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Java Architect: Job Description, Salary, Roles & Responsibilities

Java is everywhere, from laptops, game consoles, and cell phones, to data centers and the internet. This article details the required education, skills and salary information for a Java architect.

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What is a Java Architect?

Java is a programming language and computing platform that enables many applications and websites to run. Java architects build, design, and develop solutions using Java technologies. More specifically, they define and maintain architecture, technology standards, and best practices for applications, middleware, and databases for development. Architects are responsible for design, prototyping and delivery of software solutions, managing the technical environment (software, data, interfaces, integration), researching new tools and technologies, and developing better analytics solutions. Architects work with the development team, provide technical guidance and code review, and assist in debugging, while continuing to advance their knowledge of Java.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree at minimum
Job Skills Java, various technical skills, communication, teamwork, ability to work independently
Median Salary (July 2019)* $122,857 (for software architects)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 6% (for all computer network architects)

Source: *Payscale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Java architects are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer science engineering, or a related field. Certification boosts your resume and skill set, as this is a very technical position. Oracle, the company that owns Java, offers training and certificates through the online university. The most prestigious Java credential, according to the manufacturer, is the Oracle Certified Master, Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect. For senior-level architect positions, preference may be given to candidates with an advanced degree. Continuing your education through a master's program, certification, workshops or courses is a good idea because technology is always changing.

Required Skills

A Java architect needs to have strong technical skills and many years of working experience with Java products. Fluency in Java, coding standards, and Java standard libraries is fundamental, as well as proficiency with front and back-end development practices. Technical knowledge needed can include HTML, C++, .NET, JQuery, UNIX, Scrum/Agile, MVC frameworks, SQL and NoSQL data platforms, and Mainframe development. Excellent communication skills are needed because Java architects will work with a team, but they must also work proficiently on their own.

Career Outlook and Salary

Payscale.com reports that the median salary in July 2019 for a software architect was $122,857. The lowest 10% earned less than $87,000, and the highest 10% earned more than $162,000. Payscale.com also reports that senior level software architects had a median salary of $130,556 at that same time, with the lowest 10% earning less than $98,000 and the highest 10% earning more than $169,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth of 6% for all computer network architects from 2016 to 2026, which is about average compared to all other careers. Demand for all computer network architects will grow as organizations continue to broaden their use of IT networks. There will be a need for designing and building these new networks, as well as updating those that already exist.

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