Java Developer: Skills & Training

Find out about the career of a Java developer, including job duties, responsibilities, salary details and career outlook information. Also, learn the educational requirements, training and skills commonly needed to secure this position.

Career Definition of a Java Developer

A Java developer, also known as a Java applications developer, is responsible for the creation and implementation of Java applications. Some duties of this position might include designing simple pull-down menus, using Java to ensure a website is properly authenticating user data and recognizing the need to improve Java-based applications.

Java developers produce design documents, take part in program testing and use Java programming language to make adjustments to a website's design. They may also be tasked with examining and solving technical problems and serving as an advisor to IT staff members.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree (typically in computer-related fields)
Job Skills Extensive Java and development knowledge, quality research and communication skills, ability to learn and utilize new technologies and work in a team environment
Median Salary (2019)* $73,055
Job Outlook (2016 - 2026)** 24% (all software developers); 15% (all web developers)

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

Required Education

According to Salary.com, most employers hiring Java developers require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in this area. While possessing a bachelor's or master's degree is most common for currently employed Java developers, a small percentage hold an associate's degree, certificate or high school diploma.

In addition to the common requirement of a bachelor's degree, employers typically look for applicants to have 2-4 years of experience in the field or a related field. It's good to note, however, that about a quarter of currently employed Java developers have one or fewer years of experience, according to Salary.com.

Required Skills

Java developers should possess a variety of technical skills, including the ability to design and modify Java applications, write and update programs and correct software issues. Quality research skills are very helpful when seeking to identify the source of issues and fix technical problems.

Strong communication skills are also necessary since developers are often required to report to supervisors and managers, work closely with clients and operate effectively within a team environment. The most popular programming languages and application frameworks for java developers to become familiar with include JavaScript, SQL and Spring.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job opportunities for all software developers are expected to increase by 24% between 2016 and 2026. When compared to all occupations, this employment opportunity increase is much faster than average. For web developers, the BLS estimates that employment opportunities will increase by 15% over the same period, which is also much faster than average.

In January 2019, Payscale.com noted that Java developers earned a median annual income of $73,055 with salaries ranging from $49,413 to $102,884. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for all web developers in May 2017 was $67,990, while for software developers it was $101,790 in the same period.

Related Careers

The following articles examine careers related to Java developers. Learn about job responsibilities, salaries and educational requirements for these positions.


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