How Can I Become a PHP Programmer?

Research what it takes to become a PHP programmer. Learn about education requirements, job duties, median wages, and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a PHP Programmer?

PHP programmers use the PHP language to create Web pages and apps. Expected to have an in-depth understanding of computer code, these professionals work to enhance the online experience for users. This includes piecing together bits of code to improve website functionality and to generate new applications that simplify various online processes. Employment can either be found in web development companies or as a self-employed programmer.

Refer to the table below for information about entering this career field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree is common
Education Field of Study Computer Science, Information Technology
Key Skills Knowledge of computers and other related technologies,
website development
Job Outlook (2014-2024) -8%* (all computer programmers)*
Median Salary (2017) $63,474**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

How Do I Become a PHP Programmer?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers prefer to hire computer programmers who hold a bachelor's degree in computer science. They also expect programmers to have knowledge of other computer-related technologies, like peripheral devices and diagnostic tools. In some cases, completion of a bachelor's program in an unrelated field in addition to a certificate may be acceptable for employment.

Some bachelor's programs in computer science offer programming as a concentration. In these programs, you might study topics like algorithms and data structures, system architecture, system performance, software engineering and theories of computing. In addition to PHP programming, you might learn about assembly language programming, C++, Java and operating systems programming.

In a PHP certificate program, you could explore topics like Structured Query Language (SQL), website content management systems, website authentication and customized Web applications. Program prerequisites may include at least two years of programming experience.

What Would I Do Exactly?

A PHP programmer develops code for websites and software applications in the PHP programming language. PHP is a general purpose language often used to create dynamic websites; as such, PHP typically runs on web servers. It can also be embedded into HTML. As a programmer, you might write new programs or fix broken ones. You could also modify programs to add new functionality or improve user efficiency. PHP programmers may work individually or as part of a team.

Will I Be Able to Get a Job?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of computer programming positions is expected to decrease by 8% between 2014 and 2024. PHP programmers who have experience working with multiple programming languages have the best chance of securing employment. For those who work as a PHP programmer, PayScale.com states that in 2017 the median salary was $63,474.

What Are Some Alternative Careers?

If you're unsure that becoming a PHP programmer is right for you, but are interested in pursuing a career in computers, you may want to consider becoming a computer hardware engineer or a computer and information systems manager. Each of these positions requires a bachelor's degree in order to obtain employment. Computer hardware engineers work with the physical components that make up a computer and research new designs that will improve the current technology. Computer and information system managers oversee computer-related activities for one organization and work to determine the best products for their employees to use.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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