App Developer Salary Guide (2021)

Artyom Dogtiev

Updated: April 5, 2021

With a rapid advance of the mobile app ecosystem that features growing adoption of the Internet of Things ecosystem, Blockchain, 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 the 24 million mark in 2019. Quoting Marc Andreessen “Software eats the world”, meaning software – and especially mobile –  permuates into every business vertical on the planet and, as a consequence, we see a desktop or mobile app software developer profession popularity skyrockets.

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 2020 – $111 billion
  • US mobile app developer average salary is ~$90k / year
  • Indian mobile app developer average salary is $4k / year
  • iOS app developer salary highest in the US is $120k / year
  • Android app developer salary highest in the US is $121k / year

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

We’ve divided this research into four main sections introducing the overall health of the app development market plus specific app salary data points for Android and iOS developers in various geographic markets.


Table of Contents

Before will get into how much money app developers are making, we’re going to set the stage by looking at how much revenue the 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 and Sensor Tower reveals that from early 2016 to late 2020 worldwide total app revenue grew from $43.5 billion to $111 billion, with the highest growth quarter over quarter in 2019 and 2020, when quarterly app revenue was more than $20 billion.

Worldwide Mobile App Revenue in 2016-2020, in billions USD

The 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 take a look at the following graph that presents data for app developers’ revenue for independent developers, medium and large-size studios. A couple of things strike you right away – almost three-quarters of independent app developers make less than $1,000 a month. On the other side of the spectrum are large studios, 55% of those making 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 teams generate on average $44,000 monthly.

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

Source: Mobiversal

Nest up is how much money do mobile app developers do in different countries. The United States still dominates with respect to how much developers can earn a year – roughly $90,000, Australia holds the second position with $76,000, Germany comes next with $66,000 and at the very end of this scale is India with $4,000 (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, $4,000 annual salary in India doesn’t look that low because the annual median per capita income in India is around ~$300.

Mobile App Developer average annual salary in 2021, by country, in USD, in thousands

One of the crucial factors that influence mobile app developers’ salary is the 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 the 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 the US. Having 5 to 10 years of coding experience under their belt, allows developers to ask for $100,000-112,000 in the 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 the US and analyze how a specific mobile platform choice influences how much money they make. Among six US cities there a significant number of mobile app developers located – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, New York, and Cupertino, the latter is where iOS developers make the most – on average $155,000 a year. On the Android side, San Francisco is the place where Android app developers make the most – $165,ooo a year. 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, except Los Angeles where there is a big gap with Android developers making 1/3 of what iOS ones are. It’s yet another proof of an observation made by Benedict Evans, ex analytic of the Andreessen Horowitz VC firm – both iOS and Android mobile platforms won.

The United States iOS vs Android app developer annual salary, by the city

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

iOS Developer Salary

Now let’s look at how much iOS developers make specifically in different countries. Once again, the US is the leader with iOS app developers making $120k a year on average. Australian iOS coders take second place with $90k a year, followed by British app developers making $71k annually and Canadian iOS developers earning $67k a year.

iOS app developer salary, by location

 

Turning 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 $69k a year, having 5-10 years of experience under your belt, brings an additional $15k of an annual income. iOS development professionals at the middle of their career make $107k on average, which is followed by another $16k extra later on as they reach the Late Career stage.

The US iOS app developer annual salary, by experience

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Android Developer Salary

Moving from iOS to Android, yet again the US is leading the pack with Android developers making $121k a year, Australia takes a distant second place with $85k and the UK closes the top three with $73k salary British app developers make a year.

Android app developer salary, by location

For Android app development we can see a similar pattern, with slightly different rates. It starts with $68k annual salary for the Entry Level skills in the Android app development, followed by an $18k increase once you reach the Early Career stage, maximizing at the Experienced stage when Android app developers make $116k a year and then surprisingly goes down to $98k a year for the Late Career stage.

US Android App Developer Salary, by experience

Source: PayScale

Final Thoughts

As of early 2021, an average annual salary of a mobile app developer in the US is $90,000. Mobile app developers counterparts in other countries are being paid significantly differently, ranging from $76,000 in Australia to $4,000 in India, both the local economy and the scale of the mobile ecosystem influence the financial compensation mobile app developers get in these countries. The 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 than 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 high demand for these above-mentioned technologies.

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