What is a typical salary for a mobile developer?


I am trying to gauge the general salary to pay a mobile developer.

In this case, the developers' skills would include a year or more of Android and iOS experience, with proven apps in the market or AppStore (as appropriate).

Salary Iphone Mobile Android

asked Oct 1 '10 at 02:17
Sheehan Alam
194 points
  • This is very dependent on location. – Tim J 14 years ago
  • West Coast: California, Arizona, Nevada – Sheehan Alam 14 years ago
  • Would this be a single developer for your app or part of a team? – Adam 14 years ago
  • Part of a team. – Sheehan Alam 14 years ago
  • Not sure why you would pay more/less than your other developers. Are you having difficulty finding someone? – Jeff O 14 years ago
  • No just trying to gauge the value of a mobile developer – Sheehan Alam 14 years ago
  • West coast, AZ, CA, NV does not help. A salary in silicon valley will be way different than some little place in AZ or NV. – Tim J 14 years ago

6 Answers


In general, a good source for competitive salary data is salary.com, but they don't tend to break it out by mobile developer vs. "normal" developer.

A reliable developer with at least one year of experience generally could expect to make a full time salary in the $80,000 - $100,000 range. For Silicon Valley, add $10,000 or so. For nowhereville or Phoenix, subtract $10,000 or so.

Since mobile developers are extremely scarce right now and in very, very high demand, add about 25%.

These are full time salaries. For a single programmer working as a contractor on a 1099 basis or for short-term gigs, divide the annual salary by 1000 to get the hourly rate. For example, a high-end mobile developer in Silicon Valley might earn $130,000 as a full time rate or bill $130/hour for part time work.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 11:51
Joel Spolsky
13,482 points
  • Wow this are much better prices than in germany. OK, one needs to calculate costs of the environment (insurance, taxes, costs of food), but Germany is not really cheap (think on oil - currently 1,60€/litre). Standard reliable devs get 50k, when not working as consultants. Consultants might make +10k (euro of course) – Christian 13 years ago
  • @Christian: That comparison is not fair in general. From my experience, conusltants can easily make 75k/75€ hr, which is roughly equivalent. For sure, in Germany insurances are obligatory, while in the US they are optional. The cost of daily things has a completely different distribution: Gas and food might be cheaper, but education is expensive as hell (whereas good education is free in Germany). – Johannes Rudolph 13 years ago
  • @Johannes - I would say 60-65k for an employed consultant with lots of experience is standard. 75€ per hour as a freelancer is not very often the case - i would say 65€-70€. About the other costs, I agree, it is not very easy to compare. But only one thing - good education is not longer free in germany (political rant!) :-( (Studiengebühren) – Christian 13 years ago
  • @Christian: I'd based my 75€/hr for mobile consultants on a recent salary survey by german computer magazine Ct. My experience is that mobile is a skill in high demand and therefore rates are better. Agree with you on the political rant. Remember there are states where there are no study fees though. The education system is different too. Americans pay for college, our equivalent is the Abitur (which has higher standards and is open to everyone good enough). Even with study fees, a degree from a top university will set you back 10k, whereas you can easily pay 10x as much in the US. – Johannes Rudolph 13 years ago
  • @Johannes interesting - I should move on to work more in mobile fields. Agree that US edu is more expensive than germanys edu. Just unsure how much we should include this information in a compensation comparison. At least if you are a self starter... :-) – Christian 13 years ago


I see all these huge numbers and just have to be a contrarian. If you recruit just like everybody else from same places with same spec, yes, $80K-$120K is reasonable. That is the penalty you pay for doing everything the same like the masses do.

But here in Boston, where demand is no less ridiculous than in SV, the smart ones have mobile devs in $60-$70K range. They may not be MIT CSers, but they will out-code them (cleanly and efficiently) any day, since there are no brain cycles wasted on entitlements and egos (I don't blame the MITers though, when everyone wants you, your ego explodes).
Instead, focus on finding "born to be engineers" talent. With 100+ devs I've had hand in hiring, never saw a good one who could not pick up and master any new language/platform in under a month. I personally don't care if you match my spec, I want to know if you have right fundamentals and I will invest in you in exchange for more sustainable pay.

answered Aug 19 '12 at 01:26
Apollo Sinkevicius
3,323 points


Here in Indonesia we pay $500 per month and it's very good. That's how I become a businessman. There is no way to make a living being programmer here.

Recently I hire many high IQ programmers and I am satisfied with their skills and talents. Some is even better than I am.

I think I would subcontract jobs from American and train more programmers. I can give good portfolio, etc. Not sure how to do so though.

answered Aug 15 '12 at 15:06
Jim Thio
129 points


In my country, in Ukraine, you can hire high skilled team(5 programers) for $100/hour or make an app by a price You pay for 1 employe in USA. Try to look developers in other countries, it might be very useful.

answered Dec 31 '12 at 11:40
Victor Shablyko
1 point
  • You ever heard of that saying "You get what you pay for?". That's spot on. I can't tell you how many "fix my app" projects I've received from people who have gone with developers from India and Europe. You may be paying hire prices in the U.S., but you are gonna get quality work (in most cases anyway). I've gained many new returning clients that way. – Wrights Cs 11 years ago


  1. I would check first what can he do for you in terms of delivery.
  2. It's hard to say what is the 'right' salary because the variance is huge. As some noted in the comments it's very location based. However, if you plan to do something over the web, I won't worry on finding someone in places where the salary is high (e.g. San Francisco).
  3. You might want to check places like: http://www.getacoder.com/ and get someone 'similar' there.
answered Jun 24 '11 at 07:08
Ido Green
171 points


Here in Phoenix most mobile app developers that I've come across make between $5,000 and $20,000 per project depending on the scope.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 14:10
1 point

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