An Associate's Degree in Computer Programming Pays a Salary of What?


Students who obtain an associate's degree in computer programming learn about maintaining the computer program applications that computers require to operate. The graduates of these courses must acquire skills in creating, testing, upgrading and administering the programs and functions of a computer. Colleges that teach computer science focus on basic principles of computer programming, information and database systems, software design, business software systems and information technology systems.

Average Annual Salary

Individuals who earn an associate's degree in the computer sciences can expect to earn an average annual salary of $70,000, according to the Complete Informational Guide to Associates Degree website. The average salary for computer programmers with an associate's degree in 2011 is $56,000, according to Indeed. Although many entry-level computer programming jobs may accept candidates with an associate's degree, certain companies look forward to hiring graduates with bachelor’s degrees majoring in computer science or information technology.

Median Annual Salary

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of computer programmers with an associate's degree, as of May 2008, was $69,620. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 50 percent of the computer programmers in 2008 earned between $52,640 and $89,720 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,080, and the highest 10 percent made more than $111,450. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the salaries for these positions to decline by an average of three percent from 2008 to 2018. Technological innovations, the general proliferation of programming skills among those who are not full-time programmers, and the job outsourcing are among the reasons the agency gives for the decline.

Bachelor’s vs. Associate's

Graduates holding associate's degrees in computer programming have the opportunity to start working after only two years of college. However, the entry-level salary of a programmer with an associate's degree may be lower than the salary of a student with a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the employer, an entry-level candidate with a bachelor´s degree in computer programming could earn up to $81,780 per year.

Other Salary Information

The specific type of job a computer programmer has also affects the salary he may earn. As of 2011, computer programmers who do software development have a salary range from $43,287 to $90,836 per year. Applications development programmers and analysts who create new programs or alter existing programs have a salary range of between $36,845 and $79,444. The salary of systems programmers responsible for writing programs that manage networks, databases and operating systems ranges from $58,486 to $116,350 per year.

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