There are currently an estimated 294,900 computer programmers in the United States. The computer programmer job market is expected to shrink by -7.2% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are computer programmers?

CareerExplorer rates computer programmers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will lose -16,800 computer programmers. That number is based on the retirement of 4,500 existing computer programmers.

Are computer programmers in demand?

Although employment of computer programmers is expected to decline, job openings will result from the need to replace programmers who leave the labour force or transfer to other occupations. Applicants who possess a bachelor’s degree and knowledge of various programming languages and tools will have the best prospects. To remain competitive, programmers will need to keep pace with evolving technology and emerging, more sophisticated tools. An ongoing commitment to industry education, including obtaining vendor- and language- specific certifications, provides a competitive edge. Continuing emphasis on cyber security will increase the demand for programmers conversant with digital security issues and technology. There is no lack of computer programming jobs overall, but because programming can be carried out via digital transmission anywhere in the world, regardless of the home base of a business, companies are lured by the lower wages that they can pay in other countries. Computer programmers are at a significantly higher risk of having their jobs outsourced abroad than are workers in more complex information technology functions, such as software engineering. This continuing ‘off-shoring’ trend is projected to limit growth for programmers in the United States.

What’s the supply of computer programmers?

The computer programmer industry is concentrated in California, Texas, New York

Computer Programmer job market by state

State Name Employed Computer Programmers
California 34,050
Texas 20,850
New York 16,420
Illinois 12,060
New Jersey 10,930
Pennsylvania 10,710
Florida 10,670
Washington 10,500
Alabama 7,420
Georgia 6,880
North Carolina 6,820
Missouri 6,710
Wisconsin 5,450
Connecticut 5,250
Massachusetts 5,150
Minnesota 4,950
Ohio 4,720
Maryland 4,710
Arizona 4,410
Indiana 4,350
Tennessee 4,090
Utah 3,780
Michigan 3,630
South Carolina 3,510
Colorado 3,260
Oregon 3,080
Nebraska 2,580
Louisiana 2,340
Arkansas 2,040
Oklahoma 1,900
Kansas 1,710
Nevada 1,500
Iowa 1,430
New Hampshire 1,370
Puerto Rico 1,320
District of Columbia 1,200
Delaware 1,130
Kentucky 1,040
Rhode Island 1,020
Maine 880
Mississippi 780
Montana 720
West Virginia 670
North Dakota 670
South Dakota 640
Idaho 630
Alaska 600
Vermont 480
Hawaii 470
New Mexico 440
Wyoming 220