Staff Augmentation


How much does it cost to hire an app developer?

Laura Villa Méndez

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If you’re planning on hiring a mobile app developer, a lot of questions will most likely come up and you will have to make important decisions for your project. A first step asking yourself if you are going to hire in-house developers or you will outsource external experts, independent and self-sufficient developers or development teams working in a remote way.

On one hand, if you decide to outsource, it’s important to remember that location will affect the mobile app developer’s cost depending on the place of the world they’re located in. So, where can you start looking for mobile developers? In this article, we will mention some of the outstanding countries for app developers hiring and the searching platforms to find them. Also, we will provide information about the recruitment rates of the developers you’re looking for. 

When it comes to recruiting an app developer there are two important things you must have in mind: what is the project’s budget and how much are they going to charge you. These expenses vary depending on a series of factors that we will talk about up next: 

1. Native, hybrid or cross-platform?

You must take into account what platform you are looking to develop the mobile app for, since the developer’s cost may vary according to the platform you choose. If, on one hand, you’re trying to present a native application, whether it’s an iOS or Android platform, you must hire a developer who can create a source code for a specific mobile platform. A native application’s development for multiple platforms will increase the development’s time and cost in the budget. But, if you’re looking to develop a hybrid or cross- platform app, that’s a more affordable option, since an application executable in various platforms can be developed with a single source code.

In another survey done by GoodFirms, these are the hourly rates (average economic cost - average high- end cost) to develop an Android, iOS and hybrid app:

In order to develop these apps you must have in mind factors such as market share on operating systems, target audience, a variety of devices, operating system’s requirements, app’s services and technical implementation. 

2. Complexity of the project

Developing a mobile app can take from a week to five months or more, that is why determining your project’s requirements will help you understand the development stages, technologies, methodologies and the amount of time it will take to finish it. Factors such as app type, number of features, complexity of functionality and design, have an influence on its price and that of the developer that will carry out the project. 

In that same survey done by GoodFirms, participants were asked to calculate the average amount of hours they needed to develop a specific set of features and the app’s administration according to the application’s complexity. We can see what is the estimated development time and the price in USD.

3. Developer’s location

Costs of hiring app developers vary depending on the location you choose to contract, it plays a very important role. According to the study conducted by Stack Overflow in 2018, the average salary of the best paid developers in Latin America can get to be $20.000 USD yearly. On the other hand, that same study done in 2020, indicates that in the U.S. mobile developers tend to have a higher salary compared to other professions; it can be up to $120.000 USD yearly. 

Also, a report presented by Buildfire indicates that countries like India, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapur, Ukraine and Russia are the most common places to hire app developers from all over the world. We will see a chart that compares annual fees from some of these countries, extracted from Glassdoor, a global recruitment platform. 

4. Knowledge and experience

When it comes to developing a mobile app, there’s a wide selection of multiple technologies, frameworks and programming languages that will help the developer creating an app. However, developers have various sets of knowledge and experiences that will have a cost when it comes to recruitment. You will only be able to identify what type of experience and specific skills you need a developer to have, after evaluating your project’s requirements. In February 2020, Stack Overflow interviewed almost 65.000 developers through a survey, in which they answered several questions about their learning, experience, tools that they use, among others. In this next chart we can see the salaries according to the experience by type of developer: 

If we notice how the salary is compared to the years of experience, we can see that developers with more experience tend to have the highest salaries. However, we can also see some differences when we notice the specific skills the developers have. 

Salaries also vary depending on the years of experience when the programming language a developer uses is observed:

For most languages, the relationship between salary and years of programming experience is linear. According to this worldwide study, Swift developers can make an average yearly salary of $58.000 USD, meanwhile those specialized in Objective-C can make up to $64.000 USD. On the other hand, those developing Kotlin language can receive a $54.000 yearly salary, and those who use Java, $50.000 USD.

How to hire the best app development company? 

Whenever you’re looking to hire mobile apps developers, consider doing it through someone who provides these services abroad, one that can offer highly qualified developers. Some suggestions you can follow in order to find the best partner are: 

  • Know your project’s needs

  • Check the company’s history and reviews

  • Evaluate the company’s recruitment processes. 

  • Verify the developer’s experience and portfolio

  • Identify cultural and linguistic differences


Recruiting the mobile app developer can be a challenging task, although if you know exactly what you expect from the developer, your project’s budget, plus the skills you need to make your app idea real, it will be much more simple.

By having at disposal thousands of software development companies that offer IT staff augmentation services, choosing the right provider takes time and effort. However, if you take the aspects previously mentioned into account, like what you need to have in mind when looking for an app developer, how much does it approximately cost you to hire one of them in different regions, and which factors can affect the cost of your app’s development, you will most likely make the right choice. 

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