Software and Applications Programmers

ANZSCO ID 2613

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
158,800
Future Growth
27%
Weekly Earnings
$2,208
Full-Time Share
90%
Female Share
17%
Average age
37

Summary

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

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow very strongly
  • is likely to reach 198,400 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
27%
(or 42,200 jobs)
From
156,200
in 2021
To
198,400
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 89,500
2012 82,500
2013 85,200
2014 87,400
2015 101,300
2016 98,900
2017 111,800
2018 123,400
2019 144,600
2020 149,200
2021 156,200
2026 198,400

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 90% of people employed as Software and Applications Programmers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 24 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,208 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,770
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,595

    Median hourly earnings are $58, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Earnings Software and Applications Programmers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,208 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
59.2%
2
Financial and Insurance Services
11.3%
3
Public Administration and Safety
6.4%
4
Information Media and Telecommunications
3.9%
5
Other industries
19.1%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

38.7% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

31.1% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

13.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

4.8% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

6.2% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

0.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.2% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

5.0% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Software and Applications Programmers All Jobs Average
NSW 38.7 31.6
VIC 31.1 25.6
QLD 13.2 20.0
SA 4.8 7.0
WA 6.2 10.8
TAS 0.8 2.0
NT 0.2 1.0
ACT 5.0 1.9


  • Around 89% of Software and Applications Programmers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.

    New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
37
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
17%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Software and Applications Programmers is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 17% of the workforce. This is 31 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Software and Applications Programmers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.3 5.0
20-24 4.2 9.3
25-34 35.2 22.9
35-44 34.5 22.0
45-54 17.2 21.6
55-59 4.9 9.0
60-64 2.5 6.0
65 and Over 1.2 4.2
Median Age 37 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor or postgraduate degree in a related information technology field (such as programming, software engineering, software development or computer science) is usually needed to work as a Software or Applications Programmer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Information and Communications Technology VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: 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 Qualification Software and Applications Programmers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 25.6 10.1
Bachelor degree 55.9 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 6.2 11.6
Certificate III/IV 2.4 21.1
Year 12 8.6 18.1
Year 11 0.6 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.7 12.5

Source: 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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 68%

    Programming

    Writing computer programs.

  • 64%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 61%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 59%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 59%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 54%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 54%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 54%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 54%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 52%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 52%

    Technology design

    Designing and improving equipment and technology.

  • 50%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 48%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 48%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 46%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 45%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 43%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 96%

    Computers and electronics

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

  • 75%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 71%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 62%

    English language

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

  • 60%

    Technical design

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

  • 50%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 47%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 44%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 40%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 26%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 26%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 24%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 18%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 15%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 14%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 13%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 10%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 9%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 9%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 8%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 57%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 55%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 55%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 55%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 55%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 52%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 46%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 46%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 46%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 45%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 43%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 41%

    Speed of recognition

    Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 83%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 83%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 75%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 74%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 70%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 70%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 64%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 64%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 63%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 63%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 63%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 59%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 59%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 58%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 53%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 48%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 47%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 47%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 43%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  • 42%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 95%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 71%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 67%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 38%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 33%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 79%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 76%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 57%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 43%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 100%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 97%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 94%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 90%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 84%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 81%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 80%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 79%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 78%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 78%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 78%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 76%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 73%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 73%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 72%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 63%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 60%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 60%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 59%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

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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