The Cost of Hiring iOS Developers in 2019

15 March 2019 • 7 min read
The Cost of Hiring iOS Developers in 2019
Andrii Horiachko
Written by Andrii Horiachko
Co-Founder and CTO at Softermii

Mobile app development takes the major part of the entire software development worldwide and continues to grow. Despite iOS is the second most popular mobile operating system, almost every type of business needs iOS app version samely as Android app.

Then the next question is coming on what is the salary of iOS developer you will be going to pay for Apple app development.

In the US, the average income of iOS software developers is $82,307 per year.

Thus, depending on your project level of complexity and its term of development you can get to know much it will costs.

You can wonder why the iOS developer salary is quite a high but that is explained by the general growth of mobile development. To prove that and confirm the market demand in iOS development, let’s dive into the numbers and check how often users download Apple apps in 2018 comparing 2017:

iOs Mobile App Downloads chart

Clearly, Android is the more popular platform, but, when we look at iOS developer salary vs Android developer salary, we see very similar numbers.

In the US, the average income of iOS software developers is over $82k per year as we’ve mentioned before. The average pay for Android developers is more than $81k.

If you're putting together an iOS dev team and you're not familiar with what your app developers will expect to get paid, that $80K-plus average salary may be causing a little bit of sticker-shock right now.

Don't panic.

Depending on where you do business, you may not have to pay that much.

For example, in Raleigh, North Carolina or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you will pay closer to $70K per year for your iOS developers. There's an even bigger difference in dev pay when you look at overseas salaries, with average iOS developer pay typically being much lower than it is in the US.

If you're willing to hire less-skilled people, that's another way to keep your payroll in check. You can save money by hiring an entry-level iOS developer.

After you've interviewed a few candidates and it comes time to hire an iOS app developer, it will help if you to know the sort of salary number your prospective employee is expecting to hear.

This article will give you all the information you need to decide on the right figure. If it turns out to be a little higher than you planned for, at least you'll have the perspective of knowing what most iOS developers get paid.

We're going to cover some interesting statistics regarding iOS developer salaries, including a look at the median cost for iOS developers in several major US cities, and a brief examination of what iOS developers get paid in other countries. There's also a section that looks at what iOS mobile app development may cost in the future.

But first, let's get started with a discussion about the effect that location and developer experience can have on iOS developer salary expectations.


How Location & Experience Impact iOS Developer Pay

Average pay for iPhone app developers varies greatly based on where they work, but developer experience and skill-level also play a major role in determining pay levels. This section will explore those factors.


Smaller Cities (and Other Countries) Have Low Developer Salaries

As mentioned above, the average iOS developer salary in the USA is $82,307 per year.

That's a national average. The city where you do business may have higher or lower average iOS developer pay.

At the high end of the range are San Francisco and Seattle. With companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, you can bet that those cities have attracted some extremely talented (and expensive) developers. Average iPhone app programmer cost in Seattle is $97,052 per year. The average Apple app developer payroll in San Francisco is a staggering $103,081 per year!

At the other end of the pay spectrum are the country's small and midsized cities, where iOS dev salaries skew much closer to the national average, with some as low as $70K.

Lower dev pay is the norm in Europe and Asia, and even in Canada, our neighbor to the north, iOS dev salaries don't come close to those in the US. It costs $49,163 to hire an Apple developer in Canada—that's about $30K less than it costs in the US.

The average iOS developer salary in Singapore is only $42,260, but the absolute lowest dev pay you can imagine is in India, where iOS coders are typically paid around $5,500 per year.

The fact is, iOS dev salaries can span such a wide range (even inside the US), you really need to drill down on your city to find out what local developers are used to being paid. We suggest using or another online resource to find out about typical dev pay in your area. Armed with the right information, you'll be able to come up with a competitive salary offer that's within your budget.

Before we get off the topic of location, we should acknowledge the growing trend in hiring remote, freelance developers. Imagine hiring developers who work from India, regardless of where your business is located, and paying them each around $5,500 per year. Think of how cheaply you could produce apps!

Think again.

From a pay perspective, remote work has evolved in its own separate economy.

According to UpWork, the world's largest freelance marketplace, an entry-level iOS developer can be hired for between $15 and $40 per hour. If you pay a full-time coder $40 per hour, you're talking about spending $83,200 annually! That's a little over the national average.

A freelance iOS developer with a ton of experience can charge as much as $75 per hour (that's $150K annually), and one who will handle your UI/UX design might cost $100 per hour!

iOs developer

So, while you shouldn't necessarily expect a significant discount when considering remote iOS developer prices, hiring a remote freelancer might still be the way to go. After all, if you live where it's difficult to find qualified candidates for your iOS dev jobs, pulling in some remote developers is an extremely viable way to staff up for your app development project.


Newbies vs. Old Pros—Experienced Developers Cost More

The amount of experience your iOS developers have can play a big part in how much they will expect to be paid.

A look at iOS engineer salary based on experience shows us that coders who have been around the block a few times and learned the ropes are usually paid much more than newbies. A typical senior iOS dev income is $117,751 per year. The average pay for mid-level iOS developers is around $80K.

If you want to hire a recent college grad who's trained, but has zero experience, you should know that the average entry level iOS developer salary is $77,434.

