Software and applications programmers work with the development and testing of computer program codes. They write and maintain programs that control computer functions, and develop end user documentation. They test, diagnose and correct errors and faults in applications programming language.

Where software and applications 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. Typically, people working as programmers advance into designer and analyst roles after some years of experience. In some smaller organisations, all three roles may be carried out by a single individual.


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

Graph of pay scales for Software and Applications Programmers

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 2,898 people employed full time as software and applications programmers in South Australia compared with 2,730 in 2006.

How to become one

To become a programmer you usually have to complete a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in information technology, programming or software development. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

See courses related to this occupation.

For more information see traineeships.

You can also become a programmer by studying information technology or computer science at university with a major in programming, software development or games development. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required.

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

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