The term “computer programmer” is rather broad. These days, what’s a “computer”? The phone in your pocket owns that term just as much as the laptop on your desk; does that mean “mobile developer” is synonymous with “computer programmer”? With the advent of easy-to-use programming tools, virtually anyone within a typical organization can bang together a crude app—does that make them “computer programmers”?
Even if the term is somewhat nebulous, a computer programmer salary is not. Indeed, programmers with the right collection of skills can make quite a bit, especially in major tech hubs such as San Francisco and New York City:
In San Francisco and New York, for example, computer programmers with 15 years of experience can earn six figures a year; while the pay for tech pros with similar levels of experience is less in cities such as Houston and Salt Lake City, a cheaper cost of living in those towns means even a reduced computer programmer salary can go just as far.
As we mentioned earlier, “computer programmer” is a term that encompasses a dizzying array of sub-disciplines, programming languages, platforms, markets, and so on. Specializing in certain, broadly applicable skills can increase that “base” salary by quite a bit; for example, the Dice Salary Calculator suggests that those programmers who add Agile to their list of skills can boost their pay by at least 6 percent.