Application Developer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Application developers require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Application developers must hold at least a bachelor's degree and have a strong understanding of the different computer languages that can be used in application development. Their job tasks may include working in teams, testing applications, and designing prototype applications.

Essential Information

Application developers use programming languages and source code to create software that meets client requirements. Developers may work with multiple programming languages and operating systems. Requirements vary for developers depending on the employer, but a bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement for career entry. Some advanced positions may require a master's degree. Employers tend to prefer hiring application developers with work experience in the field, which can be gained through an internship.

Required Education Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's degree for some upper-level positions
Other Requirements Work experience
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 19%
Median Salary (2015)* $98,260

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Application Developer Job Description

Application development involves the process, life cycle and creation of the software aimed at helping users complete a computer task or program. Developers work closely with computer analysts and engineers in using languages such as Java, C++ or ORACLE to develop the necessary specifications for software. Developers may also test, debug and improve generally faulty applications for clients.

Duties of an Application Developer

Responsibilities vary for developers based on level of experience, type of application platform and employer. Application developers often have the duty of creating, maintaining and implementing the source code that makes up the application or program. Application developers may also be responsible for designing the prototype application, indicate program unit structure, and coordinate application plans with the development team or client.

Requirements for an Application Developer

Requirements vary for developers based on application use. Frequently, employers require a bachelor's degree in computer science, knowledge of computer programming languages and some relevant work experience.


Application developers often have a bachelor's degree in a relevant computer science major. Degrees of this type involve concentrations in areas such as data structuring, system design and programming. Learning computer languages is also important. Developers utilize these systems when building the application structure. Many bachelor's degree programs in computer science combine these language classes as a part of the major, while others offer them as electives.

A few advanced positions require a master's degree for a relevant computer science major. These jobs focus on specialists who have multiple years of experience. Master's degree programs follow a more specific kind of application such as Internet program development.

Work Experience

Many companies and clients require some form of experience before employment. Students who wish to gain experience can take advantage of various internship opportunities. Some of the internships allow novice developers to gain real-world experience with programming languages and deadlines.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers who specialize in developing applications made a median annual salary of $98,260 as of May 2015. Job openings for application developers were projected by the BLS to grow at a much faster-than-average pace of 19% from 2014 to 2024.

Application developers work closely with other computer engineers in designing applications and programs. These technicians usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar subject. Experience is usually required by employers, so students should take advantage of internship opportunities during their studies.

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