What does a programmer analyst do?

Programmer analysts, or systems analysts, build and maintain software programs in an efficient and scalable manner. Your job is to collaborate with other professionals, including upper management executives and software developers/IT engineers, to pinpoint your company's needs and anticipate future market trends. As an analyst, some tasks you'll be expected to perform on a daily basis include responding to troubleshooting requests from employees, and writing instructional materials to help employees proficiently use in-house tools and applications. 

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What is the average salary of a programmer analyst?

As a programmer analyst, you should expect to make an average $72,000 per year. The actual amount you will earn will vary based on different factors, including the state or city in which you are working, the company's size, and your level of experience. If you do not have enough hands-on experience as a programmer analyst, your education may also be factored in to salary considerations by your prospective employer. 

Additional perks 

In addition to salary, you have the opportunity to earn other monetary perks as part of your compensation package as a programmer analyst. In some positions, you will get year-end bonuses, equity stakes, stock options, medical and dental insurance, matched retirement plan contributions, and even exclusive discounts to third-party merchants. Some companies also offer signing bonuses to attract more talent to their vacant job positions.


Working as a programmer analyst

Working as a programmer analyst affords a number of benefits unique to the role. For instance, the learning curve associated with becoming a programmer analyst is trivial compared to other tech-related jobs. This is a major advantage if you do not have the time or money to sink into a four-year undergraduate degree. 

Demand for programmer analysts

Another advantage of pursuing a programmer analyst career is that companies anticipate hiring more of these professionals in the next decade. That implies more negotiation leeway for higher starting pay and employee benefits. 

What are the responsibilities of a programmer analyst?

As a programmer analyst, your responsibilities are typically a combination of what a systems analyst and a computer programmer would do. Systems analysts design and build software systems while computer programmers implement these designs and repair and maintain them when needed. Note that a programmer analyst role can encapsulate a myriad of other related careers, which means the job position often comes with a wide range of skills that can be applied to several other roles.

What type of equipment do programmer analysts use? 

As with any tech and IT-related role, a computer and an internet connection are the basic requirements for performing your work as a programmer analyst. In terms of software programs and tools you'll use, however, it depends mainly on the current project you are working on and the company for which you are working. Some companies invest in their own in-house software systems and tools, which means you'll be using said programs for uniformity and consistency in output. 

What is the work environment of a programmer analyst? 

Programmer analysts are typically employed full-time in a company office. Depending on the specific company you work for, you may be given your own office cubicle or provided desk space in an open table layout where you share desk space with coworkers. Today, however, most tech-related roles have the option to work remotely either part time or full time. It's possible to work remotely full time by requesting that setup from your employer or team manager. 

Who are your colleagues as a programmer analyst? 

Your work as a programmer analyst requires collaboration with other team members, especially if you are employed by a large company. As a programmer analyst, you will find yourself working with other roles such as: 

  • Full-stack engineers
  • UX and UI designers
  • Systems analysts
  • Cybersecurity experts 

As a team, you will work to design, build, and deploy software products and updates. You'll also be talking with professionals handling the business side of the company, including product and marketing managers, to make sure your work on the technical side satisfies the requirements of the enterprise side. 

What is the work schedule of a programmer analyst? 

Similar to other tech-related roles, such as software engineers and IT experts, the work schedule of a programmer analyst is typically very flexible. As long as you attend scheduled meetings and produce the work, you will have the opportunity to set your own work hours and divide them as you see fit. That said, if you are working with a fully remote team where there are time zone differences, you might also find yourself logging in for virtual conference calls at odd hours of the day.


What is the career outlook for a programmer analyst?

According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of programmer analysts is expected to grow by as much as 7% between 2020 to 2030, which is about 47,500 openings by the end of 2030. The projection is expected to result from the need to replenish the workforce after professionals switch to a different profession or retire from the workforce altogether. Keep in mind that while the programmer analyst outlook is only at 7%, demand for computer programmers is expected to increase by a whopping 22%. Since the skill set and expertise needed for a computer programmer role overlaps with that of a programmer analyst, you may be able to benefit from this job demand growth. 

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a programmer analyst? 

When you choose to work with Spherion, you'll enjoy advantages not available anywhere else. Do you want a job that offers the flexibility to work from home and spend more time with your family? Maybe you have a medical condition that prevents you from working in a standard office job. Spherion helps you find positions that use your skills and offer the flexibility you need. You have the chance to sign up for training opportunities to go beyond what you learned in school, plus a contact person who is always ready to answer any concerns or questions you have. 

Working for Spherion as a programmer analyst entails many advantages that you may not find in other companies. Here are some of them: 

  • Get flexible work hours and the ability to work from home
  • Receive paychecks faster with a weekly payment schedule
  • Get technical support from a company representative to help you resolve any issues or concerns in a timely manner
  • Get access to a myriad of training opportunities to help fast track your career
  • Find a wide range of jobs in your local area

What education do you need as a programmer analyst?

The education and training requirements to become a programmer analyst widely vary. You have the opportunity to choose to pursue a self-taught route, which includes online video courses and textbooks. You also have the opportunity to complete a traditional four-year undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field, such as information systems or computer engineering. If you have the time and money, you can also consider pursuing a master's degree to boost your marketability as a programmer analyst. Lastly, there is an abundance of training courses and materials that you have the opportunity to add to your resume to boost your career opportunities. These include the following: 

  • Microsoft Technology Associate
  • Microsoft Azure 
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop
  • Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS) courses
  • Red Hat

Skills & competencies

To become an effective programmer analyst, you must have certain skills and competencies to complement your training and educational background. The ability to multitask is one of the key strengths of a good programmer analyst because you might find yourself assigned to multiple projects simultaneously. You also need to have a proactive approach to modify and secure software systems. The ability to write clearly and coherently will also be invaluable as you publish support documentation that will be used by coworkers, customers, and company stakeholders. 

Other qualifications to work on 

As the job market for programmer analysts gets more saturated, you'll want to arm yourself with more experience, skills, and certifications to stay gainfully employed. Good oral communication skills can be a great asset, especially if you are looking to get promoted to a managerial role later on. Since programmer analyst roles come with a great amount of flexibility, self-motivation and discipline are good personal values to develop. 



Programmer analysts design, test, and maintain software systems to meet certain business requirements. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming a programmer analyst below.

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