App designer, mobile app developer, application developer
App developers design and build mobile applications for PCs, mobile phones and tablets.
Salary Range: £21,000 to £55,000
How to become an app developer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- a graduate training scheme
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- computer science
- software engineering
- computer applications development
- financial technology
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can complete a software developer higher apprenticeship.
You may be able to do a creative digital design professional degree apprenticeship.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you’ll find it useful to have:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You may be able to apply for a place on a graduate training scheme with an IT company if you have a degree. These are often open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification, where you start as a junior developer and get training on the job.
You can build up your skills and knowledge using free online learning resources for programming languages and apps development.
You’ll also find it useful to have an understanding of Agile project development methods.
Professional and industry bodies
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge for understanding programming
- the ability to write computer programs
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- knowledge of systems analysis and development
- complex problem-solving skills
- persistence and determination
- to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
What you’ll do
- develop new apps or create ‘mobile-friendly’ versions of websites
- work with other developers, designers and copywriters
- design prototypes to suit client needs
- write or amend computer code
- test software, find faults and fix problems
- write accurate notes about the development process
- keep up to date with new technology trends and tools
You could work in an office or at a client’s business.
Career path and progression
You could move into systems analysis, or be promoted to a senior app developer or applications project manager.
You could also become self-employed, offering your services through contracting in most areas of the economy, for example business, finance, cyber security, telecommunications and healthcare.