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Computer Programmer Salary in California

Joshua Weinstein - December 29, 2020

California is the beating heart of the technology industry.  It is home to hundreds of thriving tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Google, and hosts tens of thousands of computer programming jobs, with each position differing in salary and responsibility.  In this article, we’ll cover the most prominent subcategories of computer programming, along with the salary you can expect to earn in the Golden State.

Overall, the average annual salary for computer programmers in California is $88,301.  According to Indeed , programmers living in the San Francisco Bay Area can expect to earn around 10% more than the statewide average.  Based on some statistics , we calculate that the average salary for programmers in California is about $20,000 higher than the rest of the nation.

Keep in mind that researchers determine the average salary of computer programmers from a large volume of data, so that means that outliers can make up a significant percentage of the mean.  Read on so we can help you narrow it down and paint a better picture of a programmer’s salary prospects.

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San Francisco is a major Silicon Valley tech hub.

Software Engineer Salary in California

Software engineers are general-purpose coding professionals who design and build computer programs.  These multifaceted tech professionals work in almost every industry. Software engineers use their programming skills to solve problems, and job responsibilities vary considerably between companies.

In California, software engineers earn an average of $102,000 per year.  Depending on your experience and location within the state, you could make upwards of $180,000 in this career field.  These professionals also enjoy a job growth rate of 24% , which is much higher than the national average for all careers.

Image of a person coding on a laptop.
Software engineers can work remotely or in an office.

Web Developer Salary in California

Like software engineers, web developers spend their days writing code.  There are many subfields within this career path, though. Web developers build, design, and maintain websites and online programs.  Some web developers specialize in UX/UI (user experience/user interface) design, while others focus on more coding-heavy tasks.

These computer programmers earn an average salary of $87,000 per year in California.  The top-end earners in this field bring in almost $200,000 annually, so you can reasonably expect six-figures with experience.  Web developers enjoy a high job satisfaction rate– and a 27% job growth rate!

Image of a web developer at work.
Web development is a huge part of the tech industry.

Data Scientist Salary in California

These computer programmers lead the pack in salary– and for a good reason.  Data scientists aren’t regular coders or developers; they manage and interpret vast amounts of data.  The job requires a deep understanding of coding languages and the ability to work with large volumes of information.  Data scientists run databases and analyze data.

In California, a typical data scientist earns around $140,000 annually.  These programmers are compensated heavily due to the sensitivity of their work.  In addition to a six-figure average salary, they enjoy a job growth rate of 19%. While job prospects aren’t the highest on this list, they’re still well above the national average.  Some data scientists command salaries over $200,000 with sufficient credentials and experience, of course.

Data scientists use code to manage databases.

How to Get a Job in the Tech Industry

The Golden State boasts some of the highest salaries in the country, especially for tech workers.  If these job descriptions sound appealing, you should investigate them further. You don’t need a computer programming degree to break into tech; it turns out, you don’t need a degree at all–just the right training.  Fast-track programs, called coding bootcamps , sprung up to fill the tech industry’s desperate need for developers.  You can finish a coding bootcamp in as little as a few months and enter the industry with all of the know-how you’ll need.

Thousands of coding bootcamp graduates land high-paying jobs in the tech industry.  Programs vary in length and subject, but we can help you decide. Try our 21-day challenge to see if programming is right for you.  With the help of a coding bootcamp, you could fire up an amazing new career in no time.

How to Break Into Tech

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Joshua Weinstein

About the author: Joshua Weinstein is a senior staff writer focusing on future of work and alternative education programs.

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