How to Become a Java Developer

Career Path Guide

If you want to become a Java developer, you first need to determine if this career path is well suited to your skills and interests. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for this profession:


• Do you enjoy learning computer languages?

• Do you enjoy analyzing and solving programming and development problems?

• Do you have a high degree of patience and focus when working?

• Are you able to work long hours with minimal social interaction?


Those who become Java developers are typically individuals with a natural aptitude and interest in computers and information technology. They also tend to have the ability to concentrate for long periods of time, on tasks that require precision.


Becoming a Java developer is an excellent choice for those who want a career that allows them to leverage their skills and interest in software and application development into a well-paying career that offers scheduling flexibility.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a Java developer. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Required

Most employers require applicants for Java Developer jobs to have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, mathematics or a closely related field.


A computer science degree may be preferable to pursue, as these programs typically offer coursework that will qualify you to become a Java developer from a technical standpoint.


This coursework may include data structures, computer architecture, database management, compilers, statistics and technical writing. Focused coursework in Java programming is available in many college and university programs.


Applicants for Java Developer jobs may qualify without formal education in one of these areas if the have substantial technical experience and knowledge. Generally though, the more education and experience you have, the more appealing you are to a prospective employer. 





General Job Description

Java developers use the Java programming language to develop software and web-based applications for a variety of platforms. Java enables fast processing in games, software applications and utilities for Internet, computer and mobile devices.


Java developers are different from Java programmers in that they are involved from the very early stages of a project to the end, from requirements gathering, through specification and coding to testing and support.


Programmers however, are typically only concerned with coding, and may not have in-depth involvement during the entire development process.



Typical Job Duties

• May be assigned to train users on how to operate the new software

• Conduct software analysis, programming, testing and debugging

• Conduct unit testing in order to determine if the software functions as planned

• May work on video game productions, which involves creating challenging computer opponents, good graphics and realistic visual behavior

• May be involved in web development, which involves creating user friendly websites which communicate ideas with ease

• May act as a website administrator, which involves verifying HTML validity, enforcing style consistency and making necessary updates



Who Employs Java Developers?

Java developers may be hired on a full-time, part-time or contractual basis by different types of small, medium and large organizations, including:


• Software design companies

• Graphic design companies

• Computer programming companies

• Video game development companies

• Internet application companies

• E-commerce application development companies

• Colleges and universities

• Large private corporations

• Large non-profit groups

• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government agencies

• Self-employment, as freelancers


Becoming a Certified Java Developer

To become certified in Java programming, you need sufficient comprehension of the language and its applications, in addition to passing an examination.


There are no educational pre-requisites for Java certification, just technical competence. Java programmers must know how to compile the programming language, as well as how to update, repair and modify Java-based applications.


There are many benefits of becoming Java certified; you become more marketable to employers as certification provides validation of skill sets for specific job roles, and demonstrates your commitment to the profession.


Also, the process of becoming Java certified itself offers the benefit of broadening your knowledge base and deepening your skill set through exposure to a wide range of important features, functions and tasks.


There are many organizations that offer Java certification, such as Sun Microsystems Inc.




Work Environment for Java Developers

Work Setting: Many Java developers work in offices, and work directly with other team members on large projects. However, since Java development can be done almost anywhere, many Java developers telecommute to work.


Working Hours: Java developers may work a wide variety of different schedules; some work a typically 40-hour work week, or work on rotating shifts that can include evenings and weekends, while others may work on their own schedule from home. Many Java developers are required to put in long hours from time to time, in order to de-bug programs, or to meet tight deadlines.


Working Conditions: The work of Java developers may become stressful when complex coding is needed, when deadlines are approaching, or when the client or manager is not happy with the result of their work. Java developers must also ensure they follow ergonomic work practices, as they must work in front of a computer for many hours a day, which can strain the eyes, back and wrists quite easily.



Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Java Developer

In order to perform your Java developer job duties with competence, and to overcome the challenges of the job, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits, which include:


Personal Characteristics


• Enjoy solving coding problems

• Enjoy learning computer languages

• Able to work with minimal personal interaction


Soft Skills


• Able to perform work that requires precision

• Excellent analytical skills

• Time management and organizational skills


Hard Skills


• Proficiency with Javascript and Java Parser

• Proficiency in database software and compiler software

• Familiarity with computer equipment such as mainframe computers and serial port cards



Current Job Postings

Our job board below has "Java developer" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Typical Salary Level

The earnings of Java developers can vary based on many factors, including the size and type of their employer, their individual qualifications, the specific responsibilities of the job, and many others.


Java Developer Salary Alberta: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as part of the Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers occupational group earn an average salary of $84,210 per year.


Salary - United States: According to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), those working in the Computer programmers and interactive media developers occupational group earn an average provincial median salary of $73,195.


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of workers in the Software developers occupational group is $105,950 per year. The lowest 10% of salaries in this group are below $66,740, and the top 10% are above $161,290 per year. 



Similar Careers in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Java developer, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Applications Programmer

Flash Programmer

Multimedia Programmer

PHP Developer

Video Game Developer




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Java Developer.


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Computer Programmer.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

Computer and Information Technology:Computer Programmers.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

Explore Careers:Computer programmers and interactive media developers.” (December 11, 2018). WorkBC website. Retrieved February 13, 2020.

Oracle Java SE Certification Paths:Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer.” (n.d.). Oracle website. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

Career Management:How to become a Java programmer without a college degree.” Bunron Chen. (August 21, 2012). Tech Republic website. Retrieved December 27, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Java Developer

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Java developer can be found on the following pages:


Computer Engineering Scholarships

Computer Science Scholarships

Software Engineering Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for working in this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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