How to Become a Mobile Applications Developer

Do you have great ideas for Android or iOS applications? Are you able to think of a dozen different applications that would boost an organization’s productivity? You could have a promising career as a mobile applications developer – read on!

Job Overview

Bachelor's Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mobile applications developers plan and design applications to work on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers. They study their organization’s needs and then determine the best way to meet the needs. They design both the pieces of the application and how the pieces together.

Requirements and Qualifications

Most mobile applications developers work in sectors related to computer systems design and related services. Occasional overtime is common in this career path, with 25% of developers working over 40 hours a week.

There are some opportunities for telecommuting, often as a freelancer, so you’ll need some business management, accounting and marketing skills.¬†Qualities you’ll want to develop as a mobile applications developer include analytical and technical skills, creativity, problem solving, customer service, communications and teamwork.

Typical Education

Mobile applications developers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, mathematics or a similar field, with students focusing on coursework that includes writing software and computer programming. Some positions can require a master’s degree; however, in this emerging field this is still rare.

Steps to Become a Mobile Applications Developer

Working as an intern before you complete your program will give you experience for your resume. After completing your degree program, you’ll want to be sure to keep up with the latest technological advances. You may want to figure out what kind of industry you want to work in and pursue opportunities related to that specific sector.

Similar Job

Do you want a job that has more of an established path? Maybe in just a little different area? Here are some similar career paths for you to look over:

  • Do you enjoy exploring new areas of technology? Computer and information research scientists invent and design new technology and come up with new ways to use existing technologies.
  • Good at planning workforce and logistics? Computer and information services managers strategically plan and carry out work to meet their organization’s needs.
  • What does it take to break it? Computer hardware engineers develop and test an assortment of chips, boards and other computer hardware.
  • Like to create new programs? Computer programmers use a variety of computer languages to build new programs.
  • Are you good with questions? Computer support specialists help in-house co-workers and customers solve their computer problems.
  • Can you find places for improvement? Computer systems analysts analyze an organization’s current computer assets and recommend changes to optimize their system’s performance.
  • Good with organization and storage? Database administrators store, maintain, secure and restore a variety of business and customer data.
  • Want to provide web services? Information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects find and solve problems with computer security, write web pages and design computer networks for organizations.
  • Do you actually enjoy higher mathematics? Mathematicians come up with new mathematical principles, study principles to understand relationships between them and provide real-world applications from them.


Mobile applications developers averaged $92,180 annually according to information collected in May 2010, nearly three times that of the average of all career paths. Most positions are full-time, with overtime being common.

Job Outlook

Opportunities for mobile applications developers is expected to grow much faster than the average of all career tracks, at 32% over the next decade. Staying up to date on skills and technologies will give you the best opportunity for good positions. Though there has been some outsourcing to overseas, it is not expected to greatly impact the job opportunities in the U.S.

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