What does a Mainframe Developer do?

Mainframe developers work on unique operating systems in software development, using obsolete tools and languages. They know both programming language and mainframe tools and are comfortable working in the mainframe culture. They design, develop, and maintain mainframe components to meet support or project departments and interface with business and IT teams to understand their business requirements, translating into formal technical requirements and application code.

Mainframe developers collaborate with IT support teams to ensure that client support and project requirements are developed and implemented successfully and develop and execute unit tests and integration plans and scripts that ensure the application changes will meet technical specifications. They are responsible for full system development life cycles, work with business teams, participate in integration testing, and complete acceptance testing. They participate in production support and pager duty rotation and provide round-the-clock coverage and participate in technical reviews at appropriate developmental stages. Mainframe developers need a bachelor’s degree in technology, engineering, IT, or related fields.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.8 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

Mainframe Developer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$6,500 /month
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
Median: $7K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Mainframe Developer Career Path

Learn how to become a Mainframe Developer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Mainframe Developer
Mainframe Developer Ii
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Mainframe Developer Iv
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Mainframe Developer Insights

Read what Mainframe Developer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Mainframe Developer
20 Oct 2021

“good career oppertunity and career growth”

Senior Mainframe Developer
9 Dec 2021

“Initial salaries are not so good.”

Mainframe Developer
17 Mar 2020

“Presently working as a contractor so i'm getting any hike or incrementation in my salary.”

Charter GlobalCharter Global
Mainframe Developer
12 Feb 2020

“I had to call several times a day just to get an answer to my questions.”

Z/OS Mainframe Specialist
14 Apr 2021

“Great work and life balance.”

Tata Consultancy ServicesTata Consultancy Services
Mainframe Support
20 Oct 2021

“Good work and life balance.”

Mainframe Developer
6 Jan 2021

“Not the best of benefits”

Cognizant Technology SolutionsCognizant Technology Solutions
Mainframe Developer
12 May 2021

“No career growth in this company”

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Mainframe Developer Interviews

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Mainframe Developer jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a mainframe developer

When working as a mainframe developer, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Cobol Mainframe, Cobol Programming, Cobol CICS, Cobol DB2 and JCL.

The most similar professions to mainframe developer are:
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Java Developer
  • _

The most common qualifications to become a mainframe developer is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.