Another option may be to conduct some on-the-job training for one of your high-aptitude employees—a typical junior iOS developer salary comes in at a comparatively low $65,000 per year.

If you need a developer with the highest level of experience, you'll need to be willing to hire an iOS developer with the highest salary—plan to pay as much as $123,000 per year.

You can expect an entry-level iOS developer to understand basic iOS development fundamentals like wireframing and storyboarding, Objective C, and the Xcode IDE. More experienced coders should be experts with frameworks and APIs like Foundation, UIKit, and Cocoa. These engineers should also be familiar with popular bug tracking systems, version control and key features for iPhone X apps development.

If you're looking for a specific skill-set, even if it's a very common one, you may have to pay your developers more. Take Swift , for example, the popular programming language for macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. If you need to hire Swift developers, you can expect to pay slightly more than you would for garden-variety iOS developers.

End-to-end development services also cost more. A full stack developer, one who can handle all the work of databases, servers, systems engineering, and clients, may cost you over $100,000 per year. That's around $20K more than the cost of a normally-skilled iOS developer.

iOs developer

In other countries, the difference in salary based on skill-level is not as great. For example, iOS full stack developer cost in India is around $6,000 per year, which is only slightly higher than the pay for a typical iOS developer in that country, $5,504 per year.

A developer's area of expertise can also impact what they get paid. The average iOS game developer salary is around $80K, right near the overall national average for iOS developers. One that has many years of experience writing eCommerce apps might expect more, and a coder who's an expert in apps that handle secure banking transactions would probably want an even higher salary.

That wraps up our discussion of how location and experience effect iOS developer pay. Now, let's take a look at some more salary numbers from around the country, and the world.


iOS Developer Salaries in the US

iOS Developer Salaries in USA

Average iOS developer pay in the US is $82,307. To hire and keep quality developers, you'll need to up the ante by offering a compensation package that includes a $5,000 bonus and around $2K in profit sharing each year. Perks aside, all the numbers we're using are base salary alone.

Average iOS developer pay varies quite a bit depending on the city where you do business. In San Francisco it's a whopping $103,081 per year. The average iOS developer salary in NYC is $85,953 per year.

If you're developing apps down on the bayou, you can pay one of the lowest amounts in the country—in New Orleans, a typical iOS coder will expect just under $70K per year.

Below is a snapshot of iOS developer salaries in various cities around the United States. We selected cities to showcase the low and high extremes, and also to draw your attention to several places where salary expectations will be very close to the national average.

So, average iOS Developer salaries by the U.S. states is in:

  • San Francisco, California - $103,081
  • Seattle, Washington - $97,052
  • Denver, Colorado - $92,168
  • Boston, Massachusetts - $86,781
  • New York, New York - $85,953
  • Chicago, Illinois - $85,457
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota - $83,000
  • Los Angeles, California - $82,888
  • Dallas, Texas - $79,327
  • Orlando, Florida - $72,500
  • Raleigh, North Carolina - $71,899
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - $69,166
  • New Orleans, Louisiana - $69,130

If your business is located in one of the cities with higher pay, offering qualified candidates a competitive salary for the area will be critical to attract top talent. If you're in one of the many cities where iOS developer pay is lower than average, you'll reap the economic benefits of paying your team less than some of your competitors have to.


iOS Developer Salaries around the World

iOS developers overseas do not earn as much as their US-based counterparts. For example, the average annual iOS developer salary in Australia is $51,978, about $30K off the US national average. An iOS programmer's average income in the UK is only $48,711.

Before throwing out even more international pay numbers, it should be noted that all these figures are converted from the country's currency to US dollars. (We didn't want you having to do the conversions yourself!)

Here's a snapshot of iOS developer salaries in various countries. They were selected to illustrate the high and low extremes as well as to highlight some countries where midrange salaries are normal.

iOS Developer Salaries in USA

These overseas pay averages paint a very clear picture. If your business happens to be located outside the US, you can budget much lower for iOS developer pay than you would have to if you were doing business in the US.


iOS Developer Salaries in the Future

The field of software development has been growing for a long time and shows no signs of slowing down. Use of mobile devices will almost definitely increase too, so, the iOS jobs market will continue to grow along with the field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of software development will grow by approximately 31 percent by the year 2026, and, additional 255,400 development jobs will exist by 2026.

While companies who need to find iOS app developers can look forward to having a huge pool of candidates to select from, they should also acknowledge the fact that iOS developer demand will increase over time, and that will cause a corresponding increase in the size of the salaries those developers will expect.


Inexpensive iOS Development Is Possible

In this article, we've looked at some interesting statistics. It's plain to see that the location of your business, along with the skill-level of the developers you need to hire, can have a massive impact on how much your coders will expect in salary.

For any company that's located in an area with very few iOS developers or doing business in a city where developer salary is way too high for their budget, outsourcing can make a lot of sense.

Really, any company wishing to save time and money on their app development project should consider outsourcing the work to an experienced iOS development team, like the team at Softermii. You could save as much as 30%-50% in your development budget and get your app to market much faster than if you hired an internal team.

However you decide to move forward with your project, having a good idea of what iOS coders expect to get paid will help. We hope this article has given you some insight into average salaries for iOS developers and that you're able to find and hire the development talent you need.

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