The world of coding is growing rapidly. With the rise of technology and the demand for skilled coders on the rise, more and more people are looking to become coders. But one of the most common questions asked by those considering a career in coding is “how much do coders make an hour?”
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. While there are some general trends that can give us an idea of what to expect when it comes to pay, there are also various factors that can affect how much a coder makes per hour.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what these factors are and provide an overview of current hourly rates for coders in 2023. We’ll also discuss some tips on how to get started in a coding career, so you can start your journey to maximizing your earning potential!
Who Are Coders, Anyway?
In short, coders are people who create and maintain computer programs. They are responsible for writing the code that makes computers do what they do.
Coding entails many different professions, which are all very similar to each other and all have to do with coding.
- Computer programmer
- Software developer
- Software engineer
- Web developer
- Database engineer
- Systems analyst
The list goes on. The roles may have different titles, but they are all related and involve writing code.
How Much Do Coders Make an Hour?
Overall, coders make $73,473 per year on average, according to Indeed.com, which comes down to $35.32 per hour.
However, this is a very general figure, which shows a wide range depending on the actual position and location you work in.
Let’s review the hourly salary ranges for different titles, education levels, and seniority.
Hourly salaries vary a lot depending on the actual position you take. For example, a coder can be one of the following titles with its own hourly wage:
- Computer programmer – $19.66
- Software developer – $42.34
- Software engineer – $55.86
- Web developer– $33.95
- Database engineer – $50.86
- Systems analyst – $37.84
Education level plays a big role in the amount of money coders make per hour. Generally, higher education levels mean higher pay.
The experience level of the coder also has an effect on their pay. The more years of experience, the higher the hourly rate for coders.
What Do Coders Do?
Coders are professionals who use programming languages and coding in order to communicate with machines and construct useful programs.
Basically, they spend most of their days sitting behind a computer typing fulfilling coding tasks, writing features, debugging code, making updates, and writing documentation for projects.
They also talk to clients to plan their projects, attend meetings with teammates and product managers, and analyze data to find the best solutions.
Why Do Coders Make So Much?
Computer programmers make a considerable amount of money. But why is that? Is the job particularly difficult or valuable? Let’s discuss why coders make so much money.
Software developers make a lot of money because:
- They Are in High Demand
- They Provide High Value
- Not Everyone Can Do It
- Specialists Need to Constantly Learn New Tech
- Tech Industry Is Rich
As a result, coders can make quite a bit of money – if they have the right skills and experience. The more specialized the coder is, the higher their hourly rate.
Furthermore, certain areas of the country tend to pay more due to higher demand and cost of living. Therefore, if you’re serious about making money as a coder, it pays to be in the right place.
Factors Affecting Coding Salary
Not all coders get paid the same. Specifically, some factors can influence the salary of a coder, such as the following.
One of the main factors affecting your hourly salary as a coder is the specific field you choose to pursue within the programming industry. Different specializations pay different rates.
Specifically, here are the top 10 highest-paying computer science specializations with their respective average salary according to Glassdoor:
- Artificial Intelligence – $146,085 per year
- Robotics – $130,460 per year
- Cloud Computing – $127,061 per year
- DevOps – $122,143 per year
- Security – $120,433 per year
- Big Data – $118,733 per year
- Full Stack Development – $116,951 per year
- Mobile Development – $114,697 per year
- Game Development – $113,788 per year
- Data Science – $112,531 per year
Education level plays a big role when it comes to how much money coders make. Generally, those with higher education levels tend to make more per hour.
Different industries hire computer science professionals. These include the following:
- Tech – $89,190 per year
- Government – $122,729 per year
- Healthcare – $83,062 per year
- Finance – $145,125 per year
Location is one of the most important predictors of pay among coders. Here are a few examples, according to Indeed.
- California: $79,627 per year
- Massachusetts: $78,989 per year
- New York: $78,648 per year
- Colorado: $76,344 per year
- Virginia: $75,552 per year
- Illinois: $75,161 per year
- Texas: $73,398 per year
- Kansas: $69,170 per year
What Is the Job Outlook for Coders?
We can see that coders make a considerable amount of money in the United States. However, is it a growing field? Can you count on finding a job within this field in the coming years?
According to the US Bureau of Labors Statistics, job postings for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers will expand by 25% from 2021 to 2031.
It is also estimated that Software Developer will be one of the top four in-demand professions over the next 10 years with almost 200,000 difficult-to-replace openings every year.
