Programmers may also be called applications or systems programmers and computer systems officer. They work with computer programs to make sure the application meets the needs of the users of the computer system.

They can specialise in communication systems, databases, multimedia, networks, and systems software.

Where programmers are employed

Programmers may work in small Information Technology (IT) companies or in larger organisations. There are some opportunities to work on a freelance basis. Programmers usually advance into designer and analyst roles after some years of experience. In smaller organisations, all three roles may be carried out by a single individual.

"I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of creating new and unique things which are meaningful and useful to real world users" - Richard Taylor, Design Manager.


Full-time programmers in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Programmer

Job prospects

Employment growth is favourable for software and applications programmers who work across several industries including professional, scientific and technical services, financial and insurance services, public administration and safety, and manufacturing. In 2011 there were 2,898 people employed full-time as programmers in South Australia compared with 2,730 in 2006.

How to become one

Usually you need a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in information technology or a degree in information technology or computer science with a major in programming, software development or games development. At school consider doing English and maths.

See courses related to this occupation.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities, visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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Useful links


Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.
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