App Developer Salary Guide (2018)

Artyom Dogtiev

Updated: May 11, 2018

With a rapid advance of the mobile app ecosystem that features growing adoption of the Internet of Things ecosystem, Machine Learning and AI  technologies, more and more people decide to join a multi-million army of mobile app developers. The total number of developers who build for mobile passed 12 millions and it’s projected to hit 14m mark by 2020. With this number of people being a part of the mobile app ecosystem, a question like what is an average app developer salary becomes really important. In this guide we want to answer this question, provide you statistics about iOS and Android developer salary and how they compare.

Mobile Application Developer Salary Key Data Points:

  • Worldwide mobile app revenue in 2016 – $88,5 billion
  • Indie app developer average salary – $1,500 / month
  • US mobile app developer average salary is $107,000 / year
  • Indian mobile app developer average salary is $4,100 / year
  • iOS app developer salary highest in US is $139,000 / year
  • Android app developer salary highest in US is $144,000 / year

These are just a few key data points for you to get a quick peak into what is an average mobile developer salary, let’s dig deeper.

Table of Contents

Before will get into how much money app developers are making, we’re going set the stage by looking at how much revenue app industry churns out year over year.


App Revenue

Let’s start with a broad picture of how much mobile app revenue developers generated in recent years with in-app advertising and from app sales on app stores combined. The recent data from App Annie for three major regions – APAA, EMEA and Americas reveals that in 2015 app developers in North and South America generated revenue on par with app developers in Asia, $27.4 billion against $28.4 billion and European developers only $13.9 billion. In 2016 the dynamics changed, app developers in Asian countries managed to earn about $37 billion, while their North and South American counterparts only about $35 billion, European mobile app developers generated $16.5 billion. By looking the year 2018 two years ahead we see it’s projected that Asia will hit $85 billion, app developers in both Americas combined will reach only $74.5 billion, meaning the gap will remain. And finally Europe will roughly double the 2016 figure, reaching $29 billion in mobile app revenue.

Worldwide Mobile App Revenue in 2016, by region in billions USD

Source: Statista

Mobile app industry has grown to a highly competitive and challenging one where app developers revenue level significantly varies. To see how much let’s see at the following graph that presents data for app developers revenue for independent developers, medium and large size studios. Couple things strike you right away – almost three quarter of independent app developers make less than $1,000 a month. On the other side of the spectrum are large studios, 55% of those make more than $10,000 and 34% preferred not to reveal their revenue at all, which certainly doesn’t mean they are on a brick of going broke – quite opposite. Overall independent app developers average monthly revenue is $1,500, medium size company developers make $7,500 a month and large studios developers team generate on average $44,000 monthly.

Monthly mobile app developers revenue percentage split, by company size, in USD

Source: Mobiversal

When we compare how much money do mobile app developers do in different countries, we see the following picture. United States still dominates for how much developers can earn a year – $107,000, Canada holds the second position with $68,000, Australia comes next with $66,000 and at the very end of this scale is India with $4,100 (yes, Indian app development market still provides the cheapest workforce). One thing we should remember that a salary figure alone doesn’t indicate how valuable this annual income is in a particular country, we should factor in an average salary figure in those countries. With that in mind, $4,100 annual salary in India doesn’t look like that low because the annual median per capita income in India is around ~$600.

Mobile app developer annual salary, by country, in USD

Source: Indeed

One of the crucial factors that influence mobile app developers salary is a coding experience they have, it directly translates into how much money companies are willing to pay for their service. Let’s take a look at top software development markets such as Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom and United States and so we can approximate its trends on mobile app developers salary. Software developers with up to 5 years of experience can make about $40,000 in France and UK, close to $50,000 in Germany and Canada and almost $75,000 in US. Having 5 to 10 years of coding experience under their belt, allows developers to ask for $100,000-112,000 in United States, around $55,000-70,000 in Canada and only $50,000 in France. US developers who have dedicated 15 years of their life and more make about $125k / year, on the other hand French developers with the same experience make about $60k / year.

Software developer annual salary, by coding experience, in USD

Source: Stackoverflow

iOS vs. Android Development Salary

Mobile app developers are being paid a different salary based on their location. Let’s take a look at the salary they get in a few cities in US and analyze how a specific mobile platform choice influences how much money they make. Among six US cities there significant number of mobile app developers located – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, New York and Cupertino, the latter is where developers make the most, on average $139,000 for iOS and $144,000 for Android app development. Even though in other cities developers are paid less, the overall trend remains – app developers for both leading platforms are being paid almost the same salary. It’s yet another proof of an observation made by Benedict Evans, analytic of Andreessen Horowitz VC firm – both iOS and Android mobile platforms won.

iOS app developer annual salary, by city in US

Source: Indeed

After comparing what major mobile app development platforms iOS and Android have to offer developers, let’s review them separately.

iOS Developer Salary

The spectrum of a mobile app development hourly rate for different countries is predictably dominated by North America where mobile software developers ask $150 per hour and on the opposite side is Indonesia where developers are ready to code apps for around $10 per hour. In fact US and Australia, where developers code for about $110 / hour, are the only countries where mobile app development costs more than $100 per hour.

iOS app development price range, by location

Source: Codementor

Now let’s turn to how app development experience influences iOS app developers annual salary. An entry-level (0-5 years of experience) iOS developer may expect to be paid about $80k a year, having 5-10 years of experience under your belt, brings additional $20-40k of an annual income. iOS development professionals with more than 20 years of experience get $120k or more a year.

US iOS app developer annual salary, by experience

Source: PayScale

Android Developer Salary

Moving from iOS to Android, we see a similar picture with app development hourly rate being the highest in North America – $168 / hour on average, Australia – $110 and India – $26 per hour on average. South America and Eastern Europe go slightly above India – $34 and $35 / hour respectively and United Kingdom app developers work for about $70 / hour.

Android App Development Price Range by Location

Source: Nine Hertz

Android app development experience has almost identical influence on a salary developers get and it is yet another proof that both leading mobile platforms have matured and rule the mobile ecosystem together.

For Android app development we can see a similar pattern, with slightly different rates. US holds the premium pricing rate as well – $168 an hour and India is on the opposite end of the pricing scale – $26 an hour. The difference in pricing between iOS and Android mirrors the difference between these mobile platforms in general. The possible reason for the Android premium hourly rate to be higher than the iOS one is that it’s harder to develop for this platform because of its fragmentation. Android app developers need to test app they develop for more smartphone and tablet screen sizes and various hardware requirements in general. The hourly rate for Android development in India is less than its iOS counterpart because Android platform is much more widespread in this country and hence greater number of developers to compete with each other.

US Android App Developer Salary, by experience

Source: PayScale

Final Thoughts

As of early 2018, an average annual salary of a mobile app developer in US is $107,000. Mobile app developers counterparts in other countries are being paid significantly different, ranging from $68,000 in Canada to $4,100 in India, both local economy and the scale of the mobile ecosystem influence financial compensation mobile app developers get in these countries. Mobile ecosystem has engulfed all developed and many developing countries are on the path to become fully mobile, latest cutting edge technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence allow to significantly increase the value of several billion mobile devices people own. Internet of Things ecosystem adoption is slower that people believed but it is growing too. All three vectors bring lots of new opportunities for mobile app developers, including generating greater income thanks to a high demand on these above mentioned technologies.