One reason many people choose a career in computer science is the high earning potential. Computer programmers make great money, but as with many industries, salaries depend on education and experience.
Even entry-level positions for web developers can be $50,000 per year, which is competitive compared to other industries. But, add on a few years of experience, and that figure can rise dramatically.
Many coders choose to become freelancers, which is a great way to gain experience before stepping into a full-time computer programmer job. The average freelance web developer charges about $60 per hour, but that figure can vary depending on experience and credentials.
How Much Do Computer Programmers Make?
Coding bootcamp graduates are qualified for many job titles, depending on their area of focus. Many of our former students land themselves in high-paying jobs after getting some hands-on experience in the field.
Here are average 2020 salaries for several IT careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- Web developers: $77,200
- Computer programmers: $89,190
- Software developers: $110,140
- Cybersecurity/Information security analyst: $103,590
Starting salaries for coders are lower overall. Beginner coders typically make between $50,000 and $60,000 per year, depending on location. But the important thing to remember is that with a bootcamp education, you can be working in the industry in a matter of months after your first class.
What Factors Impact the Salary Potential for Coders?
The main factors that influence salary potential are education, experience, and cost of living.
There are a few common routes to becoming a coder:
- Learning on your own
- Earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree
- Taking an immersive coding bootcamp
While it’s not for everyone, learning to code on your own is a viable way to become a programmer. It requires consistency and self-motivation, so you can expect to spend hours learning and practicing on your own.
There are usually two approaches to self-learning: Either quitting your job and devoting every waking hour to writing code, or the piecemeal method of reading books and taking online tutorials in your spare time.
Self-taught coders don’t necessarily earn less than those who went through coding school—some of the best programmers in the industry are self-taught and earn six figures.
Formal Programmer Training
For those who benefit from structured learning, earning a degree or attending a bootcamp might be a better option. The earning potential will be higher for those who have more education, but even those who graduate with a 12-week bootcamp training have the same earning potential after gaining requisite experience.
Even if you’re brand new to coding, an immersive coding bootcamp will take you through the most commonly used programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and Java.
Education will impact computer programmer salaries, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck in a particular earning bracket. A bootcamp will help you get a job in coding as a beginner, and your potential for earning a higher salary will increase with every year of experience, meaning you don’t need a college degree to reach upwards of $100,000 per year.
Not all computer programming jobs are created equal, and specialization matters. Web developers often earn less than software developers, and data scientists earn more on average overall.
Entry-level data scientists earn an average salary of $85,000 per year, while a machine learning engineer can start out at $90,000. The national average for a software engineer’s salary hovers around $92,000.
Having a college degree or prior experience might give you a competitive advantage when it comes to a starting salary, but coding is an equalizing field: Those who put in the time, effort, and grit will be rewarded regardless of prior education.
One thing is certain: The job market for coders shows no signs of slowing, and salaries for computer programmers continue to rise year after year. Our Career Services team helps new grads find the right career, whether it’s jumping right into an entry-level web developer role or landing a career in data security.
Cost of Living
One of the biggest factors for earning potential is your location. Salaries vary across the country, with an Indiana salary likely being considerably lower than in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle, where living costs are far higher.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Indiana has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, meaning your salary will stretch much farther than it will in California or New York.
Eleven Fifty Academy graduates earn an average starting salary of $54,000 (with some up to $60,000 or more) within Indiana. And that’s just for entry-level roles—you have room to grow your career and salary.
But you don’t have to be in Indiana to learn with us. Eleven Fifty Academy offers remote learning for students. If you’re in Bloomington, Cleveland, Columbus, FortFt. Wayne, Evansville, or anywhere else in the U.S., you are eligible to enroll in one of our coding bootcamps.
Ready to Get Started?
Launch your coding career at Eleven Fifty Academy. Start by talking to one of our admissions counselors, or sign up for a free intro course today.