Software app development and mobile app development are in-demand skills. And it pays well. But what is the average mobile app developer salary? How much do freelance app developers get paid?
App Developers Salary Guide
There are many kinds of app developers, and that means there is a wide range of potential salaries. However, there are three easy groups we can put developers in: iOS, Android, and "other," where we'll look at a few more general categories.
iOS developer salaries
Here's what five services report for the average salary of an iOS app developer:
- Payscale.com: $86,622
- Ziprecruiter: $94,551–$114,614
- Glassdoor: $96,016
- Neuvoo: $115,050–$122,605
- Indeed: $127,199
The salary depends on factors like your experience, location, and specific skills (all of which we will discuss shortly).
Android developer salaries
Here's what those same five services say app developers earn as Android developers:
- Payscale.com: $86,607
- Glassdoor: $96,016
- Neuvoo: $105,000–$120,000
- Ziprecruiter: $107,055–$112,647
- Indeed: $125,293
Again, these salaries depend on a wide range of factors. Also, notice that the average salary for Android app developers may be slightly lower than that of iOS developers. But not by much.
Other app developer salaries
Because there are many other kinds of app development, it's hard to say what the average app developer salary is. But here are a few figures pulled from those sites above:
- App developer salary: $69,590 to $102,367
- Mobile app developer salary: $73,023 to $125,381
- Web app developer salary: $66,043 to $102,375
As you can see, there's a wide range of salaries for app developers, even just looking at a small number of specialties.
If we average out all of the numbers above, for every type of app development, though, it comes to about $102,000. So if you are looking for an average app developer salary, that's a good number to have in mind.
How Does Experience Affect App Developer Salary?
Like any other position, the amount of experience the developer has makes a big difference in how much they get paid.
Let's take a look at the iOS developer salary from Payscale, which shows an average of $86,622. Here's how they break down the average salary by experience:
- Entry-level: $68,514
- Early career: $82,522
- Mid-career: $104,874
- Experienced: $123,314
- Late career: $120,289
Based on these numbers, you can expect to pay about 80% of the average for an entry-level app developer. And, you could be looking at around 140% of the average for a more experienced programmer to join your team.
What Other Factors Impact App Developer Salary?
As we have mentioned several times now, there are many factors that affect how much an app developer salary will be.
These are some of the most important:
This should be no surprise. Developers based in the Bay Area are paid a lot more money than those based in the middle of the country because the cost of living is so much higher.
The following cities show high salaries for app developers:
- San Francisco, CA
- Mountain View, CA
- San Jose, CA
- San Diego, CA
- New York, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Boston, MA
On-site vs. remote
FlexJobs reports that remote work has grown 44% over the past five years. There is a real chance that you could find an experienced developer to work remotely for you if you want to. But what does that mean for what you should pay them?
Interestingly, the Owl Labs 2019 State of Remote Work survey found that remote workers earn over $100,000 2.2 times more frequently than on-site workers. Of course, many factors play into this -- it is possible that higher-paid employees are more likely to be given the option to work remotely.
The specific skills the developer has make big difference in their salary. We already discussed the difference between iOS and Android developer salaries. But there are more specific skill sets that can boost the salary.
Here are a few that help the most, according to Indeed:
- Data structures
Working In-house vs. Freelance vs. Agency
All of the figures above apply to in-house app developers. But what about if you hire a freelancer? Or you use an agency?
ZipRecruiter shows the average freelance app developer salary around $115,000, placing it toward the high end of in-house salaries. Using a freelance marketplace like Toptal, Freelancer, or Upwork makes it easier to find and hire freelancers.
Working with an agency is a totally different situation. Agency developers make a wide range of salaries, because agencies charge a wide range of prices.
Conclusion: Will App Developer Salaries Continue to Increase?
As more and more companies require apps to further their business models, app development will continue to be very valuable. The COVID-19 pandemic has created more interest in distance learning, mobile engagement, and e-commerce.
That means app developers will stay in high demand. So, while it is impossible to say with certainty that app developer salaries will increase, the likelihood does seem high.
What do you think? Will app developers continue to make six figures? Will the average salary rise? Will one particular type of app development rise above the others in terms of pay? Share your thoughts in the comments below!