C and C++ programmers and software engineers carry out development work on a wide range of IT products, including embedded software, applications and video games. Their skills are needed by a variety of organisations, including banks, electronics, defence, IT services and manufacturing companies, as well as software houses and games developers.
Most employers look for graduates with a knowledge of the C and C++ programming languages to fill entry-level positions, with people who have good degrees in computer science, software engineering, maths or physics regarded as the strongest candidates. The starting salary for such jobs ranges from £18,000 to £28,000, with the highest packages usually in the electronics industry.
Staff with more than three years' commercial programming experience will find they have a wealth of employment opportunities, as there is such high demand for their skills. Specialist IT recruitment agencies always have permanent jobs for developers and software engineers, with salaries ranging from £30,000 to £50,000, and up to £70,000 for people who progress to development or project manager roles.
Recruitment agencies can also supply experienced C and C++ contractors for anything from a few days' work to major projects lasting more than a year. Contractors, who often work on a limited company basis, are usually very well paid, with daily rates of up to £700 available in the City of London.