota $50,000
Tennessee $62,000
Texas $64,000
Utah $52,000
Vermont $59,000
Virginia $67,000
Washington $69,000
West Virginia $63,000
Wisconsin $59,000
Wyoming $55,000
US Average $62,596
Average Hourly Wage $30

Career Outlook

The IT&C industry has been on the rise since its inception, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Given our continuously growing dependency on technology, it is very unlikely that the demand for computer programmers could ever diminish. However, the very large number of people learning various programming languages has made the environment very competitive. Consequently, in areas with a favorable demographic, the computer programmer salary has decreased by 8% in the past years.

Notwithstanding, IT&C jobs will continue to pay very well for the foreseeable future, due to the ever-growing need for more and more software to assist us with all aspects of our lives.


In conclusion, by opting for a career in IT&C, you have a good chance of getting a well-paid job while also benefiting from good career prospects. The computer programmer salary is considerably higher than the US average wage, and will consequently increase your purchase power. Becoming a computer programmer is not easy, and requires years of training, ideally from a young age. Once you get there, however, the rewards will be more than worth it.

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