There is currently a considerable shortage of software engineering talent across the globe, and this is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
Can a Coder Become a Millionaire?
We know that coders are able to command high salaries sufficient for leading a comfortable lifestyle. But can a software engineer become a millionaire?
As it turns out, it’s quite possible for a programmer to become rich. In fact, there are several ways of doing so.
As an example, you could get a job at a Big Tech company that pays top dollar for top talent. You could also work for a startup and negotiate a high share percentage as part of your compensation package in case the company becomes successful in the future.
Alternatively, you could work hard and become an executive-level employee at your company or open up your own business.
Another way some coders become rich is by creating their own product, such as an app or gaming platform, and then monetize it.
Finally, you could invest your money in the stock market and use smart financial strategies to increase your wealth.
Is Coding a Stressful Job?
So, after getting a taste of how lucrative it could be to become a professional coder, you may have a few questions targeted at what type of job is coding in terms of stress and other work-life attributes.
Luckily, coding is considered one of the least stressful jobs on the market. Software development involves problem-solving and creative thinking, which can be highly satisfying. With coding projects, you are usually working on one project at a time, which means you don’t need to juggle multiple tasks at once.
In addition, coding can be done from anywhere and the job doesn’t require any physical labor, which can lead to a lower stress level.
Overall, coding is considered one of the less stressful professions out there, and with the salaries that coders can make, it is certainly worth considering a career in coding if you have an aptitude for problem-solving and computer programming.
How Many Hours a Day Do Coders Work?
How about the working hours? How much do developers work?
Generally speaking, coders work standard hours, as in 8-8.5 hours a day or 40-45 hours per week.
Occasionally, especially when deadlines are approaching, programmers may need to stay after hours or on weekends to finish a project or hit a specified milestone.
Many coders work from home and enjoy the flexibility it provides. With remote work, developers can choose when to start and end their day, while still meeting their deadlines and making sure they are productive throughout the day.
Is Coding a Good Career?
We certainly think that coding is a great career, especially for those who have a passion for programming and problem-solving.
Objectively speaking, coding-related jobs provide a good salary, plenty of advancement opportunities, a good work-life balance, and stability.
Subjectively speaking, coding is arguably interesting and stimulating work, as it involves creativity, innovation, and logical thinking.
So if you have an aptitude for coding, why not give it a try? You may be surprised at how rewarding and enjoyable you may find it.
How to Become a Coder?
So, do you like what you read? Does the work and life of a software engineer seem attractive to you? Then let’s take it to the next step and talk about how to get into this line of work.
In order to become a software engineer, first of all, you need to acquire computer science education. You can do so by getting a computer science degree in college, attending a coding bootcamp, or self-study.
1. Computer Science Degree
While getting a computer science degree is one of the most straightforward ways to acquire an all-around comprehensive education in programming, it is also one of the most expensive and time-consuming routes.
Depending on whether or not you already have another college degree, you may be interested in attending one of the following: an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree, or a Master’s degree for non-CS majors (if you are a career changer who has a degree in another discipline).
2. Coding Bootcamp
A coding bootcamp is a short-term bare-bone programming crash course aimed at helping you get a coding job from zero as soon as possible. Coding bootcamps are not cheap, but they do have financing options and sometimes even guarantee a job placement.
With a coding bootcamp, you can get ready for a career in software development in as little as 2-6 months. Read this article, if you are unsure whether to attend a coding bootcamp or a university degree program.
Perhaps the cheapest, yet the most difficult way to gather the knowledge required to gain employment in tech is self-study. It may take as much as 6-24 months to teach yourself the basics of programming sufficient for getting a job in software development.
Make sure to also get ready for a series of interviews, where you will be required to explain and show your coding abilities to senior developers at the potential employer’s company.
Afterwards, you should start applying to software engineering jobs online and through your network. It is fairly difficult to get a job as an entry-level developer, so be prepared to spend 3-6 months on this step and send 100+ applications (sometimes a few hundred).
In this article, we have reviewed how much coders make. While an average hourly rate for coding-related jobs is around $35, this hugely varies depending on the specialization, education level, industry, experience, and location.
In general, coding is an excellent profession with low stress, great work-life balance, and high compensation.
In order to become a developer, you need to learn coding by attending a university, getting a bootcamp certificate, or studying on your own. Browse our platform for more advice on each of these steps and more interesting content about starting a career in tech!
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.