How to be a mobile application developer
People who design and make the programs for smartphones and other mobile devices are called mobile application developers, or app developers. Find out how to become a mobile app developer.
What is a mobile application developer?
People get information and connect to others through their mobile devices. Applications are programs on phones and other devices. “App” is short for application. Mobile application developers (usually called app developers) create and run those programs. Another name for the job is software developer.
About the job
What can you expect in the job of mobile application developer?
Duties of a mobile application developer
Mobile application developers create code for the programs that run applications. They also help plan and design new apps. They test the apps and solve the problems that show up. They keep existing applications going and update them.
Watch an app developer talk about his job.
Mobile application developers may work for large technology companies or small startup business. Some developers work for themselves from home.
Salary for mobile application developers
The hourly wage for mobile application developer varies widely from $21 to $150 to per hour, depending on experience and location. The national average salary in 2018 was around $100,000 per year. But individual jobs may pay a lot more or a lot less.
About the person
What kind of person makes a good mobile app developer? You need to be both technical and creative.
Qualities you should have
- Patience with small details and constant corrections and adjustment
- Good at problem-solving
- Good at working with other team members
- Good at communicating technical matters to people who are not experts
- Ability to working on several different projects at the same time
Skills you will need
- Expert in programming languages, such as Java and Objective C
- Able to code, test, debug, and monitor changes in mobile applications
- Knowledge of mobile application terms, concepts and best practices
- Able to adapt existing web applications for mobile apps
- Expert knowledge of user interface (UX)
Training for mobile app developers
You will need a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and mobile application development. Find out how to apply for college
If you have no training at all in computers, or if you are not ready for college, you can start with a computer or coding course. Many community colleges offer low-cost computer training classes. They may have classes especially for newcomers and English learners. Find a community college near you.
Employers do not usually ask for certification. They will be looking more for experience and knowledge. But some certificates are well-known to employers and will be worth listing on your resume.
Here are the best-known certificates. Select the name to get more information for each certification:
- Associate Android Developer
- Kony Development Certification
- MTA Developer
- Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
You will need experience in computer technology or information technology before you can start building programs and applications. The best way to get experience is to work for a technology business, a web design business, or a business that develops apps.
What if I have no experience yet? Where do I start?
You can find an entry-level job in computer technology. Learn basic computer technology skills, such as coding or programming. Then you can get an entry-level job and gain the experience you need.
Find out more how to start your career and get jobs in computer technology. For example, you can:
- Find jobs at Dice, an online employment site for tech workers
- Find work at Upwork, a job noticeboard for internet-based freelancers
- Jobs in computer technology
- How to become a health information technician
- Take our free online GED® course
- Scholarships for refugees and immigrants
- Statistics and information about software developers
- Mobile app development careers and similar career paths
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