INSIDE THE NEW OCCUPATIONS IN ANALYST
Last week we introduced the 30 or so new occupations that the Bureau of Labor Statistics now tracks and EMSI provides data for in Analyst and our other tools. This post is part of a series digging into the new occupations — and our new numbers — more closely.
With EMSI’s more granular computer and IT occupations, our users can isolate web developers and compare them to applications software developers, systems software developers, or computer programmers. Depending on the industry, the lines might be blurred between these four developer job titles (see the definitions below), but EMSI’s labor market data shows some very obvious differences.
Web developers, for instance, make less per hour than other developers ($27.84 median earnings vs. $47.64 for systems software developers), account for fewer jobs nationwide, and — what we’ll focus on in this post — are much more likely to work on their own.
An estimated 110,000 web developers work as standard wage-and-salary employees in the U.S. EMSI estimates another nearly 105,000 web developers work primarily on their own (self-employed) or what we call “extended proprietors” (i.e., those who write code on the side in addition to a separate full-time job). That’s almost a 50-50 split between standard employees and all types of proprietors, which makes sense given the nature of the work. Talented coders could hold multiple development jobs, have their own start-up — or just do work on a project-by-project basis on top of a more stable job.
Among software developers (both applications and systems software), at least 93% of jobs are made up of standard employees. And among computer programmers, 81% are employees and 19% are proprietors.
A State Breakdown of Employees vs. Proprietors
Washington, D.C. has the highest share of wage-and-salary web developers in the United States, at 82%. With a public sector-focused economy, that’s not a surprise. Next on the list are Nebraska (65%) and Massachusetts (62%).
On the other end of the spectrum, 60% of web developers in New Jersey — a hotspot for development work — are proprietors, the majority of which fall in EMSI’s extended proprietor designation. (In Alaska and Wyoming, the share of proprietors is even higher.)
|State Name||2013 Wage-and-Salary Jobs||2013 Self-Employed||2013 Extended Proprietors||Total Web Developers||% Wage-and-Salary||% Proprietors (Self-Employed + Extended)|
|Source: EMSI Class of Worker 2013.3|
|District of Columbia||1,356||59||239||1,654||82%||18%|
The following definitions from the BLS are helpful to keep in mind when parsing labor market data for the four developer occupations:
Computer Programmers (SOC 15-1131): Create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals. May assist software developers by analyzing user needs and designing software solutions. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.
Software Developers, Applications (SOC 15-1132): Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. May supervise computer programmers.
Software Developers, Systems Software (SOC 15-1133): Research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. May design embedded systems software. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
Web Developers (SOC 15-1134): Design, create, and modify Web sites. Analyze user needs to implement Web site content, graphics, performance, and capacity. May integrate Web sites with other computer applications. May convert written, graphic, audio, and video components to compatible Web formats by using software designed to facilitate the creation of Web and multimedia content. Excludes “Multimedia Artists and Animators” (27-1014).
Other New Computer/IT-Related Occupation Titles
In addition to web developers, the BLS now breaks out several other detailed computer/IT occupations. This includes separate job titles for computer network architects and information security analysts. And you can also separate computer user support specialists from computer network support specialists.
The majority of computer support specialists, an occupation that many community colleges train for, are on the user side. But network support specialists have significantly higher median hourly wages ($29.03 vs. $22.80).
Users can access this information by logging in to Analyst (you’ll automatically be updated to the 2013.3 dataset). For more information on Analyst or EMSI data, email Rob Sentz or visit our Analyst and Data pages.