Software and Applications Programmers design, develop, test, maintain and document program code in accordance with user requirements, and system and technical specifications.

    You can work as a Software or Applications Programmer without formal qualifications if you are able to demonstrate your technical competency to employers. There are also a wide range of vendor and industry certifications available that may substitute for formal qualifications and can be highly regarded by employers. However, most workers do hold a VET or university qualification.

    Tasks

    • researching, consulting, analysing and evaluating system program needs
    • identifying technology limitations and deficiencies in existing systems and associated processes, procedures and methods
    • testing, debugging, diagnosing and correcting errors and faults in an applications programming language within established testing protocols, guidelines and quality standards to ensure programs and applications perform to specification
    • writing and maintaining program code to meet system requirements, system designs and technical specifications in accordance with quality accredited standards
    • writing, updating and maintaining technical program, end user documentation and operational procedures
    • providing advice, guidance and expertise in developing proposals and strategies for software design activities such as financial evaluation and costings for recommending software purchases and upgrades

    More about Software and Applications Programmers

    All Software and Applications Programmers

    All Software and Applications Programmers

    • $2,003 Weekly Pay
    • Very strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 121,300 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 90% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 37 years Average age
    • 17% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Software and Applications Programmers (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 121,300 in 2018 to 146,800 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 80,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 16,000 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Software and Applications Programmers work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales and Victoria have a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Financial and Insurance Services; and Public Administration and Safety.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,003 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (90%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 17% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200881500
    200977800
    201074300
    201186900
    201287500
    201386900
    201481300
    201595600
    201698900
    2017105900
    2018121300
    2023146800

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsSoftware and Applications ProgrammersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings20031460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services54.2
    Financial and Insurance Services11.9
    Public Administration and Safety6.7
    Information Media and Telecommunications5.9
    Other Industries21.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateSoftware and Applications ProgrammersAll Jobs Average
    NSW38.731.6
    VIC31.125.6
    QLD13.220.0
    SA4.87.0
    WA6.210.8
    TAS0.82.0
    NT0.21.0
    ACT5.01.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSoftware and Applications ProgrammersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.3-5.05.0
    20-244.2-9.39.3
    25-3435.2-22.922.9
    35-4434.5-22.022.0
    45-5417.2-21.621.6
    55-594.9-9.09.0
    60-642.5-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.2-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationSoftware and Applications ProgrammersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate25.6-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree55.9-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma6.2-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV2.4-21.121.1
    Year 128.6-18.118.1
    Year 110.6-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.7-12.512.5

    You can work as a Software or Applications Programmer without formal qualifications if you are able to demonstrate your technical competency to employers. There are also a wide range of vendor and industry certifications available that may substitute for formal qualifications and can be highly regarded by employers. However, most workers do hold a VET or university qualification.

    Membership with information technology associations or peak bodies may be useful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • additional IT certifications offered by peak bodies, industry associations and vendors

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Information and Communications Technology VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Software and Applications Programmers who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong computer skills.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Computers and Electronics

      96% Skill level

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    2. Engineering and Technology

      75% Skill level

      The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

    3. Mathematics

      71% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    4. English Language

      62% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    5. Design

      60% Skill level

      Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 15-1132.00 - Software Developers, Applications.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Electronic Mail

      100% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    2. Spend Time Sitting

      100% Important

      How much time do you spend sitting?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      97% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Work With Work Group or Team

      94% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    5. Being Exact or Accurate

      90% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 15-1132.00 - Software Developers, Applications.

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